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Newgarden Remains King Of The Road America

| , RacinToday.com Saturday, June 23 2018

Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden will start Sunday’s IndyCar Series race at Road American in Wisconsin from the pole (Photo courtesy of INDYCAR)

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Josef Newgarden continued to be the driver in control at Road America this weekend as he followed up his quickest practice laps on Friday with a pole victory on Saturday.

The Team Penske driver won the pole for the IndyCar Series event with a lap at 140.020 mph at the 4-mile, 14 turn natural road circuit in Elkhart Lake, Wis.

“It’s nice when you have the car to do it. We had the speed on Friday, so to finish it off today is nice,” Newgarden said. “It’s only goal one. Two races; one for pole, one for the race. We need to close it out. Verizon has been very good to us, and Team Chevy as well. Engine package has been phenomenal to get the most out of it. You see how well we work together with Team Penske and Team Chevy. We just have to be smart and get through the first couple laps. Save the tires, save some fuel and be smart if a caution comes out in the middle of the race. We’ll see what we have for tomorrow.”

Second fastest in qualifying was Newgarden’s teammate, Will Power. His fast lap was at 139.054 mph. It will be Power’s fourth consecutive front row start.

“That was close,” Power, winner of this year’s Indianapolis 500, said. “We were off the whole time. I gave it everything the last lap. A surprise front row. I keep getting front rows every weekend. Not the pole, but yeah, I’m pretty happy. But only five hundredths off, come on. I think I did a really neat lap. Josef did a great lap. That was all I had.”

Bot Penske drivers were in Chevrolet-powered cars.

The next seven fastest drives – led by Ryan Hunter-Reay of Andretti Autosport – were in Honda-powered cars.

Hunter-Reay’s fast lap was at 139.778 mph.

“We didn’t test here, so we were a bit behind the 8-ball,” Hunter-Reay said, “but we made the right changes and I think we put a good effort out today. I was hoping to go one better at practice and be P2, but starting third is somewhere we can work from tomorrow in the race. It’s going to be interesting with no warmup tomorrow and trying to get the right setup on the race car, but it’s the same for everybody. We have an idea with where we are with older tires, so we’ll try and estimate where we need to be with the setup and put our best effort out there. To fight at it from third is a good thing, so we can do it from there.”

Right behind Hunter-Reay was teammate Alexander Rossi.

 “We can do a lot from fourth,” Rossi said. “It’s always disappointing when you lead your two groups and miss out on the pole, but it’s so close. It’s amazing that around a four-mile track, it’s so tight.

“We really struggled yesterday afternoon and made some good decisions overnight that paid off.”

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Qualifying Saturday for the Verizon IndyCar Series event on the 4.048-mile Road America, with qualifying position, car number in parentheses, driver, engine, time and speed in parentheses:

1. (1) Josef Newgarden, Chevrolet, 1:43.2026 (140.020 mph)
2. (12) Will Power, Chevrolet, 1:43.2508 (139.954)
3. (28) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Honda, 1:43.3811 (139.778)
4. (27) Alexander Rossi, Honda, 1:43.4361 (139.704)
5. (6) Robert Wickens, Honda, 1:43.7121 (139.332)
6. (18) Sebastien Bourdais, Honda, 1:43.7332 (139.304)
7. (30) Takuma Sato, Honda, 1:43.1108 (140.144)
8. (9) Scott Dixon, Honda, 1:43.1769 (140.055)
9. (15) Graham Rahal, Honda, 1:43.1874 (140.040)
10. (21) Spencer Pigot, Chevrolet, 1:43.1995 (140.024)
11. (26) Zach Veach, Honda, 1:43.2265 (139.987)
12. (10) Ed Jones, Honda, 1:43.3544 (139.814)
13. (20) Jordan King, Chevrolet, 1:43.7356 (139.300)
14. (22) Simon Pagenaud, Chevrolet, 1:43.4153 (139.732)
15. (98) Marco Andretti, Honda, 1:43.9843 (138.967)
16. (5) James Hinchcliffe, Honda, 1:43.8591 (139.135)
17. (19) Zachary Claman De Melo, Honda, 1:44.0189 (138.921)
18. (14) Tony Kanaan, Chevrolet, 1:44.1165 (138.791)
19. (23) Charlie Kimball, Chevrolet, 1:45.1161 (137.471)
20. (4) Matheus Leist, Chevrolet, 1:44.3438 (138.488)
21. (32) Alfonso Celis Jr, Chevrolet, 1:45.5584 (136.895)
22. (59) Max Chilton, Chevrolet, 1:44.3442 (138.488)
23. (88) Gabby Chaves, Chevrolet, 1:44.6258 (138.115)

| , RacinToday.com Saturday, June 23 2018
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