Rev Group Grand Prix Qualifying: Newgarden on pole for second time in a row

June 19, 2021

by Chris Kavaney

Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden qualified in first place for the Rev Group Grand Prix at Road America, Wisconsin. His form for good qualifying continues after qualifying on pole last weekend in Detroit.

Team Penske had their strongest showing during qualifying this season, having three of their four cars in the fast six at Road America, but the two-time IndyCar champion came out on top to start on Sunday at the very front. 

He, in a rather unorthodox fashion, decided to set his qualifying time on the less grippy black tyres compared to most people in the fast six on the reds. The belief was that most drivers were setting times on reds which were worn and that they would offer less grip than blacks with the same tyre age.

This would be Newgarden’s third pole position at Road America.

He commented on the tyre situation after qualifying: “We knew this morning this is what we’re going to do. I didn’t know where everyone else was at but I knew this was my plan, and I knew everybody was on board with it. Just happy to see it work out… A little surprised more didn’t do that. I think degradation has been the talk of the weekend.

He further added: “The car’s been phenomenal. The boys did a great job. Super happy for Hitachi’s second pole in a row, but we gotta get a win though. Team Chevy has done such a good job for us, I’d like to get them a win.”

He reflected on his third pole at Road America: “I definitely love Road America. This is one of the best tracks in the world, not just in North America, as far as racing in a car, you can’t beat this place.”

Andretti Autosports’ Colton Herta qualified in second place, after being second in the second practice session and topping his qualifying group prior to the fast six. His fast six time was, however, 0.24 seconds slower than Newgarden, nevertheless he is on the front row.

In third was Jack Harvey, who topped the times in the qualifying session to get into the fast six. The Meyer Shank team have been in good form since their Indy 500 victory last month, and he will start in third next to Penske’s second driver, Will Power, in fourth. Power will be looking for more positive results after his unfortunate struggles in Detroit.

Chip Ganassi Racing’s only showing in the fast six came from Alex Palou who qualified in fifth, with Penske’s Simon Pagenaud in sixth.

The leading rookie in qualifying, who narrowly missed out on the fast six, was Romain Grosjean, but he still qualified in the top ten, with Ryan Hunter-Reay starting next to him in eighth.

Alexander Rossi, who’s last win in IndyCar was two year ago at this circuit, qualified in ninth place with the new championship leader Pato O’Ward beside him in tenth.

Full qualification results:

  1. Josef Newgarden
  2. Colton Herta
  3. Jack Harvey
  4. Will Power
  5. Alex Palou
  6. Simon Pagenaud
  7. Romain Grosjean (R) 
  8. Ryan Hunter-Reay
  9. Alexander Rossi
  10. Pato O’Ward
  11. Sebastien Bourdais
  12. Ed Jones
  13. Scott Dixon
  14. Graham Rahal
  15. Conor Daly
  16. Oliver Askew
  17. Scott McLaughlin (R) 
  18. Marcus Ericsson
  19. James Hinchcliffe
  20. Takuma Sato
  21. Kevin Magnussen
  22. Max Chilton
  23. Jimmie Johnson (R)
  24. Dalton Kellett
  25. Cody Ware

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