Newgarden takes pole for IndyCar opener at Texas as Sato crashes

Reigning IndyCar Series champion Josef Newgarden has claimed pole position for the first race of the delayed 2020 season at Texas Motor Speedway

Newgarden takes pole for IndyCar opener at Texas as Sato crashes

After the COVID-19 pandemic postponements to the new IndyCar campaign, action belatedly begins in Texas this weekend with Team Penske's Newgarden edging five-time champion Scott Dixon with his two-lap average speed of 215.740mph.

Newgarden, winner of last year's race, was the final driver to have his qualifying run and he was able to displace practice pace-setter Dixon by just 0.102mph who had held provisional pole.

Newgarden's Penske team-mate Simon Pagenaud completes the top three ahead of Ryan Hunter-Reay, who bounced back from an off in practice earlier on Saturday.

Hunter-Reay's Andretti Autosport team-mate Zach Veach has qualified in an excellent fifth position ahead of Will Power, who made it three Penske cars in the top six.

Graham Rahal has qualified seventh ahead of Alexander Rossi, Felix Rosenqvist and AJ Foyt Racing's Tony Kannan, who is starting his final season in IndyCar.

Arrow McLaren SP's Pato O'Ward was third quickest in practice but qualified down in 18th position, with his team-mate Oliver Askew qualifying in 20th place for his IndyCar debut.

Takuma Sato, the 2017 Indianapolis 500 winner who took pole position for last year's race at Texas, crashed out on the start of his first qualifying lap and his Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing team faces a race against time to repair his damaged car before tonight's race.

IndyCar debutant Rinus Veekay was another driver to fall foul of the condensed one-day format as a practice crash left him unable to set a qualifying time.

Santino Ferrucci elected to skip qualifying in order to allow more time to develop his car set-up after a difficult practice session.

On his oval racing debut, Ferrucci's Dale Coyne Racing team-mate Alex Palou qualified in a respectable 16th place.

The 2020 IndyCar opening race takes place later today due to the shortened schedule.

IndyCar - Texas Motor Speedway - Qualifying Results

Pos Driver Team Car Speed
1 Josef Newgarden Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet 215.740
2 Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Honda 215.638
3 Simon Pagenaud Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet 215.464
4 Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport Dallara/Honda 214.311
5 Zach Veach Andretti Autosport Dallara/Honda 213.981
6 Will Power Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet 213.930
7 Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Dallara/Honda 213.878
8 Alexander Rossi Andretti Autosport Dallara/Honda 213.689
9 Felix Rosenqvist Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Honda 213.560
10 Tony Kanaan AJ Foyt Enterprises Dallara/Chevrolet 213.388
11 Marco Andretti Andretti Autosport Dallara/Honda 213.190
12 Charlie Kimball AJ Foyt Enterprises Dallara/Chevrolet 212.780
13 Ed Carpenter Ed Carpenter Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 212.714
14 Colton Herta Andretti Harding Dallara/Honda 212.697
15 James Hinchcliffe Andretti Autosport Dallara/Honda 212.603
16 Alex Palou Dale Coyne Racing Dallara/Honda 212.504
17 Marcus Ericsson Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Honda 212.040
18 Patricio O'Ward McLaren SP Dallara/Chevrolet 212.013
19 Conor Daly Carlin Dallara/Chevrolet 211.425
20 Oliver Askew McLaren SP Dallara/Chevrolet 210.839
21 Jack Harvey Meyer Shank Racing Dallara/Honda 205.647
22 Takuma Sato Rahal Letterman Lanigan Dallara/Honda 0.000
23 Rinus Van Kalmthout Ed Carpenter Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 0.000
24 Santino Ferrucci Dale Coyne Racing Dallara/Honda 0.000
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Series IndyCar
Drivers Takuma Sato , Josef Newgarden
Author Josh Suttill
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