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Qualifying report

IndyCar Portland: Graham Rahal takes pole, Newgarden crashes

Graham Rahal scored pole position for the penultimate round of the 2023 IndyCar season at Portland in his Honda-powered Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing entry.

Graham Rahal, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda

Photo by: Jake Galstad / Motorsport Images

Rahal put down a flying lap of 58.3195s to best the 27-car field at the 1.964-mile, 12-turn circuit. It is the second time this season Rahal has captured the top spot, which he last accomplished in 2009.

Rahal set his pole-winning time on a set of primary, black sidewall tyres and despite the other five drivers swapping to alternate, red sidewall tyres, no one was able to dethrone Rahal.

The best of the rest was Team Penske’s Scott McLaughlin, who was 0.033s off the pace.

Andretti Autosport’s Colton Herta qualified third, followed by the Chip Ganassi Racing duo of Scott Dixon and Alex Palou. Arrow McLaren’s Pato O’Ward closed out the group’s running in sixth.

The top 12 session was interrupted by a red flag less than three minutes in after Josef Newgarden buried his #2 Team Penske Chevrolet into the tyre barriers at Turn 12.

The Tennessee native, who admitted it was self-inflicted, dropped his left side wheels into the dirt on the exit of Turn 11, which resulted in a broken steering gear-shifter. It put an end to his qualifying effort and he will start 12th.

Upon the resumption, McLaughlin went quickest at 58.0777s, followed by Herta, O’Ward, Dixon, Palou and Rahal.

Beyond Newgarden, others that failed to make it through included his team-mate, Will Power, who missed the cut by 0.0531s. Power will start seventh.

Callum Ilott (Juncos Hollinger Racing), Alexander Rossi (Arrow McLaren), Marcus Ericsson (Chip Ganassi Racing) and Felix Rosenqvist (Arrow McLaren) also didn’t make it through.

Rosenqvist reported an issue and wasn’t able to make a final attempt to advance.

Alex Palou, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda

Alex Palou, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda

Photo by: Jake Galstad / Motorsport Images

In the Group 1 stage of qualifying, Rahal set the fastest time on the primary tyres at a lap of 58.3956s. However, the swap to alternate tyres immediately sparked a rotation at the top, which ended with Rosenqvist at the top by session’s end with a fast lap of 57.8967s – which stood as the fastest lap of the day overall.

Herta and Newgarden came across second and third, respectively. Others to advance were Rahal, Power and Ilott.

Ed Carpenter Racing’s Rinus VeeKay was the first that failed to advance, running a 58.3240s lap that left him 13th on Sunday. Romain Grosjean was left upset about traffic once he finished up his run, with the Andretti Autosport driver set to start 15th.

Despite being fastest in Friday’s opening practice, and quick on Saturday’s second practice, RLL’s Christian Lundgaard ended up on the wrong end of the cut line, ending up ninth in the group and with a 17th-place start.

Ryan Hunter-Reay (Ed Carpenter Racing), Devlin DeFrancesco (Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport), Santino Ferrucci (AJ Foyt Racing) and Sting Ray Robb (Dale Coyne Racing) were the rest that failed to advance.

In Group 2, championship leader Palou made his presence felt on both the primary and alternate compounds by going quickest on both versions of rubber. The Spaniard’s best run came on alternates, jetting to a flying lap of 57.9651s.

McLaughlin, the defending race winner who led Saturday morning’s practice bout, was second. O’Ward was third, followed by Dixon. Rossi got into the top six in fifth, followed by another Ganassi challenger in the form of Ericsson.

Chip Ganassi Racing rookie Marcus Armstrong was the first driver out of the second group to not advance, missing by 0.07s. He will start 14th.

Juri Vips, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda

Juri Vips, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda

Photo by: Jake Galstad / Motorsport Images

Kyle Kirkwood (Andretti Autosport) also failed to move on, ending up eighth in the running and will start 16th.

Juri Vips, who is making his IndyCar debut with RLL, had an eventful run, missing the apex in Turn 1 and sliding over the curbing in the run-off area at Turn 2 before rejoining the circuit in Turn 3. The Estonian’s maiden qualifying bout was a respectable enough on pace that will see him start 18th.

Rookie Augustin Canapino (Juncos Hollinger Racing), Helio Castroneves (Meyer Shank Racing), David Malukas (Dale Coyne Racing with HMD), along with rookies Benjamin Pedersen (AJ Foyt Racing) and Tom Blomqvist (Meyer Shank Racing) failed to progress into the top 12.

IndyCar Portland - Qualifying results

Q3

 
 
     
Driver Info
 
 
Cla Driver # Laps Time Interval Mph
1 United States G. Rahal Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 15 5 58.3195   121.236
2 New Zealand S. McLaughlin Scott McLaughlin Team Penske 3 5 +0.0330 0.0330 121.167
3 United States C. Herta Colton Herta Andretti Autosport 26 3 +0.1381 0.1051 120.949
4 New Zealand S. Dixon Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing 9 5 +0.2608 0.1227 120.696
5 Spain A. Palou Alex Palou Chip Ganassi Racing 10 5 +0.3297 0.0689 120.554
6 Mexico P. O'Ward Patricio O'Ward Arrow McLaren 5 6 +0.3542 0.0245 120.504

Q2

 
 
     
Driver Info
 
 
Cla Driver # Laps Time Interval Mph
1 New Zealand S. McLaughlin Scott McLaughlin Team Penske 3 9 58.0777   121.740
2 United States C. Herta Colton Herta Andretti Autosport 26 9 +0.1561 0.1561 121.414
3 Mexico P. O'Ward Patricio O'Ward Arrow McLaren 5 8 +0.1802 0.0241 121.364
4 New Zealand S. Dixon Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing 9 8 +0.1876 0.0074 121.348
5 Spain A. Palou Alex Palou Chip Ganassi Racing 10 7 +0.2455 0.0579 121.228
6 United States G. Rahal Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 15 9 +0.2471 0.0016 121.225
7 Australia W. Power Will Power Team Penske 12 9 +0.3002 0.0531 121.114
8 United Kingdom C. Ilott Callum Ilott Juncos Hollinger Racing 77 5 +0.4196 0.1194 120.867
9 United States A. Rossi Alexander Rossi Arrow McLaren 7 6 +0.4246 0.0050 120.857
10 Sweden M. Ericsson Marcus Ericsson Chip Ganassi Racing 8 8 +0.4702 0.0456 120.763
11 Sweden F. Rosenqvist Felix Rosenqvist Arrow McLaren 6 6 +1.2276 0.7574 119.220
12 United States J. Newgarden Josef Newgarden Team Penske 2 2 +1.6689 0.4413 118.340

Q1 G2

 
 
     
Driver Info
 
 
Cla Driver # Laps Time Interval Mph
1 Spain A. Palou Alex Palou Chip Ganassi Racing 10 8 57.9651   121.977
2 New Zealand S. McLaughlin Scott McLaughlin Team Penske 3 8 +0.0874 0.0874 121.793
3 Mexico P. O'Ward Patricio O'Ward Arrow McLaren 5 8 +0.1374 0.0500 121.688
4 New Zealand S. Dixon Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing 9 8 +0.4050 0.2676 121.131
5 United States A. Rossi Alexander Rossi Arrow McLaren 7 8 +0.4986 0.0936 120.937
6 Sweden M. Ericsson Marcus Ericsson Chip Ganassi Racing 8 8 +0.6301 0.1315 120.665
7 New Zealand M. Armstrong Marcus Armstrong Chip Ganassi Racing 11 8 +0.7001 0.0700 120.521
8 United States K. Kirkwood Kyle Kirkwood Andretti Autosport 27 7 +0.7184 0.0183 120.484
9 Estonia J. Vips Jüri Vips Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 30 9 +0.7803 0.0619 120.357
10 Argentina A. Canapino Agustin Canapino Juncos Hollinger Racing 78 8 +0.8102 0.0299 120.295
11 Brazil H. Castroneves Helio Castroneves Meyer Shank Racing 06 8 +0.8355 0.0253 120.244
12 United States D. Malukas David Malukas Dale Coyne Racing 18 8 +0.9365 0.1010 120.037
13 Denmark B. Pedersen Benjamin Pedersen A.J. Foyt Enterprises 55 9 +1.2524 0.3159 119.397
14 United Kingdom T. Blomqvist Tom Blomqvist Meyer Shank Racing 60 8 +1.4713 0.2189 118.957

Q1 G1

 
 
     
Driver Info
 
 
Cla Driver # Laps Time Interval Mph
1 Sweden F. Rosenqvist Felix Rosenqvist Arrow McLaren 6 8 57.8967   122.121
2 United States C. Herta Colton Herta Andretti Autosport 26 7 +0.1876 0.1876 121.727
3 United States J. Newgarden Josef Newgarden Team Penske 2 9 +0.1923 0.0047 121.717
4 United States G. Rahal Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 15 7 +0.2645 0.0722 121.566
5 Australia W. Power Will Power Team Penske 12 9 +0.2946 0.0301 121.503
6 United Kingdom C. Ilott Callum Ilott Juncos Hollinger Racing 77 8 +0.4108 0.1162 121.261
7 Netherlands R. van Kalmthout Rinus van Kalmthout Ed Carpenter Racing 21 8 +0.4273 0.0165 121.226
8 France R. Grosjean Romain Grosjean Andretti Autosport 28 8 +0.4555 0.0282 121.168
9 Denmark C. Lundgaard Christian Lundgaard Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 45 7 +0.4711 0.0156 121.135
10 United States R. Hunter-Reay Ryan Hunter-Reay Ed Carpenter Racing 20 7 +0.7562 0.2851 120.546
11 Canada D. DeFrancesco Devlin DeFrancesco Andretti Autosport 29 8 +0.7781 0.0219 120.501
12 United States S. Ferrucci Santino Ferrucci A.J. Foyt Enterprises 14 8 +1.1666 0.3885 119.709
13
R. Robb Ray Robb Dale Coyne Racing
51 8 +1.3675 0.2009 119.303

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