A year on from the race in which Justin Wilson was tragically killed when he was struck by a nosecone from Sage Karam’s crashed car, Russian driver Mikhail Aleshin takes first career pole for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports at Pocono Raceway.
After leading his team mate James Hinchcliffe in a Schmidt Peterson Motorsports 1-2 in Free Practice, Aleshin, who sits 16th in the championship standings, set an aggregate time of 1:21.6530, while Hinchcliffe only managed 6th after being 0.3655 off Aleshin.
Ed Carpenter Racing’s Joesef Newgarden qualified 2nd just 0.0926 off pole, with Takuma Sato rounding off the top three 0.1401 off pole.
Former Manor F1 driver and winner of the 100th running of the Indy 500, Alexander Rossi qualified 7th.
Championship leader, Simon Pagenaud qualified in 14th place, 1.0215 off the pace, while defending champion, Scott Dixon qualified in 19th almost two seconds off the pace, after which he complained of a loose condition on his car.
Two time Indy 500 winner and former Williams F1 driver, Juan Pablo Montoya qualified 15th after his car had to be rebuilt out of different pieces from Team Penske’s garage following a crash at the end of Saturday morning’s practice session. Charlie Kimball and Ryan Hunter-Reay, last year’s race winner, also crashed in the practice session, and are placed 16th and 22nd respectively, after Hunter-Reay was unable to take part in the qualifying session.
However, according to Fox Sport’s Samuel Reiman, “…drivers were not too concerned with their qualifying pace, as Sunday’s race will be a long one, with 200 laps making up 500 miles around the 2.5-mile tri-oval.”
The ABC Supply 500 at the Pocono Raceway is the penultimate oval track on the sixteen track schedule and the thirteenth round overall.
Sunday’s race starts at 8 p.m. BST.
1. Mikhail Aleshin 1.21.6530
2. Josef Newgarden 1.21.7456
3. Takuma Sato 1.21.7931
4. Helio Castroneves 1.21.8997
5. Carlos Munoz 1.21.9498
6. James Hinchcliffe 1.22.0185
7. Alexander Rossi 1.22.0696
8. Will Power 1.22.3359
9. Tony Kanaan 1.22.3399
10. Ed Carpenter 1.22.4086
11. Graham Rahal 1.22.4917
12. Jack Hawksworth 1.22.5495
13. Marco Andretti 1.22.5643
14. Simon Pagenaud 1.22.6745
15. Juan Pablo Montoya 1.22.8407
16. Charlie Kimball 1.22.9811
17. Max Chilton 1.23.0682
18. Sebastien Bourdais 1.23.2320
19. Scott Dixon 1.23.5900
20. Conor Daly 1.23.8158
21. Pippa Mann 1.25.2001
22. Ryan Hunter-Reay No Time Set
For clarification on IndyCar’s qualifying procedures see http://www.indycar.com/…/Understandin…/Qualfiying-Procedures