ELKHART LAKE, Wisconsin – It’s a different racetrack but a similar storyline that set the front row for today’s REV Group Grand Prix Race 1 at Road America.
In the final seconds of Group 2 of NTT INDYCAR SERIES qualifying, Josef Newgarden laid down a blistering lap in his No. 1 PPG Team Penske Chevrolet to score the NTT P1 Award for winning the pole for this afternoon’s race (5 p.m. ET, NBCSN). Newgarden’s lap timed in at 1 minute, 45.5191 seconds, edging Jack Harvey’s 1:45.7290 that led Group 1 in the No. 60 AutoNation/SiriusXM Honda.
CLICK HERE: Race 1 Qualifying Results
“The boys worked really hard, trying to turn around from the (GMR) GP,” Newgarden said. “You know how this works. It’s been a fast day, and the guys have had to be on it with their decision-making. Compared to practice, I think we tried to get a little cheeky with our tire usage, and we were a little off-page with the other people. But Gavin (Ward, race engineer) and me tried to figure out the pieces that were good and put them back on the car, and it worked out really well. Now we’ve got to worry about the race car.”
Newgarden scored his second pole of the season after winning the NTT P1 Award at the 2020 season opener on June 6 at Texas Motor Speedway. Newgarden’s lap also helped Team Penske stay perfect in qualifying this season, as teammate Will Power won the pole for the GMR Grand Prix last weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Harvey just missed the pole for the second straight week. In qualifying for the GMR Grand Prix, Power snatched the top spot away from Harvey in the final seconds. Still, this is the second consecutive week that Harvey will start on the front row.
“I think all we could worry about is trying to be quickest in our group, to be as far up in our group as possible,” Harvey said. “I think it’s pretty fair to say Group 2 is usually a tiny bit quicker. But at the end of the day, it’s just more momentum building. It’s following on Indy with a great result.
“For everybody at Meyer Shank Racing, to see the No. 60 AutoNation/SiriusXM Honda at the front makes all the hard effort we’ve put in so worth it. And we’ve had amazing straight-line speed again from Honda. Really proud to be powered by them.”
Americans Ryan Hunter-Reay, with a best lap of 1:45.6563 in the No. 28 DHL Honda, and Graham Rahal, with a best lap of 1:45.7593 in the No. 15 Total Quartz Honda, comprise Row 2. Power rounded out the top five in qualifying with a lap of 1:45.8244 he set in his No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet.
Scott Dixon, who has won the first two NTT INDYCAR SERIES races of the season, will start ninth in the No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda. Defending REV Group Grand Prix race winner Alexander Rossi starts 11th in the No. 27 AutoNation / NAPA AUTO PARTS Honda.
Newgarden and Harvey will reap an additional championship point for setting the fastest lap in each of their respective qualifying groups.