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Barber IndyCar: Penske's Helio Castroneves beats rain for pole

Helio Castroneves will start Sunday's IndyCar race at Barber Motorsports Park from pole position after heading a Team Penske one-two-three in a weather-affected qualifying session

The entire session was conducted as a race against approaching electrical storms, although in the end there was just 90 seconds of green flag time left for the Fast Six when the weather intervened.

Drivers had one minute's notice that the session would end early, but worsening rain meant left little chance for anyone to depose Castroneves from his second pole in a week.

The Brazilian's 1m07.1925s was just under 0.2 seconds quicker than team-mate Will Power, with Simon Pagenaud a further 0.2s in arrears.

"We worked during the break and each session we were improving," Castroneves said.

"The car is really good. It's so close, and in the end we made it. We're excited."

Scott Dixon, Josef Newgarden and Tony Kanaan completed the first three rows on a grid that will feature just two Hondas in the top 12.

One of the Japanese manufacturer's big hopes was a surprise early elimination, with two-time Barber winner Ryan Hunter-Reay failing to progress from the opening round and should start 18th.

The Andretti driver's final lap was compromised badly when he got stuck behind Francesco Dracone, but even so he later admitted that he probably wouldn't have qualified much higher than 10th on pure speed.

Joining him towards the rear of the field will be points leader Juan Pablo Montoya, who came into qualifying still trying to iron out some kinks in his set-up.

"We've been a little lost, to be honest," he said after ending up on row eight.

"We've been throwing things at it trying to work out what we need to do and we're still working at it. I think the set up for the race will be pretty good but for qualifying we paid a big penalty."

STARTING GRID:

Pos Driver Team Car Time Gap
1 Helio Castroneves Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet 1m07.1925s -
2 Will Power Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet 1m07.3833s 0.1908s
3 Simon Pagenaud Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet 1m07.6383s 0.4458s
4 Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 1m07.6938s 0.5013s
5 Josef Newgarden CFH Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 1m07.8922s 0.6997s
6 Tony Kanaan Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 1m07.9426s 0.7501s
7 Sebastien Bourdais KVSH Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 1m07.2462s -
8 Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Dallara/Honda 1m07.3903s -
9 Luca Filippi CFH Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 1m07.6302s -
10 James Hinchcliffe Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Dallara/Honda 1m07.6626s -
11 Charlie Kimball Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 1m07.8405s -
12 Sage Karam Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 1m07.8930s -
13 Marco Andretti Andretti Autosport Dallara/Honda 1m07.6295s -
14 James Jakes Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Dallara/Honda 1m07.9671s -
15 Juan Pablo Montoya Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet 1m07.7235s -
16 Stefano Coletti KV Racing Technology Dallara/Chevrolet 1m07.9947s -
17 Gabby Chaves Bryan Herta Autosport Dallara/Honda 1m07.8191s -
18 Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport Dallara/Honda 1m07.9984s -
19 Jack Hawksworth AJ Foyt Enterprises Dallara/Honda 1m08.0082s -
20 Takuma Sato AJ Foyt Enterprises Dallara/Honda 1m08.2541s -
21 Rodolfo Gonzalez Dale Coyne Racing Dallara/Honda 1m08.5259s -
22 Carlos Munoz Andretti Autosport Dallara/Honda 1m08.3533s -
23 Francesco Dracone Dale Coyne Racing Dallara/Honda 1m10.1133s -

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