After being fastest in morning practice and in testing on Thursday, Marco Andretti captured the pole for Sunday’s Pocono IndyCar 400 Fueled by Sunoco setting a two lap average of 221.273 mph and his second pole of the season. He joins grandfather Mario and father Michael as a pole sitter at Pocono Raceway.
(About being third member of family to win pole at Pocono): “It means a lot to me,” says Andretti. “This is the first place where, besides Milwaukee, I was able to get a pole where they did. But tomorrow is the one we want. That would be icing on the cake. My first goal is tomorrow. I really want to get this monkey off my back. I want to get the wins coming.”
Ryan Hunter-Reay (220.892 mph) and James Hinchcliffe (220.431 mph) will join him on the front row, completing an Andretti Autosport sweep of the front row.
“It was a great one for Andretti Autosport,” said Hunter-Reay. “It’s going to be a long race. We have to go against Penske, Ganassi and, of course, a big challenge from our teammates. After that we get going, we get to racing.”
“Andretti Autosport, 1-2-3, it’s incredible,” said Hinchcliffe. “It’s Pocono, Andretti on pole, Andretti Autosport on front row – you couldn’t write a better story than that.”
Will Power will start from the inside of the 2nd row. Power’s 1st lap was good enough for second place (221.069 mph), but he suffered from an overboost going into turn 1 on his second lap and dropped his 2 lap average down to 220.286 mph and will start 4th.
In his quest for the Fuzzy’s Triple Crown, Tony Kanaan will join Power on the 2nd row with a 2 lap average of 219.625 mph to slide in 5th and like Power suffered an overboost which limited a better starting position.
““I think I came up to speed too quickly, my fault,” said Kanaan. “The Sunoco car is pretty good this weekend, so we’re going for the Triple Crown
Fellow Brazillian and points leader Helio Castroneves will start from the outside of the second row (219.581 mph).
Row 3 is an all Honda row lead by Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon (215.500 mph), but will start 17th due to a 10 place grid penalty for changing engines. AJ Foyt Racing’s Takuma Sato will roll off from the middle of row 3 (219.124) and Detroit Race 2 winner Simon Pagenaud will start 9th (218.859 mph).
The first accidents of the weekend occurred in today’s qualifying session. EJ Viso was close to making it a 1-2-3-4 sweep for Andretti Autosport but crashed coming off of turn 1 on the Long Pond Straight. Like Viso, Bryan Herta Autosport’s Alex Tagliani met the turn 1 wall on his first lap. Both drivers were unhurt, but will start from the back.
The only driver to not take a lap was Ryan Briscoe. Panther Racing elected to sit out qualifying due to Briscoe’s commitments running the American Le Mans Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park.
Driver, Engine, Speed
- Marco Andretti, Chevrolet, 221.273
- Ryan Hunter-Reay, Chevrolet, 220.892
- James Hinchcliffe, Chevrolet, 220.431
- Will Power, Chevrolet, 220.286
- Tony Kanaan, Chevrolet, 219.625
- Helio Castroneves, Chevrolet, 219.581
- Scott Dixon, Honda, 219.500*
- Takuma Sato, Honda, 219.124
- Simon Pagenaud, Honda, 218.859
- Simona de Silvestro, Chevrolet, 218.590
- Tristan Vautier, Honda, 218.575
- Sebastien Bourdais, Chevrolet, 218.517
- Charlie Kimball, Honda, 218.345
- James Jakes, Honda, 218.240
- Ed Carpenter, Chevrolet, 218.100
- Josef Newgarden, Honda, 217.832
- Graham Rahal, Honda, 217.457
- Dario Franchitti, Honda, 217.047
- Pippa Mann, Honda, 216.980
- Justin Wilson, Honda, 216.872
- Sebastian Saavedra, Chevrolet, 215.570
- EJ Viso, Chevrolet, accident: lap will not count
- Alex Tagliani, Honda, accident: No Speed
- Ryan Briscoe, Chevrolet, No Speed
* indicates 10 place grid penalty