By Josh Farmer, IndyCar Reporter
Simon Pagenaud put himself in the perfect position to defend his points lead by taking the pole for the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis.
Pagenaud rose above the competition in Q2 after getting beaten by Team Penske teammate Will Power in Q1.
The Firestone Fast Six presented a competitive battle as six drivers from six teams were represented. When the green dropped, Pagenaud picked up where he left off and threw down a 1:08.6868 his final lap on the red option tires.
Charlie Kimball will roll off in second place, a career best start for the American.
Graham Rahal clicked off the third quickest lap of the session late in the Fast Six and was followed by fellow Honda pilot James Hinchcliffe, who rebounded from not running the opening session of practice yesterday and was quick in every session and pulled through in the Fast Six to qualify in fourth place.
In his first IndyCar qualifying session, Matthew Brabham led for much of group two but was bumped out late and will start in 16th place.
The qualifying struggles for Andretti Autosport continued as Ryan Hunter-Reay ended up in 17th, Carlos Munoz ended up in 19th and Marco Andretti ended up in 21st while team rookie Alexander Rossi carried the flag for the team in 14th place.
Rounding out the Fast Six was Josef Newgarden and Jack Hawsworth, who briefly held the track record with a lap of 1:09.1601s in Group 1. His record was soon eclipsed by Will Power in the next session with a lap of 1:08.6746.
Power was eliminated in Q2 along with teammate Juan Pablo Montoya, who was assessed a five minute penalty for missing the checkered flag in Q1.
Pagenaud’s closest title rival Scott Dixon made a mistake in turn 12 which ended up proving to be his undoing as he was eliminated in the session.
Image: Matthew Bishop/Tribute Racing