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Pagenaud On Pole In Iowa

| , RacinToday.com Saturday, July 9 2016
Simon Pagenaud captured the pole for Sunday's IndyCar Series race in Iowa.

Simon Pagenaud captured the pole for Sunday’s IndyCar Series race in Iowa. (File photo courtesy of INDYCAR)

RacinToday.com

Road racing ace Simon Pagenaud proved to be not too shabby on a short oval on Saturday as he won the pole for Sunday’s IndyCar Series race at Iowa Speedway.

“The biggest statement we want to show is we are strong on ovals as well and want to win,” Pagenaud said. “I’m super happy about that. I’m super happy we can show some speed. We were fast at Indy as well, but a mechanical took us out of that.  It’s great to be here. It is great to show so much strength.”

It was the Team Penske driver’s fifth pole of the season and No. 500 for Roger Penske-owned cars. But it was just the second on an oval for the Frenchman.

“Five hundred, how cool is that?” the 32-year-old Pagenaud said. “It is just qualifying – we have a lot of work to do this weekend – but it certainly puts a great stamp on the work the No. 22 team has been doing as well as the whole Penske organization.”

Pagenaud posted a two-lap run of 34.6334 seconds (185.855 mph) at the .89-mile short track.

Starting next to Pagenaud, the series points leader, will be Josef Newgarden of Ed Carpenter Racing. The American driver posted a two-lap run of 34.6738 seconds (185.639 mph).

“You always wish you had a little more when you’re sitting second,” Newgarden said. “That’s the beauty of hindsight. We did everything we could with our information. It was tough because I didn’t get to test, but J.R.(Hildebrand) did such a great job for us last week at the test. He got the car in an awesome place, we just missed it by a whisker there. We have a great racecar and we really have an opportunity to make something happen. We’ve had two good races here over the past couple of years, I think we’ve got another shot to get a win this time.”

Third was Team Penske’s Helio Castroneves – who is second in points, now 75 behind Pagenaud – while rookie Max Chilton was fourth in his Ganassi Chevrolet.

Charlie Kimball of Chip Ganassi Racing was fifth.

Chevrolet-powered cars posted the top eight times.

“Chevy has been incredible giving us so much power and such a good aero kit. It’s been comfortable and a lot more to my driving style,” Power said.

The top Honda was driven by Mikhail Aleshin.

“I think we had a decent qualifying run and I’m happy to be the fastest Honda,” he said. “Top ten is a good position to start tomorrow in the SMP Racing car and the race is very long. It’s going to be very difficult and it’s hard to say what to expect but I think we’ll be OK.”

 

(This story will be updated shortly)

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NEWTON, Iowa – Qualifying Saturday for the Iowa Corn 300 Verizon IndyCar Series event on the 0.894-mile Iowa Speedway, with qualifying position, car number in parentheses, driver, aero kit-engine, and speed:

1. (22) Simon Pagenaud, Chevrolet, 185.855
2. (21) Josef Newgarden, Chevrolet, 185.639
3. (3) Helio Castroneves, Chevrolet, 185.433
4. (8) Max Chilton, Chevrolet, 185.419
5. (83) Charlie Kimball, Chevrolet, 184.489
6. (10) Tony Kanaan, Chevrolet, 184.430
7. (20) Ed Carpenter, Chevrolet, 184.339
8. (12) Will Power, Chevrolet, 183.984
9. (7) Mikhail Aleshin, Honda, 182.754
10. (9) Scott Dixon, Chevrolet, 182.647
11. (2) Juan Pablo Montoya, Chevrolet, 182.641
12. (15) Graham Rahal, Honda, 182.253
13. (14) Takuma Sato, Honda, 181.949
14. (41) Jack Hawksworth, Honda, 181.700
15. (26) Carlos Munoz, Honda, 181.067
16. (11) Sebastien Bourdais, Chevrolet, 180.925
17. (98) Alexander Rossi, Honda, 180.920
18. (19) Gabby Chaves, Honda, 180.390
19. (27) Marco Andretti, Honda, 180.286
20. (28) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Honda, 179.903
21. (18) Conor Daly, Honda, 178.646
22. (5) James Hinchcliffe, Honda, 175.027

| , RacinToday.com Saturday, July 9 2016
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