Newgarden, O’Ward Lead Chevrolet Qualifying at Sonoma
Reigning series champion to start third, rookie is fifth for season finale
SONOMA, Calif. – Reigning Verizon IndyCar Series (VICS) champion Josef Newgarden and 2018 Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires champion Patricio O’Ward will start the INDYCAR Grand Prix of Sonoma in the top three rows.
Newgarden qualified third with a quick lap of 1 minute, 17.7599 seconds (110.417 mph) in the No. 1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet. O’Ward, making his Verizon IndyCar Series debut, gave Harding Racing its inaugural Firestone Fast Six appearance to close out its first full season of competition. He’ll start fifth after a best lap of 1:17.9737 (110.114) in the No. 8 Harding Group Chevrolet.
Newgarden and Team Penske teammate Will Power, who qualified seventh in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, are mathematically eligible for the championship entering the double points season finale. Last year at Sonoma Raceway, Newgarden earned the pole and finished runner-up to Team Penske teammate Simon Pagenaud on the way to securing the title. Power is a three-time winner on the 2.385-mile, 12-turn natural-terrain road course.
Other qualifying results for drivers backed by the 2.2-liter, twin turbocharged, direct-injected V-6 Chevrolet engine:
No. 22 Simon Pagenaud 8th
No. 21 Spencer Pigot 17th
No. 14 Tony Kanaan 18th
No. 88 Colton Herta 19th
No. 59 Max Chilton 21st
No. 4 Matheus Leist 23rd
No. 23 Charlie Kimball 24th
No. 20 Jordan King 25th
Kanaan, driving the No. 14 ABC Supply Chevrolet for AJ Foyt Racing, will seek to make his Indy car record-extending 300th consecutive start. The streak started in June 2001 at Portland.
“Congratulations to Tony Kanaan for being the first Indy car driver to ever compete in 300 consecutive races,” said Jim Campbell, Chevrolet U.S. Vice President of Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. “His passion, preparation and determination have been key enablers to this milestone. It’s no surprise that Tony is such a huge fan favorite in the series.”
Ryan Hunter-Reay claimed the pole for the 85-lap race. Scott Dixon, Alexander Rossi, and Marco Andretti (all Honda) made up the remainder of the Firestone Fast Six drivers.
NBCSN will telecast the 85-lap/202.7-mile race live at 6:30 p.m. ET Sept. 16.The race will also be broadcast on INDYCAR Radio Network affiliates, RaceControl.IndyCar.com, indycarradio.com, the INDYCAR Mobile app, Sirius 214, and XM209.