Newgarden leads Penske trio in IndyCar qualifying at Texas

Reigning IndyCar champion Josef Newgarden led a Penske 1-2-3 in qualifying for the Texas oval race, ahead of team-mates Simon Pagenaud and 2018 Indianapolis 500 winner Will Power

Newgarden's leading two-lap average speed of 220.613mph was set when he hit the track as the 18th car of the 22 qualifiers, run one at a time in reverse championship order.

His speed was unchallenged by his IndyCar rivals until Power took to the track as the final qualifier and registered a lap of 220.198mph.

Power's second lap speed of 220.478mph meant he fell short and finished third with an average of 220.198mph that put him behind Pagenaud.

Schmidt Peterson Motorsports driver Robert Wickens was fourth, the highest Honda-powered qualifier.

Sebastien Bourdais has improved on ovals in 2018, taking pole for Phoenix this year.

The Frenchman was fifth and noticeably used all the track to set his average, coming close to the outside wall on his first lap in the Dale Coyne Racing entry run in collaboration with the Vasser-Sullivan partnership.

Tony Kanaan had set the pace in the earlier practice sessions and the AJ Foyt Racing driver continued to impress by taking sixth.

Chip Ganassi Racing's Scott Dixon was seventh ahead of the leading Andretti-run car of Alexander Rossi - who improved on his second lap by over 1mph to register an average of 218.894mph.

Team-mate Ryan Hunter-Reay had a similar run, improving by a similar margin, to average 218.553mph to go ninth behind Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing's Takuma Sato.

Sato took the shortest track length option in his run for a neat and precise two laps.

Charlie Kimball had led the session until Kanaan hit the track as the ninth runner and ended up an impressive 12th place for Carlin thanks to a 218.145mph average.

Ganassi's Ed Jones was 13th ahead of 2018 Indy 500 pole-winner Ed Carpenter.

James Hinchcliffe continued to struggle following his bumping from the Indy 500 and ran a significantly lowered downforce set-up in the hopes that more drag would cover a slow SPM-run car, but could only qualify 15th.

Graham Rahal also struggled compared to his team-mate, qualifying 11 places behind Sato in 20th ahead of DCR's Zachary Claman de Melo and Carlin's Max Chilton, hours after the RLLR driver signed a new five-year contract with his outfit.

Qualifying result

Pos Driver Team Car Speed
1 Josef Newgarden Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet 220.613
2 Simon Pagenaud Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet 220.311
3 Will Power Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet 220.194
4 Robert Wickens Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Dallara/Honda 219.561
5 Sebastien Bourdais Dale Coyne Racing Dallara/Honda 219.302
6 Tony Kanaan AJ Foyt Enterprises Dallara/Chevrolet 219.157
7 Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Honda 219.112
8 Alexander Rossi Andretti Autosport Dallara/Honda 218.894
9 Takuma Sato Rahal Letterman Lanigan Dallara/Honda 218.578
10 Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport Dallara/Honda 218.553
11 Marco Andretti Andretti Herta Dallara/Honda 218.430
12 Charlie Kimball Carlin Dallara/Chevrolet 218.145
13 Ed Jones Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Honda 218.120
14 Ed Carpenter Ed Carpenter Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 218.057
15 James Hinchcliffe Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Dallara/Honda 217.590
16 Zach Veach Andretti Autosport Dallara/Honda 217.473
17 Gabby Chaves Harding Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 217.149
18 Spencer Pigot Ed Carpenter Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 216.895
19 Matheus Leist AJ Foyt Enterprises Dallara/Chevrolet 216.607
20 Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Dallara/Honda 216.092
21 Zachary Claman Dale Coyne Racing Dallara/Honda 215.813
22 Max Chilton Carlin Dallara/Chevrolet 214.275

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