NEWTON, Iowa – Conor Daly soared to the top of the charts early in the session and held on to score his first career NTT P1 Award as the pole winner for Race 1 of Iowa INDYCAR 250s Doubleheader tonight at Iowa Speedway.
The 250-lap race starts at 8:30 p.m. (ET, NBCSN) on the 7/8th-mile oval.
Reigning NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion Josef Newgarden won the NTT P1 Award as the pole winner for Race 2, which takes place at 8:30 p.m. (ET) Saturday. Qualifying for this event featured a unique format in which the first of each drivers’ two laps set the starting grid for Race 1, while each driver’s second lap set their position for Race 2.
CLICK HERE: Race 1 Qualifying Results | Race 2 Qualifying Results
Daly’s Lap 1 speed of 175.188 mph in the No. 59 Gallagher Carlin Chevrolet was good enough to lead the field to green tonight. His previous best starting spot was seventh on the street course in Toronto in 2016, while his previous best oval start was 11th in 2017 at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway and in 2019 for the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge.
“It’s just awesome,” said Indiana native Daly, who is splitting his season between Carlin on the ovals and Ed Carpenter Racing for the road and street courses. “I’m so thankful to have a bit of a comeback and to be driving this car. It’s all thanks to Trevor Carlin and Gallagher Insurance.
“I’m just so thankful to be here. I hated this place the last few years, and now we’re on the pole. This is hilarious. We’ve got one more mission left tonight, and that’s the race. Hopefully we can execute.”
Newgarden will join Daly in the front row tonight after his first lap of 175.107 in the No. 1 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet. Newgarden’s teammate Will Power qualified third at 174.807 in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, with Colton Herta fourth at 174.799 in the No. 88 Capstone Turbine Honda. Alexander Rossi rounded out the top five at 172.263 in the No. 27 AutoNation / NAPA AUTO PARTS Honda.
It will be an all-Team Penske front row for Race 2 Saturday night, with Newgarden on pole after his second lap of 175.333 and Power starting second at 175.024. Daly qualified third at 174.960, with three-time Iowa winner Ryan Hunter-Reay fourth at 174.245 in the No. 28 DHL Honda. Herta qualified fifth at 173.437.
Series points leader Scott Dixon will start 17th and 18th, respectively, tonight and Saturday night in the No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda. Dixon started the season with three consecutive victories.
Five-time series champion Dixon wasn’t the only top driver to struggle in qualifying. 2019 Indianapolis 500 winner Simon Pagenaud, third in points through four races this season, reported no fuel pressure in his No. 22 Menards Team Penske Chevrolet and will start at the rear of the field in both races due to not making a qualifying attempt.