By Josh Farmer, IndyCar Reporter & NASCAR Contributor
LONG BEACH, Calif. – Helio Castroneves rose to the occasion in the Firestone Fast Six to claim his second straight pole at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.
Castroneves snuck his way out of group one and made it into the Fast Six. Once the green flag dropped for the Fast Six, Castroneves wasted no time from the get go and laid down the fastest lap of the session. Will Power went off course in turn 9 which brought out the red flag with two minutes to go.
Due to the yellow falling so late in the session, IndyCar elected to give the drivers one timed lap at speed. The laps proved to be a moot point as no one was able to dethrone Castroneves.
“I’m very happy, first of all, for the AAA car, we’ve been good all weekend long,” said Castroneves. “We’ve been working together all weekend long. I would say Team Penske probably had the upper hand. They say it’s better to be lucky than good and we planned very well.Defending Long Beach champion Scott Dixon made the most the one green lap and closed the gap down to .33s off Castroneves to start in second place, his best start at Long Beach. Points leader Simon Pagenaud will start from the third position. Tony Kanaan will start from fourth place while Juan Pablo Montoya will round out the top five.”
Despite causing the yellow in the Fast Six, Power will make his best start at Long Beach since 2013 in sixth place.
The Firestone Fast Six was slightly delayed when the timing and scoring line went out at the end of the second session. IndyCar managed to get the correct times and moved the timing line to the backstretch for the Fast Six.