IndyCar St. Pete: Power takes pole, title contenders stumble

David Malsher-Lopez
·6-min read

Power had just enough grip left in his Firestone reds to nail a 61.0369sec lap, and edge Andretti Autosport duo Alexander Rossi and Colton Herta by 0.13 and 0.14sec respectively. It was the 62nd pole of Power’s Indy car racing career and his ninth in 11 years at the 1.8-mile street and runway course at St. Petersburg, FL.

Herta was left disappointed by his run, believing the extra set of fresh reds accrued in Q1 failed to turn on in time for him to outperform Power.

James Hinchcliffe emphasized Andretti Autosport’s return to form with an excellent fourth, ahead of semi-sister car, the Meyer Shank Racing machine of Jack Harvey.

Starting alongside him will be the top Arrow McLaren SP entry of Pato O’Ward.

In Q2, Power set top time on primaries, a 60.8237sec just ahead of O’Ward and Herta. On alternates, Power lowered this to 60.3324, ahead of Herta and O’Ward.

Championship contenders Newgarden and Dixon fell in Q2, Newgarden 0.5352sec off Power’s pace, and Dixon 0.6959 behind. The result leaves Newgarden starting eighth alongside AJ Foyt Racing-Chevrolet’s Sebastien Bourdais, while Rookie of the Year Rinus VeeKay of Ed Carpenter Racing and the second Arrow McLaren SP of Oliver Askew – back after missing the Harvest GP due to concussion will fill out the fifth row.

Simon Pagenaud was up with teammate Newgarden in terms of pace, but spun the #22 Penske-Chevy heading into the final turn, and lost his two best laps, dropping him to 12th alongside Dixon.

In Q1 Group 2, Herta looked so strong on blacks, setting a 60.6614sec lap – 0.4sec clear of Power, that when they ducked into the pits to grab a set of alternate tires, Herta did not emerge again. Impressively, his fastest time on primaries withstood alternate-tired runs from VeeKay, Power, and Felix Rosenqvist.

However, Rosenqvist – nursing a fracture in his right hand – lost his two best laps for blocking Alex Palou’s Dale Coyne Racing with Team Goh, which Ganassi believed was only on an out lap. Thus Rosenqvist was bumped out of qualifying and initially Palou was put in.

That should have benefited Oliver Askew who missed the cut only by 0.0773sec but he and VeeKay initially also lost their best times for not slowing sufficiently for a yellow flag caused by Max Chilton sliding into the Turn 10 run-off. Thus Palou and Conor Daly in the second ECR-Chevy were promoted into Q2…. But only briefly. A timing and scoring glitch saw the wrong laps deleted, and suddenly Askew and VeeKay were back in, while Palou and Daly were consigned to the back half of the grid. This whole confusion took more than 20mins to sort out.

In Q1 Group 1 losses included the two Rahal Letterman Lanigan cars, Takuma Sato clipping an inside wall but surviving a 130mph off course excursion.

Penske’s IndyCar debutant, three-time Supercars champion McLaughlin got within one second of top time, but ended up 12th and last in the group, admitting he’d made mistakes on his alternate-tired run.

Another surprise exclusion was Ryan Hunter-Reay who had looked strong in morning practice.

1

Australia
Australia

Will Power

United States
United States

Team Penske

5

1'01.036

106.165

2

United States
United States

Alexander Rossi

United States
United States

Andretti Autosport

4

1'01.173

0.136

0.136

105.929

3

United States
United States

Colton Herta

Andretti Harding Steinbrenner Autosport

3

1'01.181

0.144

0.008

105.914

4

Canada
Canada

James Hinchcliffe

United States
United States

Andretti Autosport

4

1'01.362

0.325

0.181

105.602

5

United Kingdom
United Kingdom

Jack Harvey

United States
United States

Meyer Shank Racing

5

1'01.367

0.330

0.004

105.593

6

Mexico
Mexico

Patricio O'Ward

Arrow McLaren SP

4

1'01.772

0.735

0.405

104.901

View full results

Q2

1

Australia
Australia

Will Power

United States
United States

Team Penske

8

1'00.332

107.405

2

United States
United States

Colton Herta

Andretti Harding Steinbrenner Autosport

7

1'00.368

0.036

0.036

107.340

3

Mexico
Mexico

Patricio O'Ward

Arrow McLaren SP

7

1'00.618

0.285

0.249

106.899

4

United Kingdom
United Kingdom

Jack Harvey

United States
United States

Meyer Shank Racing

7

1'00.626

0.294

0.008

106.884

5

Canada
Canada

James Hinchcliffe

United States
United States

Andretti Autosport

7

1'00.735

0.403

0.109

106.692

6

United States
United States

Alexander Rossi

United States
United States

Andretti Autosport

7

1'00.762

0.430

0.027

106.644

7

France
France

Sébastien Bourdais

United States
United States

A.J. Foyt Enterprises

8

1'00.810

0.477

0.047

106.561

8

United States
United States

Josef Newgarden

United States
United States

Team Penske

8

1'00.867

0.535

0.057

106.461

9

Netherlands
Netherlands

Rinus van Kalmthout

United States
United States

Ed Carpenter Racing

8

1'00.883

0.551

0.016

106.432

10

United States
United States

Oliver Askew

Arrow McLaren SP

7

1'00.977

0.644

0.093

106.269

11

New Zealand
New Zealand

Scott Dixon

United States
United States

Chip Ganassi Racing

8

1'01.028

0.695

0.051

106.180

12

France
France

Simon Pagenaud

United States
United States

Team Penske

8

1'01.229

0.897

0.201

105.831

View full results

Q1 Group 2

1

United States
United States

Colton Herta

Andretti Harding Steinbrenner Autosport

5

1'00.661

106.822

2

Netherlands
Netherlands

Rinus van Kalmthout

United States
United States

Ed Carpenter Racing

8

1'00.772

0.110

0.110

106.628

3

Australia
Australia

Will Power

United States
United States

Team Penske

8

1'00.773

0.111

0.000

106.626

4

France
France

Sébastien Bourdais

United States
United States

A.J. Foyt Enterprises

8

1'00.880

0.219

0.107

106.438

5

Mexico
Mexico

Patricio O'Ward

Arrow McLaren SP

7

1'00.941

0.279

0.060

106.332

6

United States
United States

Oliver Askew

Arrow McLaren SP

7

1'01.018

0.357

0.077

106.197

7

United States
United States

Conor Daly

United States
United States

Ed Carpenter Racing

8

1'01.160

0.499

0.142

105.950

8

Spain
Spain

Alex Palou

Dale Coyne Racing with Team Goh

8

1'01.163

0.501

0.002

105.946

9

United States
United States

Santino Ferrucci

Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser Sullivan

8

1'01.179

0.518

0.016

105.917

10

United States
United States

Charlie Kimball

United States
United States

A.J. Foyt Enterprises

7

1'01.242

0.581

0.062

105.809

11

Sweden
Sweden

Felix Rosenqvist

United States
United States

Chip Ganassi Racing

8

1'01.522

0.861

0.279

105.327

12

United Kingdom
United Kingdom

Max Chilton

United Kingdom
United Kingdom

Carlin

5

1'21.790

21.129

20.268

79.226

View full results

Q1 Group 1

1

Canada
Canada

James Hinchcliffe

United States
United States

Andretti Autosport

7

1'00.652

106.838

2

United Kingdom
United Kingdom

Jack Harvey

United States
United States

Meyer Shank Racing

7

1'00.731

0.078

0.078

106.700

3

United States
United States

Josef Newgarden

United States
United States

Team Penske

8

1'00.743

0.090

0.011

106.679

4

New Zealand
New Zealand

Scott Dixon

United States
United States

Chip Ganassi Racing

8

1'00.872

0.219

0.129

106.452

5

France
France

Simon Pagenaud

United States
United States

Team Penske

8

1'00.874

0.222

0.002

106.448

6

United States
United States

Alexander Rossi

United States
United States

Andretti Autosport

7

1'00.886

0.234

0.011

106.427

7

Japan
Japan

Takuma Sato

United States
United States

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

7

1'00.942

0.289

0.055

106.330

8

Sweden
Sweden

Marcus Ericsson

United States
United States

Chip Ganassi Racing

8

1'00.961

0.309

0.019

106.296

9

United States
United States

Graham Rahal

United States
United States

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

8

1'01.145

0.493

0.183

105.976

10

United States
United States

Ryan Hunter-Reay

United States
United States

Andretti Autosport

7

1'01.173

0.520

0.027

105.929

11

New Zealand
New Zealand

Scott McLaughlin

United States
United States

Team Penske

7

1'01.640

0.988

0.467

105.125

12

United States
United States

Marco Andretti

Andretti Herta Autosport with Marco & Curb-Agajani

7

1'01.683

1.030

0.042

105.053

View full results