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Iowa IndyCar: Simon Pagenaud gives Penske its 500th pole

IndyCar championship leader Simon Pagenaud claimed a fifth pole position of the season, and Team Penske's 500th pole in motorsport, in qualifying at Iowa Speedway

Third-runner Tony Kanaan set the early pace to continue his strong form from practice in his Chip Ganassi Dallara-Chevrolet, but a quartet of Penske cars midway through the session put first Helio Castroneves and then Pagenaud top.

Pagenaud pumped in a 185.855mph two-lap average - 0.4mph quicker than Castroneves.

From there it was the Chevy trio of Charlie Kimball, Max Chilton and Josef Newgarden that looked to challenge with frontrunning pace, but they finished fifth, fourth and second respectively.

Newgarden's performance was just 0.04s off Pagenaud's pole time as he earned the outside front row spot.

A bumpy inside line made worse by last month's NASCAR Xfinity race upset the standard low qualifying line through Turns 3 and 4, causing some of the field to compromise on the racing line.

Andretti's Ryan Hunter-Reay and Marco Andretti - both of whom spun in practice earlier - took their Dallara-Hondas onto the less bumpy high line, while the likes of Takuma Sato and Castroneves braved the bumps on the low line through the second part of the lap.

The Hondas were visibly struggling throughout the session, with many drivers complaining of understeer.

Mikhail Aleshin was the only Honda-powered car to make it into the top 10 following his strong lap as the 17th driver on the rubbered-in track.

QUALIFYING RESULTS

Pos Driver Team Car Speed
1 Simon Pagenaud Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet 185.855
2 Josef Newgarden Ed Carpenter Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 185.639
3 Helio Castroneves Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet 185.433
4 Max Chilton Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 185.419
5 Charlie Kimball Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 184.489
6 Tony Kanaan Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 184.430
7 Ed Carpenter Ed Carpenter Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 184.339
8 Will Power Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet 183.984
9 Mikhail Aleshin Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Dallara/Honda 182.754
10 Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 182.647
11 Juan Pablo Montoya Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet 182.641
12 Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Dallara/Honda 182.253
13 Takuma Sato AJ Foyt Enterprises Dallara/Honda 181.949
14 Jack Hawksworth AJ Foyt Enterprises Dallara/Honda 181.700
15 Carlos Munoz Andretti Autosport Dallara/Honda 181.067
16 Sebastien Bourdais KVSH Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 180.925
17 Alexander Rossi Andretti Herta Dallara/Honda 180.920
18 Gabby Chaves Dale Coyne Racing Dallara/Honda 180.390
19 Marco Andretti Andretti Autosport Dallara/Honda 180.286
20 Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport Dallara/Honda 179.903
21 Conor Daly Dale Coyne Racing Dallara/Honda 178.646
22 James Hinchcliffe Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Dallara/Honda 175.027

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