Team Penske’s Will Power in the No.12 Verizon Chevrolet took his 62nd career pole for the Firestone Grand Prix of St Petersburg, the final race of the 2020 NTT IndyCar Series season..The Australian who starts the race just ahead of Alexander Rossi set a fastest time of 01:01.0369s while Rossi in the No.27 AutoNation NAPA Auto Parts Honda set a time of 01:01.1730s and speaking to Paddock Eye during a Zoom media call, Rossi said that there weren’t really any issues with the Aeroscreen given that this weekend is the first time they have run with it on a road course in terms of visibility in that he didn’t notice until we had said it to him.
Speaking following his ninth pole of the season, Power commented saying:
It is so good to have Verizon back on the pole. Very, very good laps, both of the last two. The other guys had fresh tires so I thought okay we’ll see. We’ll see what they’ve got. I hustled the heck out of it. I was very very happy to get pole, I have the same approach everywhere I race, I love my craft and try to get the max out of it. We are going to do our best to get a good race pace from the start and get Chevy in Victory Lane.
Colton Herta in the No.88 Capstone Honda for Andretti Harding Steinbrenner Autosport starts the race from third place with a time of 01:01.1815s while James Hinchcliffe in the No.26 Gainbridge Honda starts the race from fourth place his best qualifying of the season with a 01:01.3626s.
It was a great qualifying for Meyer Shank Racing’s Jack Harvey in the No.60 AutoNation Sirius XM Honda who starts the race from fifth place following a time of 01:01.3675s who starts the race just ahead of Arrow McLaren SP’s Pato O’Ward in the No.5 Arrow Chevrolet who set a time of 01:01.7725s. AJ Foyt Racing’s Sebastien Bourdais had a great session as he starts his ‘home race’ from seventh place following a time of 01:00.8102s.
Speaking following the action Jack Harvey commented saying:
We had a pretty good qualifying car and our pace at the end there was still pretty decent. “There’s no reason we shouldn’t have a great race. We’ve been in the top five now in every disciplined of track – road courses, ovals, street circuit. Now, it’s just a nice day to show myself, the team and the rest of the paddock that we can do it on all types of tracks. It was a good day.
Championship contender Josef Newgarden in the No.1 Hitachi Chevrolet for Team Penske set a 01:00.8676s and starts the race from eighth place and speaking to Paddock Eye following the session, the Tennessee native said that he doesn’t expect any favors from his team mate Will Power who starts the race from pole position.
Ed Carpenter Racing’s Rinus Veekay in the No.21 Sonax Autogeek Chevrolet starts the race from ninth place with a time of 01:00.8837s. The Dutch driver will be awarded the 2020 rookie of the year award by starting the Firestone Grand Prix of St Pete.
Arrow McLaren SP’s Oliver Askew in the No.7 Arrow McLaren Chevrolet rounds out the top ten for his final race with the team after setting a time of 01:00.9772s.
Championship leader Scott Dixon in the No.9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda starts the race from eleventh place having set a time of 01:01.0283s and speaking to Paddock Eye following the session the Iceman said that he will just try to get the job done on Sunday by staying out of trouble. Dixon said that the car feels good in race trim and with a good race strategy that the team should be up front.
Speaking about the news that Jimmie Johnson will come into the team next season, Dixon said he is excited to see how the seven time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion transitions to open wheel racing. Dixon also said that he is excited to see a company coming into the series as it was confirmed today that online car showroom Carvana will serve as Johnson’s primary sponsor.
Team Penske’s Simon Pagenaud in the No.22 Menards Chevrolet starts the race from 12th place with a time of 01:01.2298s and starts the race just ahead of Takuma Sato who set a fastest time of 01:00.9423s.
Conor Daly in the No.20 U.S Air Force Chevrolet starts the race from 14th with a time of 01:01.1609s and starts the race just ahead of Marcus Ericsson in the No.8 Huski Chocolate Honda with a time of 01:00.9619s while Alex Palou in the No.55 Guaranteed Rate Honda for Dale Coyne with Team Goh with a time of 01:01.1630s. Graham Rahal in the No.15 United Rentals Honda for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing starts the race from 17th place with a time of 01:01.1458s while Santino Ferrucci starts the race from 18th place in the No.18 Team SealMaster Honda for Dale Coyne with Vasser Sullivan Racing.
Ryan Hunter Reay starts the race from 19th place with a time of 01:01.1458s in the No.28 DHL Honda for Andretti Autosport. Charlie Kimball in the No.4 Tresiba Chevrolet for AJ Foyt Racing starts the race from 20th place with a time of 01:01.2425s.
Scott McLaughlin starts his first NTT IndyCar Series race from 21st place in the No.3 Shell V Power Nitro Plus Chevrolet for Team Penske with a time of 01:01.2425s and starts the race just ahead of Felix Roswenqvist who starts from 22nd just ahead of Marco Andretti whhile Max Chilton rolls of from 24th place in the No.59 Gallagher Chevrolet.