Helio Castroneves claimed his second pole at Iowa Speedway and his third pole of the season.
From the start of qualifying, it looked as if Chip Ganassi Racing were as gold as they were in practice as Tony Kanaan set a big two lap average of 183.125 mph that distanced himself from the field.
Castroneves went out five cars after Kanaan and responded with an even quicker two lap average of 183.480 mph.
“The Hitachi car was certainly strong,” said Castroneves. “We proved (last week) that when we have a good car we can come from the back to the front. Now, hopefully, we stay in front and never look back.”
“Obviously, the heat was the biggest factor and we as a team were able to find a good balance.”
Kanaan was forced to settle for second place for the second year in a row at Iowa after pacing both of yesterday’s practice sessions and will be searching for his sixth straight podium at the 7/8 mile oval
“Things happen very fast here, so the race is never boring. It goes really quick, not just because of the shortness of the track, but the nature of the race,” said Kanaan. “I think this year with the new aero kits, more downforce, so on, I think it’s going to be the most physical race we had on an oval. I don’t remember using this much effort in a long time. So it’s going to be hard.”
Points leader Juan Pablo Montoya claimed his best start since Toronto with a third place qualifying effort while Scott Dixon broke up a potential Penske sweep of positions 3-5 in fourth place.
Simon Pagenaud and Will Power will fill out the third row and Josef Newgarden completes a top seven sweep for Chevrolet.
Marco Andretti and Ryan Hunter-Reay carried the flag for Honda and Andretti Autosport and will start eighth and ninth on the grid while Sage Karam will start in 10th place.
Milwaukee winner Sebastien Bourdais spun as he hit a bump in turn 1 and managed to lightly bump the wall with the rear pods of the car which caused only minor damage to the #11 Mystic e-cig entry. He will start in 24th place.
“It’s pretty self explanatory (the spin),” said Bourdais. “It was loose on the out lap and on the bump it just spun around.
“Thankfully, the car is not in pieces. It just damaged the rear cell, which was a separate one for qualifying anyways.”