Sato snatches Pocono Indycar pole, Dixon to start ninth

Autosport

Andretti Autosport’s Takuma Sato snatched his second IndyCar Series pole of 2017 with a wild run in a crash-strewn qualifying at Pocono Raceway.

Indianapolis 500 winner Sato was the last man to run, setting an average speed of 219.639mph after a stunning 220.045 first lap.

No other driver broke through the 220mph barrier during a session that featured nasty crashes for both title contender Helio Castroneves and practice pacesetter Ryan Hunter-Reay.

Castroneves lost it going through Turn 1, while Hunter-Reay’s car snapped into the wall exiting Turn 3.

While Castroneves was quickly cleared to drive again by the medical team, Hunter-Reay will be taken by road to hospital for further checks. He got out of his car unaided but limped as he was helped away by safety crews.

Reigning series champion Simon Pagenaud will join Sato on the front row after posting an average of 219.395mph.

Charlie Kimball sat top of the standings for much of the session before being edged down to third in an all-Ganassi second row alongside Tony Kanaan, the final man to break the 219mph average barrier.

Will Power and Alexander Rossi rounded off the top six.

Graham Rahal clung on to seventh place despite picking up a slow puncture late into his second lap.

Alongside Rahal will be Gabby Chaves, as the Harding Racing team made the top eight for only its third IndyCar start.

Championship leader Josef Newgarden had a poor run, losing 1.2mph on his second lap in windy conditions and ending up 14th.

Ed Carpenter missed qualifying entirely after a crash in practice.

Despite its best efforts, his Ed Carpenter Racing team missed the technical cut-off for qualifying by just six minutes.

Qualifying result

POSDRIVERTEAMCARSPEED
1Takuma SatoAndretti AutosportDallara/Honda219.639
2Simon PagenaudTeam PenskeDallara/Chevrolet219.395
3Charlie KimballChip Ganassi RacingDallara/Honda219.369
4Tony KanaanChip Ganassi RacingDallara/Honda219.012
5Will PowerTeam PenskeDallara/Chevrolet218.688
6Alexander RossiAndretti HertaDallara/Honda218.622
7Graham RahalRahal Letterman LaniganDallara/Honda218.099
8Gabby ChavesHarding RacingDallara/Chevrolet218.020
9Scott DixonChip Ganassi RacingDallara/Honda217.819
10Max ChiltonChip Ganassi RacingDallara/Honda217.748
11Ed JonesDale Coyne RacingDallara/Honda217.565
12James HinchcliffeSchmidt Peterson MotorsportsDallara/Honda217.556
13Esteban GutierrezDale Coyne RacingDallara/Honda217.292
14Josef NewgardenTeam PenskeDallara/Chevrolet217.235
15Sebastian SaavedraSchmidt Peterson MotorsportsDallara/Honda216.943
16Marco AndrettiAndretti AutosportDallara/Honda216.801
17Conor DalyAJ Foyt EnterprisesDallara/Chevrolet215.964
18Carlos MunozAJ Foyt EnterprisesDallara/Chevrolet215.115
19J.R. HildebrandEd Carpenter RacingDallara/Chevrolet214.988
20Helio CastronevesTeam PenskeDallara/Chevrolet0.000
21Ryan Hunter-ReayAndretti AutosportDallara/Honda0.000
22Ed CarpenterEd Carpenter RacingDallara/Chevrolet0.000

Sato snatches Pocono Indycar pole, Dixon to start ninth

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