IndyCar Portland: Herta beats Power to pole, Dixon to start third

Harding Steinbrenner Racing’s Colton Herta secured the second pole position of his rookie IndyCar season in qualifying at Portland, nudging out Will Power with the last lap of the session.

Herta, who also took pole at Road America, initially completed a series of laps on the slower, black-walled Firestone tyres in the early stages of the Fast Six segment, gaining a slim advantage over reigning champion Scott Dixon, as Power waited until the end of the session to make his sole run.

The Penske driver then vaulted to provisional pole on the alternate red-walled tyres, despite losing time out of the final corner, posting a time of 57.830 seconds.

But Herta had pitted to take on fresh red tyres for a final assault, and lapped 0.019s quicker than Power to secure pole, with Dixon third.

Power was the highest placed Chevrolet runner, as only he and Spencer Pigot made it through to the Fast 12, with Pigot’s Ed Carpenter Racing machine qualifying 10th.

After disappointing results at Pocono and Gateway, Andretti Autosport’s Alexander Rossi was unable to seize an opportunity to eat into Josef Newgarden’s championship lead after the 2017 champion fell in the first qualifying group.

Rossi, who had comfortably made it through to the Fast 12, was bumped late in the 10-minute segment by Chip Ganassi’s Felix Rosenqvist, who improved by a tenth of a second to edge Rossi out.

Rosenqvist went onto take fifth on the grid, alongside Ryan Hunter-Reay in sixth.

This left Rossi stranded the wrong side of the cut-off line in seventh, with points leader Newgarden down in 13th after a scrappy session where he ran wide on his fastest lap.

After Newgarden was eliminated, Simon Pagenaud – second in the points standings – also failed to capitalise on the Penske driver’s misfortunes, as he could only manage 18th on the grid.

Jack Harvey impressed for Meyer Shank Racing on his way to fourth, slotting in alongside Dixon on the second row.

Conor Daly, who is substituting for Marcus Ericsson as he is on third driver duties for Alfa Romeo at Formula 1’s Belgian Grand Prix, secured a top 10 starting spot for the #7 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports entry with ninth, one place behind team-mate James Hinchcliffe.

Starting grid

1Colton HertaHarding RacingDallara/Honda57.8111s
2Will PowerTeam PenskeDallara/Chevrolet0.0192s
3Scott DixonChip Ganassi RacingDallara/Honda0.0244s
4Jack HarveyMeyer Shank RacingDallara/Honda0.2897s
5Felix RosenqvistChip Ganassi RacingDallara/Honda0.3509s
6Ryan Hunter-ReayAndretti AutosportDallara/Honda0.3712s
7Alexander RossiAndretti AutosportDallara/Honda0.0753s
8James HinchcliffeSchmidt Peterson MotorsportsDallara/Honda0.1883s
9Conor DalySchmidt Peterson MotorsportsDallara/Honda0.2081s
10Spencer PigotEd Carpenter RacingDallara/Chevrolet0.2304s
11Zach VeachAndretti AutosportDallara/Honda0.4038s
12Sebastien BourdaisDale Coyne RacingDallara/Honda0.4890s
13Josef NewgardenTeam PenskeDallara/Chevrolet0.1474s
14Santino FerrucciDale Coyne RacingDallara/Honda0.0365s
15Graham RahalRahal Letterman LaniganDallara/Honda0.1537s
16Marco AndrettiAndretti HertaDallara/Honda0.0416s
17Takuma SatoRahal Letterman LaniganDallara/Honda0.1557s
18Simon PagenaudTeam PenskeDallara/Chevrolet0.1368s
19Tony KanaanAJ Foyt EnterprisesDallara/Chevrolet0.2919s
20Max ChiltonCarlinDallara/Chevrolet0.1755s
21Matheus LeistAJ Foyt EnterprisesDallara/Chevrolet0.3447s
22Charlie KimballCarlinDallara/Chevrolet0.2471s
23Ed JonesEd Carpenter RacingDallara/Chevrolet0.4054s

IndyCar Portland: Herta beats Power to pole, Dixon to start third

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