Barber IndyCar: Newgarden beats Penske team-mate Power to take pole

Reigning IndyCar champion Josef Newgarden defeated Penske team-mate Will Power for pole position in Sunday's Barber race, as championship leader Alexander Rossi could only take eighth

Barber IndyCar: Newgarden beats Penske team-mate Power to take pole

Newgarden and Power had consistently been the quickest drivers across the three practice sessions at Barber and continued their battle into the fast six.

Having waited until the final runs of the fast 12 to bolt on the quicker red compound tyres, the Penske duo easily secured a fast six place and Power was the first to set a benchmark time in the final session with a lap of 1m07.4541s.

But Newgarden responded on his final tour to post a marginally quicker time of 1m07.4413s to secure his first pole of the 2018 season and Penske's eighth in ninth races at Barber.

Dale Coyne Racing's Sebastien Bourdais almost snuck a surprise pole, helped by Tony Kanaan prematurely ending group two's first qualifying after the majority of the cars had done one run.

That meant Bourdais' red-walled tyres had more life than his rivals and DCR opted to put its weight behind a one-lap effort in the fast six.

While the time was initially good enough for pole, Newgarden and Power pushed Bourdais down to third.

Ryan Hunter-Reay was the highest-placed Andretti driver in fourth, having once again run wide on the exit of the Turn 5 hairpin earlier in qualifying.

Schmidt Peterson Motorsports driver James Hinchcliffe then held off Chip Ganassi Racing's Scott Dixon for fifth.

Marco Andretti narrowly missed out on the fast six in his best qualifying performance of the season with a time good enough for seventh.

He was able to beat his team-mate and championship leader Rossi, who admitted his car never felt good enough for pole after dominating Long Beach last weekend.

Penske's Simon Pagenaud again struggled and could only qualify ninth ahead of SPM's Robert Wickens.

Zach Veach's 11th place proved impressive after the Andretti driver battled nausea through the night.

Carlin had looked impressive in the first practice session of the weekend but found itself narrowly missing out on the top 12.

Max Chilton struggled for balance until he switched to scrubbed, and supposedly slower, black compound tyres but just missed the cut for the first group qualifying.

Charlie Kimball then finished seventh in the second group, mirroring Chilton, but rued Kanaan's crash that ended the session after preliminary runs.

The AJ Foyt Racing driver had exited the pits for his second runs on new tyres but lost control and spun, rear-ending the tyre barriers at Turn 2.

That meant Kimball secured 14th on the grid for Sunday's race - which is expected to be held in wet conditions - one place behind his team-mate.

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing's Graham Rahal and Takuma Sato endured nightmare qualifying sessions, both failing to exit the group stages.

Rahal, currently third in the standings, will start 15th, three places ahead of Sato.

Starting grid

Pos Driver Team Car Time Gap
1 Josef Newgarden Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet 1m07.4413s -
2 Will Power Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet 1m07.4541s 0.0128s
3 Sebastien Bourdais Dale Coyne Racing Dallara/Honda 1m07.5337s 0.0924s
4 Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport Dallara/Honda 1m07.7807s 0.3394s
5 James Hinchcliffe Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Dallara/Honda 1m07.9472s 0.5059s
6 Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Honda 1m08.0303s 0.5890s
7 Marco Andretti Andretti Herta Dallara/Honda 1m07.6027s 0.1614s
8 Alexander Rossi Andretti Autosport Dallara/Honda 1m07.7488s 0.3075s
9 Simon Pagenaud Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet 1m07.8409s 0.3996s
10 Robert Wickens Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Dallara/Honda 1m07.8455s 0.4042s
11 Zach Veach Andretti Autosport Dallara/Honda 1m07.9894s 0.5481s
12 Ed Jones Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Honda 1m08.4386s 0.9973s
13 Max Chilton Carlin Dallara/Chevrolet 1m08.0235s 0.5822s
14 Charlie Kimball Carlin Dallara/Chevrolet 1m08.5494s 1.1081s
15 Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Dallara/Honda 1m08.1038s 0.6625s
16 Zachary Claman Dale Coyne Racing Dallara/Honda 1m08.5531s 1.1118s
17 Spencer Pigot Ed Carpenter Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 1m08.1184s 0.6771s
18 Takuma Sato Rahal Letterman Lanigan Dallara/Honda 1m08.5676s 1.1263s
19 Jordan King Ed Carpenter Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 1m08.3997s 0.9584s
20 Gabby Chaves Harding Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 1m08.9763s 1.5350s
21 Matheus Leist AJ Foyt Enterprises Dallara/Chevrolet 1m08.5516s 1.1103s
22 Rene Binder Juncos Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 1m09.5404s 2.0991s
23 Tony Kanaan AJ Foyt Enterprises Dallara/Chevrolet 1m11.2015s 3.7602s


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Barber IndyCar: Penske's Josef Newgarden leads Friday practice

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Will Power , Josef Newgarden
Teams Team Penske
Author Tom Errington
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