Herta, Honda Claim Portland Pole

  • Rookie Colton Herta uses final-lap run to score his second pole of 2019
  • Scott Dixon to start third, Jack Harvey fourth
  • Honda drivers take five of “Fast Six” final-round qualifying positions

PORTLAND, Ore. (August 31, 2019) – After leading practice on Friday, Honda-powered rookie Colton Herta again led the way today at Portland International Raceway today, claiming the pole on his final qualifying lap for Sunday’s Grand Prix of Portland.

Advancing through the first two rounds of NTT IndyCar Series knockout qualifying, Herta trailed early-pace setter Will Power after all six final-round qualifiers made their initial laps. Exiting the pits with just over a minute remaining in the session, Herta posted a lap of 57.8111 seconds around the 1.9-mile PIR road course to edge Power by 19 one-thousandths of a second. Today’s performance is the second IndyCar Series pole of the season for the 19-year-old rookie, with Herta’s first pole having come on the Road America road course in June.

Defending series champion Scott Dixon will start third as Honda drivers claimed five of the top six starting positions. Dixon’s Chip Ganassi Racing teammate, Felix Rosenqvist, qualified fifth. Making just his ninth road course start of the season, Jack Harvey will start fourth for Meyer Shank Racing. Ryan Hunter-Reay rounded out the Fast Six qualifiers for Andretti Autosport.

Television coverage of Sunday’s Grand Prix of Portland, the 16th and next-to-last round of the 2019 season, begins at 3 p.m. EDT on NBC.

Colton Herta (Harding Steinbrenner Racing Honda) Pole qualifier, second pole of 2019 and second career IndyCar Series pole: “We always planned to do three-and-one [three laps on the Firestone primary ‘Black’ sidewall tires, and one lap on the softer compound ‘Reds’ in the final round of qualifying]. We didn’t have it on the ‘Blacks’, I think we were like five-hundredths [of a second] off Will [Power]. Obviously, ‘Reds’ were the right choice and we pulled it off. It’s always a good day when you can beat Will Power in the Fast Six [final qualifying]. Before I knew we won the pole position, I went on the radio and heard everyone cheering, so to find out that way was really cool. This is awesome.”

NTT IndyCar Series Grand Prix of Portland

Circuit:                  Portland International Raceway (1.9-mile road course) Portland, Oregon

2018 Winner:     Takuma Sato (Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda) 102.971 mph average speed

Weather:           Mostly sunny, warm, 82 degrees F

Top-12, Honda Qualifying Results:

Ps. Driver       Team Manufacturer Best Time Notes
1. Colton Herta-R Harding Steinbrenner Racing Honda 57.8111 122.302 mph average
2. Will Power Team Penske Chevrolet 57.8303 +0.0192 seconds
3. Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing Honda 57.8355 Fast Six Final Qualifying
4. Jack Harvey Meyer Shank Racing              Honda 58.1008 Fast Six Final Qualifying
5. Felix Rosenqvist-R Chip Ganassi Racing              Honda 58.1620 Fast Six Final Qualifying
6. Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport Honda 58.1823 Fast Six Final Qualifying
7. Alexander Rossi Andretti Autosport Honda 57.8864 2nd Round Qualifying
8. James Hinchcliffe Arrow Schmidt Peterson Honda 57.9994 2nd Round Qualifying
9. Conor Daly Arrow Schmidt Peterson Honda 58.0192 2nd Round Qualifying
10. Spencer Pigot Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet 58.0415 2nd Round Qualifying
11. Zach Veach Andretti Autosport Honda 58.2149 2nd Round Qualifying
12. Sebastien Bourdais DCR with Vasser-Sullivan       Honda 58.3001 2nd Round Qualifying

Other Honda Results

14. Santino Ferrucci-R Dale Coyne Racing                 Honda 57.8476 1st Round, Group 2
15. Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda 57.9648 1st Round, Group 1
16. Marco Andretti Andretti Autosport Honda 57.8527 1st Round, Group 2
17. Takuma Sato Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda 57.9668 1st Round, Group 1