Josef Newgarden has always enjoyed coming to Road America. His affinity for the legendary road course has only grown over the course of his career, and today he added more to it. Newgarden captured pole position for tomorrow’s race with a blistering 1:46.0186 second lap in the Firestone Fast Six. It is the second pole of the season for the Team Penske driver, and his third at Road America.
Colton Herta will join Newgarden on the front row on Sunday. The Andretti Autosport driver has done well in Elkhart Lake, finishing inside the top five in both races last season. It is the second straight year that he will start on the front row. He started from pole in his first race here during the 2019 season.
Qualification Results for the REV Group Grand Prix at Road America
Row 2 for tomorrow’s race features Jack Harvey and Will Power. This is the third time that Harvey has qualified inside the top three here, and Power won this race from pole in 2016 and has two runner-up finishes as well. Alex Palou and Simon Pagenaud will start from Row 3 on Sunday.
Romain Grosjean narrowly missed out on the Firestone Fast Six but will start 7th tomorrow alongside Ryan Hunter-Reay. The veteran driver has four top-four finishes at Road America but has never led a lap in his six starts. His teammate Alexander Rossi will start behind him in 9th. This is the place where Rossi last won a race, back in 2019.
Rounding out the top ten qualifiers on Saturday was Pato O’Ward, who nearly won this race last year. “We just haven’t found the right balance since practice one,” O’Ward said. “We were okay with the cooler temperatures this morning, but any time it gets a little bit warmer, we’re not in the window.”
Two veterans will start in Row 7 as Scott Dixon and Graham Rahal will have some work to do on Sunday. Dixon was eliminated in the first round of qualifying after a brutal start to the day. The undertray on his No. 9 Honda had to be repaired after he ran over a piece of debris in the Carousel corner, causing him to miss about 15 minutes in the morning practice session.
“It’s frustrating with how compact these weekends are, and if you lose any kind of sequence of it, the roll-on effect is pretty big,” Dixon said. “It is what it is; you can’t do anything about it. It was something on the track, something I couldn’t avoid in a corner that I couldn’t really avoid.” Dixon is currently third in the championship standings, 36 points behind O’Ward.
The race distance is 55 laps, which is 220.55 miles around the 4.014-mile 14-turn street circuit. Newgarden was on the pole for Race 1 last year, which was won by Scott Dixon. O’Ward was on pole in Race 2, which was won by Rosenqvist.
Coverage for the REV Group Grand Prix at Road America begins at 12 PM ET on NBC Sports Network.