Newgarden snatches last-second Detroit Grand Prix pole


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Josef Newgarden took pole position for the IndyCar Detroit Grand Prix thanks to a last-second effort in the Fast Six stage of qualifying.

Newgarden will lead the field of 26 cars to the green flag in tomorrow’s 70-lap race, the final Detroit Grand Prix to be held at the Belle Isle Street Circuit as the race will move to the International Riverfront district in downtown Detroit next year.

His best lap of 1’15.215 came right after the chequered flag fell, knocking Takuma Sato off the provisional pole position. Newgarden becomes the seventh different pole winner in seven races this season.

Sato will line up second, sharing the front row with Newgarden. The two Meyer Shank cars of Simon Pagenaud and Hélio Castroneves will start third, and fourth, respectively. McLaren SP driver Pato O’Ward will start fifth, and rookie David Malukas was the story of qualifying, making the Fast Six for the first time and ending up sixth on the grid just days after controversially missing out on the Indy 500 Rookie of the Year award.

Indianapolis 500 winner and IndyCar Series points leader Marcus Ericsson will start eighth in car number eight, sharing the fourth row with Colton Herta, who qualified seventh. An all-Scott fifth row follows, with Scott Dixon in ninth, and Scott McLaughlin in tenth.

Transfer market protagonist Alexander Rossi, who agreed to join McLaren SP next season, starts 11th. Romain Grosjean had a hard crash through turns 12 and 13 to end round two of qualifying: The resulting red flag caused the deletion of his two fastest laps, meaning Grosjean will start 12th.

The other major player in this week’s IndyCar silly season, Kyle Kirkwood, qualified 15th after leading the way in first practice. However, he crashed out of second practice earlier today, and will now go on and race in the IMSA SportsCar Championship tonight with a minor injury to his right hand – before starting tomorrow’s race.

Further back in the pack, Felix Rosenqvist was penalized during round one of qualifying for impeding Jimmie Johnson as he exited pit lane for his final attempt. His fastest laps in the session were deleted, and he will start from the final row of the grid in 25th. Dalton Kellett did not take part in qualifying after a heavy crash at the end of second practice, and because of a six-place grid penalty for an unapproved engine change at the Indy 500, Kellett will start 26th.

Green flag time for the Detroit Grand Prix is tomorrow at 20:45 BST.

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Grand Prix of Detroit qualifying results

12Josef NewgardenPenskeChevrolet
251Takuma SatoCoyne/RWRHonda
360Simon PagenaudMeyer ShankHonda
46Helio CastronevesMeyer ShankHonda
55Pato O’WardMcLaren SPChevrolet
618David MalukasCoyne/HMDHonda
726Colton HertaAndrettiHonda
88Marcus EricssonGanassiHonda
99Scott DixonGanassiHonda
103Scott McLaughlinPenskeChevrolet
1127Alexander RossiAndrettiHonda
1228Romain GrosjeanAndrettiHonda
1320Conor DalyCarpenterChevrolet
1421Rinus VeeKayCarpenterChevrolet
1514Kyle KirkwoodFoytChevrolet
1612Will PowerPenskeChevrolet
1777Santino FerrucciJuncos HollingerChevrolet
1810Alex PalouGanassiHonda
1930Christian LundgaardRLLHonda
2045Jack HarveyRLLHonda
2129Devlin DeFrancescoAndretti SteinbrennerHonda
2248Jimmie JohnsonGanassiHonda
2315Graham RahalRLLHonda
2411Tatiana CalderonFoytChevrolet
257Felix RosenqvistMcLaren SPChevrolet
264Dalton KellettFoytChevrolet


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Author information

RJ O'Connell
Motorsport has been a lifelong interest for RJ, both virtual and ‘in the carbon’, since childhood. RJ picked up motorsports writing as a hobby...

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One comment on “Newgarden snatches last-second Detroit Grand Prix pole”

  1. Not just an All-Scott 5th row, but All-Kiwi as well!

    Great qualifying effort by the Coyne pair and it’ll be interesting to see if it carries over to the race.

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