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Qualifying report

Mid-Ohio IndyCar: Newgarden beats Herta to pole

Team Penske driver Josef Newgarden took his third IndyCar pole of the season with a mighty effort, beating Andretti Autosport's Colton Herta with his final lap.

Josef Newgarden, Team Penske Chevrolet

Joe Skibinski

Newgarden made it through to the Fast Six final stage of qualifying and lapped the 2.238-mile Mid-Ohio course in 66.673 seconds at an average speed of 121.919mph, to shade Herta by just 0.031s.

These two appeared to be in a league of their own, as Will Power slipped up on what should have been his best lap in the Fast Six, so that his ‘banker’ lap ended up as his fastest.

That allowed Marcus Ericsson of Chip Ganassi Racing to edge ahead of him and into third place.

Ericsson’s team-mate Scott Dixon, a six-time Mid-Ohio winner, finished sixth, ahead of the second fastest Andretti Autosport cars of Alexander Rossi.

Alex Palou, Marcus Ericssson and Scott Dixon all took their Chip Ganassi Racing cars out straight away on scrubbed reds at the start of Q2 and each took turns at the top before pitting for fresh reds, as did the cars who laid down their banker laps using Firestone’s harder primaries.

Sebastien Bourdais incurred a drive-through penalty for exceeding the pitlane speed limit in the AJ Foyt Racing which ruined his chances.

Newgarden, Herta, Power and Rossi were the class of the field, covered by a single-tenth of a second, while a late surge from Dixon and Ericsson knocked their championship leading team-mate Palou out of the top six.

Colton Herta, Andretti Autosport Honda

Colton Herta, Andretti Autosport Honda

Photo by: Jake Galstad / Motorsport Images

Graham Rahal beat two of the Andretti Autosport cars that had moved on from Group 2, but he still didn’t quite advance to the shootout for pole, and will roll off from eighth on the grid.

He'll head James Hinchcliffe and Ryan Hunter-Reay, with Rinus Veekay - who returns from injury - and Bourdais completing the top 12.

Scott McLaughlin missed out on graduating to Q2 by 0.063s, while Romain Grosjean also failed to advance, but the shocker was this morning’s practice leader Pato O’Ward dropping out.

Jack Harvey stopped his Meyer Shank Racing car just beyond the chequered flag at the end of the opening qualifying session, and while Alexander Rossi responded by burping the throttle a little and winding up eighth, Simon Pagenaud apparently didn’t and bumped his way into third.

Rob Edwards, Rossi’s strategist then argued the case with Race Control that Rossi should be in, because not only should Harvey be penalised for causing the yellow, Pagenaud should lose his best time for not slowing.

In fact, IndyCar did penalise Harvey, Pagenaud and Rossi, all losing their best times – but Rossi’s second best time was enough to get him through in sixth.

Mid-Ohio IndyCar - Fast Six results

Q2

Q1 G2

Q1 G1

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