Sunday, March 26, 2023

Newgarden Soars To Detroit Pole, Busy Traffic In Qualifying

Josef Newgarden drives around the Raceway at Belle Isle Park.
Josef Newgarden keeps the streak of seven different NTT IndyCar Series pole winners in the first seven races of the season. Image courtesy of Joe Skibinski / Penske Entertainment

Josef Newgarden put his No. 2 Team Penske Chevrolet on pole for Sunday’s Detroit Grand Prix from the Raceway at Belle Isle Park.

The 31-year-old Tennessee native put up a flying lap at 1m12.2153s around the 13-turn, 2.35-mile street course to earn his third career pole in the Motor City. It’s the 16th overall pole in Newgarden’s 171st career NTT IndyCar Series start.

Newgarden, a winner of two IndyCar races this season was absolutely elated.

“Oh I was loose, I was about hitting the wall every lap,” Newgarden said, via Peacock. “Or not every lap, but every corner I should say. I think we neeeded two laps to get temperature, this set was a little better than the first set I ran, just struggling to build temp.

“But it was so loose and I was like, just got to stay in it, I knew the track was grippier. That was a good pole, sometimes the car is just so good, it’s just hooked up. I mean I was loose today, but we put it together, really proud of the team.”

Pleasant surprises from the afternoon were the Dale Coyne Racing and Co. drivers of Takuma Sato and David Malukas. Both made the Fast Six, Sato will roll off on the front row alongside Newgarden.

Malukas earns his best starting position in his IndyCar career with sixth.

Meyer Shank Racing continue their speed in Detroit and outperformed their alliance members of Andretti Autosport. Simon Pagenaud qualified third with Helio Castroneves fourth.

Pato O’Ward rounded out the top five being one of only two Chevrolets that went for pole. Colton Herta, Marcus Ericsson, Scott Dixon, Scott McLaughlin, Alexander Rossi and Romain Grosjean finish the top 12 starting positions.

In the Fast 12 runs, Grosjean caused a session-ending single car incident that leaves his No. 28 Andretti Honda team with much to fix as they head into the race.

Romain Grosjean Spins, Pounds Concrete Barrier In Fast 12 Qualifying

In the first group of the initial round, Kyle Kirkwood did not have the qualifying run he’d hoped for. The No. 14 AJ Foyt Racing team had to repair mechanical issues that caused a practice incident on Saturday morning, he also had a pit-lane penalty for speed during the session.

Also in the opening minutes, Santino Ferrucci went for a tail end tap against the wall exiting Turn 13. No major damage sustained by the No. 77 Juncos Hollinger Racing Chevrolet.

Multiple traffic issues in the second group outing of Round 1 as Alex Palou did not advance to Round 2. The 25-year-old had his Chip Ganassi Racing teammate, Jimmie Johnson, in front when Palou tried to put a lap to make it to the Fast 12.

Felix Rosenqvist was penalized for an interference, exited pit-lane right in front of Johnson. The Arrow McLaren SP driver had his two fastest circuits disallowed.

Dalton Kellett was the only driver who did not participate in qualifying due to a late incident in the second practice. The No. 4 AFR Chevrolet slammed the outside Turn 13 wall, they will be ready for the warmup.

Up Next: A 30-minute warmup on Sunday at 10:15 a.m. ET, live coverage on Peacock and IndyCar Radio.

Matt Narváez
Matt Narváez
Matthew is a NASCAR contributor apart of the team. A fan of racing since 2011, he has had passion for sports journalism since 2015 and is a current Mass Communications student at the University of South Florida.

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