Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden in the No.2 Hitachi Chevrolet took his first pole position of the season with a time of 01:14.8607s and speaking following the session he said:
It was a good lap. I got (the pole) on the first (lap). I could tell the temperatures were coming up quicker than yesterday. Normally, second lap (is quicker). I could see the grip was already there, so I had to go. The second lap was done; the tires were already burned off. I tried to maximize that first one. Pretty good lap. Must have gotten lucky. I guess it worked out.” … “Team Chevy has done a great job, like I’ve said all weekend. Great to have Hitachi here this weekend. Team Penske overall, putting on this event and having all the people out, it’s good to have a solid weekend here.” … “I guess it’s good to be lucky; better to be lucky than good. These guys have done a great job. Team Chevy has really brought it this weekend. They’ve worked really hard and circled this place on the calendar. We had a good car here. All our boys, they’ve worked extremely hard at the shop. We knew we needed to be better on street courses and you can see (the improvement). It’s fast, really fast, and we’ve executed well. We got the tires (up to temperature) when we need them to. I’m pleased as punch at the moment. We’ve just got to try to finish off the second race. I think it’s going to be physical today, really hard to get through it, so we’ve got to focus on (finishing) off the weekend.” … “The (Firestone alternate) reds are fast but they tend to go off. That’s always the case with them but it seems to be more extreme this weekend. But Firestone does that for a reason. They want us to have a strong performance tire that doesn’t last very long to give you that contrast with the primary tire, so you can try to make the most of it. It also mixes up the strategy. I think you’re going to see a lot (of mixed strategies) today. People are going to struggle with long distances on the reds and that’s going to make things dicey for a little bit of the race.
Alexander Rossi who starts second commented on his run saying:
It was out of our control with us being in Group 1 going for pole. I wasn’t expecting it to hold up, but we did the best run that we could. Group 2 is always quicker here. We’ll take that championship point, move on and try to do one better in the race today.” … “Pole here is in Group 2, so we knew it was going to happen, but we’re on the front row so that’s a positive.” … “I think the black (Firestone primary tires) did a very good job in the race. I think the red (alternate tires) are still a mystery for us at this point. Everyone is going to learn and experiment in the race.” … “I think we had the advantage yesterday in the wet, just got unlucky with the yellows that fell. I think we have the car to beat again and we’ll try to get to the point early on and then bring it home from there.” … “The strategy will be very different, obviously, today. You weren’t worried with tire life in the rain, just fuel. Today, we have to see how the red (alternate tires) and the black (primary tires) fare. There will be a huge tire wear factor today and we won’t really know until we get out there this afternoon and race.