Power On Pole As Penske Lock Out The Front Row In Iowa
Team Penske’s Will Power in the No.12 Verizon Chevrolet will start Sunday’s Iowa Corn 300 at Iowa Speedway from pole position after setting a two lap average speed of 182.391MPH.
The Indianapolis 500 winner is joined on the front row by defending series champion Josef Newgarden in the No.1 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet. Andretti Autosport’s Ryan Hunter Reay in the No.28 DHL Honda ended the session in third place with a two lap average of 180.681MPH and speaking following the session he said:
We just missed it a little bit – but good job by the team, the 28 car was decent. We got a little bit light overall – I couldn’t commit to full throttle leaving the corner, just a bit too much understeer. It’s unfortunate to not be on Pole, but when we miss it and we are still starting P3, it’s not too bad. Tomorrow is where all the points are paid, and I think we can get the DHL team a fourth Iowa Corn 300 win.
Team Penske’s Simon Pagenaud in the No.22 Menards Chevrolet starts the race in fourth place just ahead of Alexander Rossi in the No.27 NAPA Auto Parts Honda for Andretti Autosport who set a two lap average of 179.801MPH and speaking following the session he said:
We missed the balance a little bit on the NAPA AUTO PARTS Andretti Honda, but at the end of the day we were competitive this morning and pretty strong in the test. I’m not concerned about the car that we have. It’s just always difficult sometimes when you have different rubber and are trying to predict. We just predicted a little bit wrong today, but this race is a crazy one. I actually love this race – it’s one of my favorite ovals. I’m looking forward to tomorrow night, this will by far be the best starting spot I’ve had around here and hopefully we can execute on that.
Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon in the No.9 PNC Bank Honda who goes into this weekend’s race with a 45 point lead in the championship will start Sunday’s race from sixth place just ahead of Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Robert Wickens in the No.6 Lucas Oil Honda.
It was a great session for Ed Jones in the No.10 DC Solar Honda as he starts the race from eighth place just ahead of Ed Carpenter in the No.20 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka Chevrolet.
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s Takuma Sato in the No.30 MiJack/Panasonic Honda set a two lap average of 178.708MPH to round out the top ten and speaking about his run, Sato said:
We were in a relatively better position in qualifying than we were in the first practice but the conditions were quite a bit different. Since we skipped the test here, it was a quite hectic first practice. We struggled with both speed and balance. There was a sketchy moment with some push. It’s quite challenging. I was quite surprised at how hard it is to get a good balance with the new aero kit and am not really satisfied at all with it currently but we will try to get it better for the race
Schmidt Peterson Motorsports James Hinchcliffe in the No.5 Arrow Electronics Honda starts the race from 11th place just ahead of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s Graham Rahal in the No.15 Luther Automotive Group Honda and speaking following the session Rahal commented by saying:
The Luther Automotive Group car accelerates pretty darn well so I expected to be in the first few rows so I’m definitely disappointed. We had a huge amount of understeer and that hurt us but we’ll keep chasing it. It was weird; it felt like the front tires weren’t even on the ground which isn’t anything like this morning. We knew with the hotter track temp we would be chasing that a little bit but it’s not overly hot here today. In race trim, up high we’ll be perfectly fine. But in the car, what do you do? I softened the bar and went left on the jacker which is all the tools you have. Other than that, just hang on.
AJ Foyt Racing’s Tony Kanaan in the No.14 ABC Supply Chevrolet starts the race from 13th place just ahead of Andretti Autosport’s Zach Veach in the No.26 Relay Group 1001 Honda who set a two lap average of 177.809MPH and speaking following the session he said:
I was completely confused by our [qualifying] run, honestly. This morning, the car was perfect to the top five – on edge even. We didn’t change anything at all and come out for qualifying and had a ton of understeer. Obviously, the track changed a bunch and we just didn’t do enough to account for it. We’ll start 14th, which is much lower than we wanted but the team has had strong cars here, so we’ll work on things more tonight and do our best to charge our way through tomorrow.
Dale Coyne with Vasser Sullivan Racing’s Sebastien Bourdais in the No.18 SealMaster Honda starts the race from 15th place just ahead of Harding Racing’s Gabby Chaves in the No.88 Harding Group Chevrolet.
Carlin Racing’s Charlie Kimball in the No.23 Tresiba Chevrolet starts the race from 17th place just ahead of Ed Carpenter Racing’s Spencer Pigot.
Andretti Herta Autosport’s Marco Andretti in the No.98 US Concrete Honda starts the race from 19th place having set a two lap average speed of 174.548MPH and speaking following the session he commented by saying:
The qualifying run today was the closest I’ve come to crashing here since I crossed the finish line backwards a couple years ago. I don’t know how we missed it that much, we weren’t too bad in Practice 1 but in qualifying the car felt horrible. We were super loose, and I felt like I was turning right the whole time.
Dale Coyne Racing’s Zachary Claman DeMelo in the No.19 Paysafe Honda starts the race from 20th place with a two lap average speed of 174.339MPH and speaking following the session the Canadian commented by saying:
Today, the #19 Paysafe car isn’t quite going our way. Like in Texas, we didn’t have a great qualifying, but we were there in the race and that’s kind of the plan for here as well. It’s much different here in an Indy car versus an Indy Lights car. It’s probably the place where I’ve felt the biggest difference so I’m trying to wrap my head around everything and trying to figure out how to work the car here. It’s a bumpy track so it’s difficult to run both the high and low line, you just have to find a spot that works for you. It’s also tough to follow here, so we’ll see how tomorrow goes and hope for the best.
Carlin Racing’s Max Chilton in the No.59 Gallagher Chevrolet starts the race from 21st place while AJ Foyt Racing’s Matheus ‘Matt’ Leist rounds out the order in 22nd place with a two lap average speed of 168.724MPH.