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INDYCAR NEWS 

Pocono IndyCar: Juan Pablo Montoya takes first pole of 2014

Juan Pablo Montoya beat IndyCar team-mate Will Power to secure his first pole position since his single-seater comeback with a superb qualifying performance at Pocono on Saturday.

Montoya drew the final qualifying slot, and took to the track needing to beat a formidable 223.725mph average that Power had laid down a short time earlier.

At the time, the Australian's benchmark was a full mile per hour faster than anyone else had managed, but the Colombian delivered a 223.920mph opening lap backed up by a 223.822mph the second time around to earn an average speed of 223.871mph, further lowering the lap record set by Power earlier in the day.

"I'm so proud to be with Team Penske, and to get this is huge," Montoya said.

"It's nice to get on pole; now we've got to get some wins. I think we've got a good car; let's see what it brings [tomorrow]."

On an afternoon where the track continued to improve throughout the session, Andretti Autosport's Carlos Munoz was second-last to run and drew upon the feedback from his three team-mates to finish up third fastest, with Takuma Sato set to join him on the second row of the grid.

Marco Andretti briefly looked placed to repeat his pole position from last year before eventually being bumped back to fifth, where he will line up alongside team-mate James Hinchcliffe.

Penske's Helio Castroneves believed that his starting position of seventh was a simple reflection of having drawn an earlier slot than his team-mates, but many of his rivals encountered all sorts of balance problems during their run, with gusty winds adding further complications.

"I think we left a bunch on the table today," said a frustrated Ed Carpenter after a run that ultimately left him back in 13th.

"I had to lift in Turn 1 on the first lap, so I wasn't expecting a good run. The wind was very challenging today."

Josef Newgarden failed to post a time after crashing in Turn 1 on his warm-up lap, while Jack Hawksworth was unable to participate in the session after crashing heavily in practice earlier in the day.

AUTOSPORT understands that his Bryan Herta Autosport team is looking into preparing its spare car for Sunday.

Pos Driver               Team/Engine      Average speed
 1. Juan Pablo Montoya   Penske/Chevy       223.871mph
 2. Will Power           Penske/Chevy       223.725mph
 3. Carlos Munoz         Andretti/Honda     223.083mph
 4. Takuma Sato          Foyt/Honda         222.798mph
 5. Marco Andretti       Andretti/Honda     222.715mph
 6. James Hinchcliffe    Andretti/Honda     222.544mph
 7. Helio Castroneves    Penske/Chevy       222.517mph
 8. Tony Kanaan          Ganassi/Chevy      221.970mph
 9. Ryan Hunter-Reay     Andretti/Honda     221.950mph
10. Ryan Briscoe         Ganassi/Chevy      221.565mph
11. Simon Pagenaud       Schmidt/Honda      221.547mph
12. Mikhail Aleshin      Schmidt/Honda      221.221mph
13. Ed Carpenter         Carpenter/Chevy    221.019mph
14. Graham Rahal         Rahal/Honda        220.747mph
15. Scott Dixon          Ganassi/Chevy      220.604mph
16. Justin Wilson        Coyne/Honda        220.439mph
17. Charlie Kimball      Ganassi/Chevy      220.377mph
18. Sebastien Bourdais   KV/Chevy           219.741mph
19. Sebastian Saavedra   KV/Chevy           218.502mph
20. Carlos Huertas       Coyne/Honda        216.261mph
21. Josef Newgarden      Fisher/Honda       -
22. Jack Hawksworth      Herta/Honda        -
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