Colton Herta

Less than one week ago, Colton Herta’s Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge ended in 23rd place after he struggled following contact with the SAFER Barrier in the first half of the race.

What a difference six days makes.

Herta earned his first NTT P1 Award of the season by taking the top spot Saturday for the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear on the streets of Detroit. Herta drove to his 12th career pole with a lap of 1 minute, .5475 of a second in the No. 26 Gainbridge Honda fielded by Andretti Global w/Curb-Agajanian.

SEE: Qualifying Results

“A complete 180 and just super happy for the team,” Herta said of his rebound from Indianapolis disappointment. “They worked their tails off in the Month of May. To come back with some redemption, it feels good.”

The pole continued a strong weekend for Herta. He led practice Saturday morning and set a track record with his session-leading lap of 1:00.2304 in the Round of 12 qualifying that preceded the Firestone Fast Six. Andretti Global teammate Kyle Kirkwood set the previous track record of 1:01.5305 in June 2023, the first year for this nine-turn, 1.645-mile temporary street circuit in downtown Detroit.

Up next is a 30-minute race warm-up session at 9:30 a.m. ET Sunday (Peacock, INDYCAR Radio Network). Live coverage of the 100-lap race starts at noon ET Sunday on the USA Network, Peacock and the INDYCAR Radio Network.

Reigning NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion and current points leader Alex Palou will join Herta on the front row after qualifying second at 1:00.6995 in the No. 10 DHL Chip Ganassi Racing Honda. Palou won this race last year.

Reigning two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Josef Newgarden celebrated his contract renewal with Team Penske by qualifying third at 1:00.9607 in the No. 2 Hitachi Astemo Team Penske Chevrolet. His teammate Scott McLaughlin will join him in Row 2 after qualifying fourth at 1:01.3344 in the No. 3 Gallagher Team Penske Chevrolet.

Six-time NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion Scott Dixon will start fifth after a best lap of 1:01.3905 in the No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda.

Kirkwood rounded out the Firestone Fast Six at 1:04.2926 in the No. 27 AutoNation Honda. He was third on the provisional grid, but his best two laps were erased as a penalty for overshooting Turn 1 and stalling on his final flying lap, triggering a red flag.

That red flag with slightly more than one minute to go gave the remaining five drivers in the Firestone Fast Six one final lap to gain ground. But none improved upon their existing times due to the difficulty of finding open track during a last-gasp dash on the tight, bumpy circuit.

“This qualifying session is so difficult here at this track,” Herta said. “Obviously, it’s hard to pass, but also it’s so hard to just get a clean lap. It’s probably the most aggressive place we go to as far as bumps and walls, so it feels good to get this one.”

Theo Pourchaire was the top-qualifying rookie, a career-best seventh at 1:00.7342 in the No. 6 Arrow McLaren Chevrolet in his fourth NTT INDYCAR SERIES start.

Formula 2 champion Pourchaire just missed earning a spot in the Firestone Fast Six for the first time by .0287 of a second. His previous best starting spot was 18th at the Sonsio Grand Prix last month on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.