By the Numbers: Race 2 Starting Lineup | Race 2 Qualifying Results
He may be stiff and sore, but Josef Newgarden hopes to be an even bigger pain in the neck to his NTT INDYCAR SERIES rivals after winning the NTT P1 Award Sunday morning for Race 2 of the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit.
Newgarden earned his first pole of the season and for Team Penske with a top lap of one minute, 14.1094 seconds in the No. 2 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet. It was the 12th career INDYCAR SERIES pole for Newgarden and his first since the second race last July at Iowa Speedway.
Two-time series champion Newgarden finished 10th in Race 1 Saturday after recovering from brushing the wall and going a lap down early in the race.
“There’s no power steering in the car,” Newgarden said. “I don’t think people can relate to it from the couch, but it’s really physical, very difficult to drive. You almost feel like you’re hitting the wall because you feel like you physically can’t turn the car into the corner. You almost have to slow down, which is crazy. It’s going to be difficult.
“I tweaked my neck yesterday, so I came into today just trying to survive, and we started out pretty good. Hopefully being up front will make our day a little easier.”
Live coverage of Race 2 starts at noon (ET) today on NBC and the INDYCAR Radio Network, with a green flag at 12:50 p.m. The field of 25 drivers will turn 70 laps on the demanding 14-turn, 2.35-mile temporary street circuit.
The 2021 season has opened with seven different winners in seven races. None of those drivers are from Team Penske, the winningest team in the history of the sport. So, Newgarden will look to break through for himself and his team this afternoon.
Colton Herta will join Newgarden on the front row today after qualifying second at 1:14.4300 during the Firestone Fast 12 in the No. 26 Gainbridge Honda.
Rinus VeeKay qualified third at 1:14.8180 in the No. 21 Sonax/Autogeek Chevrolet, with championship leader Alex Palou rebounding from a tough 15th-place finish in Race 1 by qualifying fourth at 1:14.8432 in the No. 10 The American Legion Honda.
Rookie Romain Grosjean rounded out the top five at 1:14.9060 in the No. 51 NURTEC ODT Honda.
The Rahal Letterman Racing team will be forced to work quickly to repair the No. 45 Hy-Vee Honda of Santino Ferrucci for the race after Ferrucci crashed into the wall just before the qualifying timing line in the closing moments of the Firestone Fast 12. Ferrucci was unhurt, but his car suffered heavy damage to the left front suspension.
A handful of stars didn’t advance from the opening two groups of qualifying.
Race 1 winner Marcus Ericsson will start 22nd in the No. 8 Huski Chocolate Chip Ganassi Racing Honda after failing to advance to the Firestone Fast 12.
Pato O’Ward, the NTT P1 Award winner for Race 1, also didn’t make the Firestone Fast 12. He will start 16th in the No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet after clipping the wall with his left rear wheel in the second group and suffering a bent toe link in his suspension.
A tough weekend for 2014 series champion Will Power also continued in qualifying. Power will start 20th in the No. 12 Verizon 5G Team Penske Chevrolet just a day after he lost a chance for victory when his car would not refire in the pits at the end of a red-flag period with five laps remaining in Race 1.
Oliver Askew will start 23rd in the No. 7 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet as a substitute for Felix Rosenqvist, who was involved in a heavy crash during Race 1 Saturday. Askew, who never has raced at Belle Isle, had no practice time on the circuit before he began circulating in his 10-minute qualifying group. Rosenqvist was released from DMC Detroit Receiving Hospital early Sunday.
Four-time INDYCAR SERIES champion Sebastien Bourdais was a victim of the ultra-thin margins between success and failure in qualifying. Bourdais ended up seventh in the first qualifying group, missing the cut to advance by seven-10,000ths of a second in the No. 14 ROKiT/AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet. He will start 13th.