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.
|1||Takuma Sato||Andretti Autosport||Dallara/Honda||219.639|
|2||Simon Pagenaud||Team Penske||Dallara/Chevrolet||219.395|
|3||Charlie Kimball||Chip Ganassi Racing||Dallara/Honda||219.369|
|4||Tony Kanaan||Chip Ganassi Racing||Dallara/Honda||219.012|
|5||Will Power||Team Penske||Dallara/Chevrolet||218.688|
|6||Alexander Rossi||Andretti Herta||Dallara/Honda||218.622|
|7||Graham Rahal||Rahal Letterman Lanigan||Dallara/Honda||218.099|
|8||Gabby Chaves||Harding Racing||Dallara/Chevrolet||218.020|
|9||Scott Dixon||Chip Ganassi Racing||Dallara/Honda||217.819|
|10||Max Chilton||Chip Ganassi Racing||Dallara/Honda||217.748|
|11||Ed Jones||Dale Coyne Racing||Dallara/Honda||217.565|
|12||James Hinchcliffe||Schmidt Peterson Motorsports||Dallara/Honda||217.556|
|13||Esteban Gutierrez||Dale Coyne Racing||Dallara/Honda||217.292|
|14||Josef Newgarden||Team Penske||Dallara/Chevrolet||217.235|
|15||Sebastian Saavedra||Schmidt Peterson Motorsports||Dallara/Honda||216.943|
|16||Marco Andretti||Andretti Autosport||Dallara/Honda||216.801|
|17||Conor Daly||AJ Foyt Enterprises||Dallara/Chevrolet||215.964|
|18||Carlos Munoz||AJ Foyt Enterprises||Dallara/Chevrolet||215.115|
|19||J.R. Hildebrand||Ed Carpenter Racing||Dallara/Chevrolet||214.988|
|20||Helio Castroneves||Team Penske||Dallara/Chevrolet||0.000|
|21||Ryan Hunter-Reay||Andretti Autosport||Dallara/Honda||0.000|
|22||Ed Carpenter||Ed Carpenter Racing||Dallara/Chevrolet||0.000|