Scott McLaughlin

Scott McLaughlin won the NTT P1 Award in qualifying Sunday morning at World Wide Technology Raceway, but Team Penske teammate Josef Newgarden will start from the top spot for the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 presented by Axalta and Valvoline this afternoon.

McLaughlin earned his first career oval pole and fifth NTT INDYCAR SERIES pole overall with a two-lap average of 182.951 mph in the No. 3 Odyssey Batteries Team Penske Chevrolet on the 1.25-mile oval. But he will start 10th after his team incurred a nine-spot grid penalty for an unapproved engine change after the Gallagher Grand Prix on Aug. 12 on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.

SEE: Qualifying Results | Starting Lineup

“I’m so competitive, and we all are,” McLaughlin said. “And we just want to beat our teammates all the time. I’m pumped. First oval pole. We’ve got an engine spot penalty, but we’re going to come through and have a lot of fun doing it.”

That elevates Newgarden to the top starting spot for the 260-lap race, which starts at 3:30 p.m. ET today (live, NBC, Peacock, INDYCAR Radio Network). Newgarden was the second-fastest car in qualifying with his average of 182.390 in the No. 2 PPG Team Penske Chevrolet. Newgarden is trying to win his sixth consecutive oval race in the series and become the first driver ever to sweep all oval races in a season featuring at least two circle tracks or more on the schedule.

Two-time series champion Newgarden has won the last five oval races in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, a streak that started with this event last August. He was triumphant this season at Texas Motor Speedway, the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge and swept the doubleheader at Iowa Speedway. Only Sebastien Bourdais has won all the oval races in an INDYCAR SERIES season, but that came in 2006 when he took the checkered flag at Milwaukee, the only circle track on the Champ Car schedule that year.

“Scott just did a better job,” Newgarden said. “I had a phenomenal car. I’m really proud of the team. This car was right where it needed to be.”

Colton Herta will join Newgarden on the front row after qualifying third at 181.946 in the No. 26 Gainbridge Honda fielded by Andretti Autosport with Curb-Agajanian. Pato O’Ward will start third after his qualifying run of 181.722 in the No. 5 Arrow McLaren Chevrolet.

Championship leader Alex Palou qualified fifth at 181.599 in the No. 10 The American Legion Honda of Chip Ganassi Racing, but he will drop to 14th on the starting grid due to a nine-spot grid penalty for an unapproved engine change after practice Saturday. Palou leads second-place Scott Dixon by 101 points and can clinch his second series championship in the last three years if he leads the field by 109 points or more after this race.

Grid penalties for McLaughlin and Palou will elevate the sixth-fastest qualifier, Felix Rosenqvist, to the fourth starting spot after his two-lap average of 181.557 in the No. 6 onsemi Arrow McLaren Chevrolet.

McLaughlin and Palou were among six drivers who will start nine spots lower than they qualified due to grid penalties for unauthorized engine changes. The others: Dixon (qualified seventh, starting 16th), Takuma Sato (qualified eighth, starting 17th) Kyle Kirkwood (qualified 13th, starting 22nd) and Agustin Canapino (qualified 21st, starting 28th).