Kiwi Scott Dixon had to settle for the fourth on the grid as Will Power won his third pole of the season in Indianapolis on Friday (Saturday NZ time), setting a qualifying record for the IndyCar Grand Prix.
It wasn't his best finish, but the IndyCar Grand Prix was Spencer Pigot's best overall race at Ed Carpenter Racing.
"We just created some good strategies with them", Power said of the Firestone tires. "The Indy 500 past year sold out because of the community, not really because of what we did, but because of the way the community was and we feel that again".
"It messed up the whole race, really", Jones said. "I've been knocking on the door every week, and one is going to go our way here soon".
American Josef Newgarden was second at 1:10.2575 and will start third in the 22-car field.
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Pagenaud, the reigning series champion, finished fourth in the No. 1 Menards Team Penske Chevrolet to retain the points lead after five of 17 races.
"There are a few races where you know have bad luck and races you know you have good luck", Pagenaud said.
Pagenaud was bumped out in the closing seconds by France's Sebastien Bourdais in the closing moments of the semifinal round.
"I was just concentrating on hitting my marks", he said. "Excited for tomorrow. Hopefully we have a good, clean start and see what happens in the race". Andretti posted a 1:10.4911 and starts 11th. "To me, the biggest improvement I could make was going to be on ovals and so I spent a lot of time on that, and I think it's working".
"Whether it's hitting the pits faster or being able to manage your tire wear better or to have a better qualifying lap, things like that", he said.
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Sebastien Bourdais, a four-time Indy vehicle champion and victor of the season-opener at St. Petersburg in March, qualified a season-best sixth in the No. 18 Sonny's BBQ Honda for Dale Coyne Racing.
Graham Hill is the only driver to have earned the "Triple Crown of Motorsports", that same crown Fernando Alonso is hunting by racing in the Indy 500. Scott and I were kind of in the minority (of the final group).. There was a second-and-a-half difference between reds and blacks, so we came here with the same approach as a year ago but that quickly went out the window.
Pagenaud, who won the most recent Verizon IndyCar Series race April 29 at Phoenix Raceway, leads the championship by 18 points over Dixon heading into Saturday's 85-lapper (3:30 p.m. EDT, ABC and the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network). After winning the pole Friday in a track-record time, he only surrendered the lead twice on Saturday - both after pit stops. For the next two weeks, he will drive the No. 11 for upstart Juncos Racing. Power won previously in 2015. Helio Castroneves came home in the 5th position.
Juan Pablo Montoya: The two-time Indianapolis 500 victor returns to IndyCar this weekend as part of an Indianapolis-only deal with Team Penske.
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