Simon Pagenaud on pole at Mid-Ohio
LEXINGTON, Ohio – With the threat of afternoon thunderstorms at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Verizon IndyCar Series teams were in for a nail-biting Verizon P1 Award qualifying session Saturday afternoon.
When the dust settled, Simon Pagenaud earned his sixth pole of the season in the No. 22 PPG Automotive Refinish Team Penske Chevrolet, setting the sixth new track record of the IndyCar season at 1 minute, 3.8700 seconds (127.271 mph).
After all three practice sessions featured fast laps quicker than the official track record of 1:04.5814 (125.869 mph), it was of little surprise when Pagenaud beat that mark with a lap of 1:04.2483 (126.522 mph) in Group 1 of Segment 1.
Group 2 of the first segment saw teams scramble to get fast laps in ahead of threatening weather and Will Power (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet) led the group with a new track record of 1:04.1430 (126.729 mph), but the session was not without surprise.
For Chip Ganassi Racing, which has won 10 times at Mid-Ohio, it was a shock that only two of its four drivers advanced from the first segment, as rookie Max Chilton (No. 8 Gallagher Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet) and Tony Kanaan (No. 10 NTT Data Chevrolet) failed to advance. Kanaan was bumped in the final seconds by Indianapolis 500 winner Alexander Rossi of Andretti Herta Autosport with Curb-Agajanian, and was extremely frustrated after running up front all weekend.