The first qualifying session is in the books. On a hot, steamy Texas afternoon, Josef Newgarden earned the pole for tonight’s Genesys 300 (8 p.m. ET, NBC, INDYCAR Radio Network). Newgarden, turned a two-lap average of 215.740 mph in his No. 1 Chevrolet to earn his ninth career Indy Car pole.
The defending series champion and is also the defending winner at the Texas Motor Speedway as well.
Starting along side of him is three-time Texas winner Scott Dixon. The Chip Ganassi Racing driver nearly earned his 1st Indy Car pole since the 2017 Indy 500 by qualifying with a speed of 215.638 mph.
Where Newgarden beat Dixon was his first lap was 215.796 mph compared to Dixon’s of 215.647. Lap 2 was 215.685-215.629.
Simon Pagenaud (215.464 mph) will start third while Ryan Hunter-Reay (214.311 mph) rebounded from a practice crash to qualify his No. 28 Honda fourth. His teammate Zach Veach (213.981 mph) rounds out the top five.
All three Penske cars will start in the top 3 rows, while the entire top 9 consists of Penske-Ganassi-Andretti-RLL cars.
Out of the last eight Texas races though, none have been won by a front row starter. In fact, we’ve only had one winner since 2012 coming from the top five even (Ed Carpenter 2014). Six of the last seven though have been won from Row 3 (twice) Row 4 (3 times) or Row 5 (once).
Penske, Ganassi and RLL have combined to win the last 5 Texas races and put six cars in the top 10 of Practice too. Andretti though had three of the other four cars but hasn’t won at Texas since 2004.
If you go back to 2015, they’ve won 72 times in 84 tries overall in INDYCAR (86%).
Genesys 300 Starting Lineup
Row 1: Josef Newgarden, Scott Dixon
Row 2: Simon Pagenaud, Ryan Hunter-Reay
Row 3: Zach Veach, Will Power
Row 4: Graham Rahal, Alexander Rossi
Row 5: Felix Rosenqvist, Tony Kanaan
Row 6: Marco Andretti, Charlie Kimball
Row 7: Ed Carpenter, Colton Herta
Row 8: James Hinchcliffe, Alex Palou R
Row 9: Marcus Ericsson, Pato O’Ward
Row 10: Conor Daly, Oliver Askew R
Row 11: Jack Harvey, Takuma Sato
Row 12: Rinus VeeKay R, Santino Ferrucci