Ed Carpenter Racing’s Josef Newgarden in the No.21 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka Chevrolet earned his best grid position for the Honda Indy 200 at the Mid-Ohio sports car course on Saturday.

The American who is in fifth place in the Verizon IndyCar Series points standings going into tomorrow’s race will start the Honda Indy 200 from third place.

Newgarden set his Firestone Fast 6 time of 01:04.1200s and will start the race just ahead of Andretti Autosport’s Ryan Hunter Reay. Newgarden has done a great job this season and hasn’t missed a race this year despite fracturing his wrist and collarbone in an accident at the abandoned Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway.

Newgarden will miss the race in Texas which has been rescheduled for August 27 and speaking following the session he commented by saying:

It was really exciting, actually. I was nervous in the second round. We were debating new or used reds in the second group, no one really knew it what it was going to do. It looked like it was going to rain, then it didn’t, then it kind of did! We ended up going out on scuffs and I struggled, I couldn’t really get a good lap time on them. We came in and put on new tires and it started raining in Turn 4. I thought ‘Well, we just shot ourselves in the foot!’ The next lap it dried up and I got a good time and got in the Fast 6. We did a pretty decent job and ended 3rd. I feel good about where we are starting, that’s a good spot for us. We should try and challenge the two Penske guys for the whole race. They’ll be tough to beat, they’re really, really good around here on their tires. I think that’s what it’s going to take, kind of like Barber, you have to have good longevity on your tires That’s where we got beat in Barber, so we have got to work on that tomorrow morning. If we can do that, we should have a pretty good day with the Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevy.

Spencer Pigot in the No.20 Fuzzy’s Chevrolet will start the race from 19th place after setting a qualifying time of 01:05.1891s and speaking following the session he commented by saying:

Obviously today was a tough day, we need to figure out how we can improve qualifying. We at least want stay where we have been in practice instead of losing positions. We’re going to make that the goal for qualifying in Watkins Glen. For tomorrow, we’re going to focus on the race and see what we can do with a different strategy. We have good pace and I know the Fuzzy’s Vodka Rising Star Racing guys will give me good pit stops. I’m excited to see what we can do.

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