Newgarden wins Indy Lights pole in Loudon
Firestone Indy Lights championship points leader Josef Newgarden -- the final qualifier -- posted a two-lap time of 49.4908 seconds (149.119 mph average) in the No. 11 Copart/Score Big/Robo-Pong/SSM car to prevent Clauson from earning his first Sunoco Pole Award of the season.
Esteban Guerrieri will start third in the No. 7 Lucas Oil/SSM car, ending his series-record-streak of six consecutive front-row starts. But Sam Schmidt Motorsports drivers will start 1-2-3 in a race for the third time this season. Anders Krohn matched his best qualifying effort with a fourth in the No. 4 Liberty Engineering Racing Special for Belardi Auto Racing.
It was the third pole start for Newgarden -- his first on an oval and the third in the past four events.
Results of qualifying Saturday for the New Hampshire 100 Firestone Indy Lights event on the 1.025-mile New Hampshire Motor Speedway, with starting position, car number in parentheses, driver, and speed:
1. (11) Josef Newgarden, 149.119
2. (77) Bryan Clauson, 147.874
3. (7) Esteban Guerrieri, 146.792
4. (9) Anders Krohn, 146.263
5. (4) Jorge Goncalvez, 144.148
6. (28) Duarte Ferreira, 142.635
7. (17) Rusty Mitchell, 141.818
8. (16) David Ostella, 141.155
9. (3) Victor Carbone, 140.977
10. (22) Brandon Wagner, 140.858
11. (2) Gustavo Yacaman, 140.679
12. (5) Stefan Wilson, 137.260
JOSEF NEWGARDEN (No. 11 Copart/Score Big/Robo-Pong/SSM, Sunoco Pole Award winner): "From what I was hearing from the guys, I think we got a bit of luck being able to go last and having everyone else clean the track, but certainly not too much. It sounded like the track was very good right from the beginning. As soon as I saw Esteban post that time, it was just miles ahead of anybody. I thought he was just going to run away with it again. It would have been great for the team but we want to get poles as well this year. I'm very elated for the whole group. It's big for us to get results like this."
BRYAN CLAUSON (No. 77 Mazda Road to Indy/CURB Records/SSM, qualified second): "The team gave me a great No.77 NOS Energy Drink car and I feel great being back in the Firestone Indy Lights car. I took a month off from driving this car and I had to get back in the seat and give it all I had. We are based our car this weekend off of our set-up in Milwaukee since that was our only other short oval this year and Iowa runs more like a speedway. That was a heck of a lap that Josef (Newgarden) just laid down. He did a great job there and we will just have to beat him into Turn 1 tomorrow. It will be a long race and we have a great race car here, I felt like I had the best of the Sam Schmidt group here, but didn't get quite enough out of it to win the pole. It was a great effort for our guys and our team and you see SSM 1-2-3. I felt like I might have left a little bit out on the table, but I don't think I could have put up a lap like he did."
ESTEBAN GUERRIERI (No. 7 Lucas Oil/Sam Schmidt Motorsports, qualified third): "I think it was a pretty good run. I tried to make my warm-up laps progressively quicker. I probably left a bit on my last warm-up lap, so when I came out of turn four to take the green flag my speed wasn't the best. It was a couple of good laps though, so I'm happy."
ANDERS KROHN (No. 9 Liberty Engineering Racing Special, qualified fourth): "I'm very proud of the Belardi Auto Racing boys. They made the car really good. We arrived here with a pretty good car. We knew the Schmidt cars would be very hard to beat, but we're best of the rest and we're not too far off. It's the closest we've been all year long. Positive step in the right direction and hopefully, we can have a sold run tomorrow."
JORGE GONCALVEZ (No. 4 Belardi Auto Racing Special, qualified fifth): "We did a nice job as a team. I'm just trying to do the best I can on track. The car was a little loose, I'm not sure if it was me or the car. My teammate (Anders) and I almost have the same car and we're pretty close. We'll see if we can stay close tomorrow."