Andretti Autosport’s fastest driver, Colton Herta, won pole position for the Firestone GP of St. Petersburg beating the Meyer Shank Racing Honda of Jack Harvey.
Team Penske Chevy drivers Josef Newgarden and Simon Pagenaud were 3rd and 4th while Sebastien Bourdais put in a sensation effort to put the #14 AJ Foyt Chevy 5th on the grid.
“I knew we had a good race car for here and really good qualifying pace from last year,” Herta said. “We just had to get through those first two stages nice and clean. The Gainbridge car was so good today, and everybody did a phenomenal job all weekend up until this point. Really happy for the guys, and hope we have a great race tomorrow.”
This was the second pole at St. Petersburg for the Herta family. Colton’s father, Bryan, who calls race strategy on his radio for Andretti Autosport, earned the top spot for this event in 2005 while driving for the Andretti team.
Jack Harvey will join the younger Herta on the front row of the 100-lap race Sunday (noon ET, NBC and INDYCAR Radio Network) after a best lap of 1:00.5709 in the No. 60 AutoNation/Sirius XM Honda.
“There was a lot of work put in overnight and I trust everyone on the No. 60 crew, they’ve done a really great job all year,” said Harvey. “We felt confident coming into this weekend because of how it traditionally has gone for us in the past. The No. 60 AutoNation / SiriusXM Honda was really looking strong. I’m really looking forward to sharing the front row with our pseudo teammate, Colton. I just want to have a good start to the race and then we will go from there.”
Two-time series champion Josef Newgarden will start third after a best lap of 1:00.6078 in the No. 2 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet. Newgarden led both practices and both qualifying rounds up to the Firestone Fast Six this weekend on the 14-turn, 1.8-mile temporary street circuit.
It will be an all-Team Penske second row, as 2016 series champion Simon Pagenaud will start fourth after a top lap of 1:00.6353 in the No. 22 Menards Australian Gold Team Penske Chevrolet.
St. Petersburg resident and two-time winner of this event Sebastien Bourdais continued the resurgence for AJ Foyt Racing this season by qualifying fifth at 1:01.0017 in the No. 14 ROKiT AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet.
Pato O’Ward, the NTT P1 Award winner last weekend at Barber Motorsports Park, will start sixth after a best lap of 1:01.0799 in the No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet. O’Ward was the only driver in the Firestone Fast Six to not use the more grippy Firestone alternate “red” tires, instead opting for the primary “black” tires that have less grip but more durability.
Six-time NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion Scott Dixon was eliminated in the second round and will start eighth in the No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda. In a stunning development, nine-time St. Petersburg pole winner Will Power didn’t advance out of the first round and will start 20th in the No. 12 Verizon 5G Team Penske Chevrolet.
Dixon barely made it through to the second session after one of his best laps was nullified in the first session for causing a local yellow that affected another competitor, per INDYCAR’s rules. Dixon spun in Turn 8 earlier in the first session to trigger a local yellow, but he snuck into the second group by grabbing the final available spot on his last lap.
Power’s best lap of 1:01.1140 in the first session was only 10th best in the group and too slow to advance. He brushed the wall on his final flying lap, bending a toe link on his suspension, and spun on a short straightaway approaching the timing line, ending any chance of making the second round.
2014 series champion Power will start from his furthest position ever on this circuit. His previous St. Petersburg low was sixth in 2009.
There were no major incidents in the sessions, thou we suspect Alexander Rossi must be banging his head against a wall right about now. Fastest in Round 1 of qualifying, the Andretti Honda driver blew it in Round 2. Last year he crashed out of this race while leading, so the streets of St. Petersburg have not been kind to the Californian.
More to follow……
Round 1 Group 1
|1||27||Alexander Rossi||1:00.2949||0.000s||0.000s||7||107.472||Honda||Andretti Autosport|
|2||26||Colton Herta||1:00.3659||0.0710||0.0710||7||107.345||Honda||Andretti Autosport|
|3||5||Pato O’Ward||1:00.6026||0.3077||0.2367||8||106.926||Chevy||Arrow McLaren SP|
|4||22||Simon Pagenaud||1:00.6375||0.3426||0.0349||7||106.865||Chevy||Team Penske|
|5||14||Sebastien Bourdais||1:00.7182||0.4233||0.0807||7||106.723||Chevy||AJ Foyt Enterprises|
|6||9||Scott Dixon||1:00.7921||0.4972||0.0739||7||106.593||Honda||Chip Ganassi Racing|
|7||30||Takuma Sato||1:00.9167||0.6218||0.1246||7||106.375||Honda||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing|
|8||7||Felix Rosenqvist||1:01.0320||0.7371||0.1153||6||106.174||Chevy||Arrow McLaren SP|
|9||28||Ryan Hunter-Reay||1:01.0362||0.7413||0.0042||7||106.167||Honda||Andretti Autosport|
|10||20||Conor Daly||1:01.4220||1.1271||0.3858||8||105.500||Chevy||Ed Carpenter Racing|
|11||18||Ed Jones||1:01.7663||1.4714||0.3443||7||104.912||Honda||Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser Sullivan|
|12||48||Jimmie Johnson||1:01.8364||1.5415||0.0701||7||104.793||Honda||Chip Ganassi Racing|
Round 1 Group 2
|1||2||Josef Newgarden||1:00.4437||0.000||0.000||8||107.207||Chevy||Team Penske|
|2||15||Graham Rahal||1:00.4825||0.0388||0.0388||8||107.138||Honda||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing|
|3||60||Jack Harvey||1:00.5028||0.0591||0.0203||8||107.102||Honda||Meyer Shank Racing|
|4||21||Rinus VeeKay||1:00.5414||0.0977||0.0386||8||107.034||Chevy||Ed Carpenter Racing|
|5||29||James Hinchcliffe||1:00.6368||0.1931||0.0954||7||106.866||Honda||Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport|
|6||10||Alex Palou||1:00.6521||0.2084||0.0153||8||106.839||Honda||Chip Ganassi Racing|
|7||3||Scott McLaughlin||1:00.7044||0.2607||0.0523||8||106.747||Chevy||Team Penske|
|8||8||Marcus Ericsson||1:00.7058||0.2621||0.0014||8||106.744||Honda||Chip Ganassi Racing|
|9||51||Romain Grosjean||1:00.8127||0.3690||0.1069||8||106.557||Honda||Dale Coyne Racing w/Rick Ware Racing|
|10||12||Will Power||1:01.1140||0.6703||0.3013||8||106.031||Chevy||Team Penske|
|12||4||Dalton Kellett||1:02.1165||1.6728||0.6100||7||104.320||Chevy||AJ Foyt Enterprises|
|1||26||Colton Herta||1:00.2207||1:00.2207||0.000||7||107.604||Honda||Andretti Autosport|
|2||2||Josef Newgarden||1:00.3428||0.1221||0.1221||8||107.386||Chevy||Team Penske|
|3||14||Sebastien Bourdais||1:00.3573||0.1366||0.0145||8||107.361||Chevy||AJ Foyt Enterprises|
|4||5||Pato O’Ward||1:00.3999||0.1792||0.0426||8||107.285||Chevy||Arrow McLaren SP|
|5||60||Jack Harvey||1:00.4262||0.2055||0.0263||7||107.238||Honda||Meyer Shank Racing|
|6||22||Simon Pagenaud||1:00.4385||0.2178||0.0123||8||107.216||Chevy||Team Penske|
|7||21||Rinus VeeKay||1:00.4858||0.2651||0.0473||8||107.133||Chevy||Ed Carpenter Racing|
|8||9||Scott Dixon||1:00.4997||0.2790||0.0139||8||107.108||Honda||Chip Ganassi Racing|
|9||15||Graham Rahal||1:00.5678||0.3471||0.0681||8||106.988||Honda||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing|
|10||10||Alex Palou||1:00.6220||0.4013||0.0542||8||106.892||Honda||Chip Ganassi Racing|
|11||27||Alexander Rossi||1:00.6476||0.4269||0.0256||7||106.847||Honda||Andretti Autosport|
|12||29||James Hinchcliffe||1:00.8671||0.6464||0.2195||8||106.461||Honda||Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport|
Round 3 – Fast Six
|1||26||Colton Herta||1:00.3210||0.0000||0.000||4||107.425||Honda||Andretti Autosport|
|2||60||Jack Harvey||1:00.5709||0.2499||0.2499||3||106.982||Honda||Meyer Shank Racing|
|3||2||Josef Newgarden||1:00.6078||0.2868||0.0369||3||106.917||Chevy||Team Penske|
|4||22||Simon Pagenaud||1:00.6353||0.3143||0.0275||4||106.868||Chevy||Team Penske|
|5||14||Sebastien Bourdais||1:01.0017||0.6807||0.3664||4||106.227||Chevy||AJ Foyt Enterprises|
|6||5||Pato O’Ward||1:01.0799||0.7589||0.0782||5||106.091||Chevy||Arrow McLaren SP|
|1||26||Herta, Colton||Honda||1m00.3210s||107.425||Round 3 / Firestone Fast Six|
|2||60||Harvey, Jack||Honda||1m00.5709s||106.982||Round 3 / Firestone Fast Six|
|3||2||Newgarden, Josef||Chevy||1m00.6078s||106.917||Round 3 / Firestone Fast Six|
|4||22||Pagenaud, Simon||Chevy||1m00.6353s||106.868||Round 3 / Firestone Fast Six|
|5||14||Bourdais, Sebastien||Chevy||1m01.0017s||106.227||Round 3 / Firestone Fast Six|
|6||5||O’Ward, Pato||Chevy||1m01.0799s||106.091||Round 3 / Firestone Fast Six|
|7||21||VeeKay, Rinus||Chevy||1m00.4858s||107.133||Elimination Round 2 / Top 12|
|8||9||Dixon, Scott||Honda||1m00.4997s||107.108||Elimination Round 2 / Top 12|
|9||15||Rahal, Graham||Honda||1m00.5678s||106.988||Elimination Round 2 / Top 12|
|10||10||Palou, Alex||Honda||1m00.6220s||106.892||Elimination Round 2 / Top 12|
|11||27||Rossi, Alexander||Honda||1m00.6476s||106.847||Elimination Round 2 / Top 12|
|12||29||Hinchcliffe, James||Honda||1m00.8671s||106.461||Elimination Round 2 / Top 12|
|13||28||Hunter-Reay, Ryan||Honda||1m00.8524s||106.487||Elimination Round 1 / Group 1|
|14||3||McLaughlin, Scott (R)||Chevy||1m00.7044s||106.747||Elimination Round 1 / Group 2|
|15||30||Sato, Takuma||Honda||1m00.9167s||106.375||Elimination Round 1 / Group 1|
|16||8||Ericsson, Marcus||Honda||1m00.7058s||106.744||Elimination Round 1 / Group 2|
|17||7||Rosenqvist, Felix||Chevy||1m00.9569s||106.305||Elimination Round 1 / Group 1|
|18||51||Grosjean, Romain (R)||Honda||1m00.8127s||106.557||Elimination Round 1 / Group 2|
|19||20||Daly, Conor||Chevy||1m01.4220s||105.500||Elimination Round 1 / Group 1|
|20||12||Power, Will||Chevy||1m01.1140s||106.031||Elimination Round 1 / Group 2|
|21||18||Jones, Ed||Honda||1m01.4453s||105.460||Elimination Round 1 / Group 1|
|22||59||Chilton, Max||Chevy||1m01.5065s||105.355||Elimination Round 1 / Group 2|
|23||48||Johnson, Jimmie (R)||Honda||1m01.8364s||104.793||Elimination Round 1 / Group 1|
|24||4||Kellett, Dalton||Chevy||1m02.3396s||103.947||Elimination Round 1 / Group 2|