(Photo: Justin R. Noe/ASP, Inc.)

Josef Newgarden Scores IndyCar Road America Pole

By Aaron Bearden, Open Wheel Editor

Josef Newgarden will lead the Verizon IndyCar Series field to green in Sunday’s Kohler Grand Prix at Road America.

Newgarden survived to the Fast Six and bested Team Penske teammate Will Power with a time of 1:42.2026 to claim the Verizon P1 Award in IndyCar qualifying from Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. The result was Newgarden’s third pole of 2018, giving him more poles this season than in his six prior years of IndyCar competition combined.

It’s nice when you have the car to do it,” Newgarden said afterward. “We had the speed on Friday so to finish it off today is nice.

“It’s only goal one. Two races; one for pole, one for the race. We need to close it out.”

Power followed Newgarden by a deficit of just .0482 seconds to slot in second and complete the Penske front row sweep. The run served as the third-consecutive pole for Penske in Road America, following similar performances from Helio Castroneves (2016) and Power (2017) in recent seasons.

Andretti Autosport teammates Ryan Hunter-Reay and Alexander Rossi ended the session in third and fourth, with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports’ Robert Wickens and Dale Coyne Racing’s Sebastien Bourdais completing the Fast Six. Takuma Sato, Scott Dixon, Graham Rahal and Simon Pagenaud rounded out the top 10.

Juncos Racing’s Alfonso Celis Jr. qualified 21st for his IndyCar debut.

Coverage for the Kohler Grand Prix will begin Sunday at 12:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

Kohler Grand Prix Starting Lineup

  1. Josef Newgarden
  2. Will Power
  3. Ryan Hunter-Reay
  4. Alexander Rossi
  5. Robert Wickens
  6. Sebastien Bourdais
  7. Takuma Sato
  8. Scott Dixon
  9. Graham Rahal
  10. Spencer Pigot
  11. Zach Veach
  12. Ed Jones
  13. Jordan King
  14. Simon Pagenaud
  15. Marco Andretti
  16. James Hinchcliffe
  17. Zachary Claman de Melo
  18. Tony Kanaan
  19. Charlie Kimball
  20. Matheus Leist
  21. Alfonso Celis Jr.
  22. Max Chilton
  23. Gabby Chaves

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Aaron Bearden is a Contributing Writer for Motorsports Tribune, handling coverage of both the Verizon IndyCar Series and ABB FIA Formula E Championship. A native Hoosier, Bearden has attended races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway since he was three years old. He can be found on social media at @AaronBearden93.