In Group 1, Alex Palou of Dale Coyne Racing with Team Goh used two fresh sets of red tires to set a 69.2 and then a 69.1584 but Colton Herta of Andretti Autosport-Honda then responded with a 69.1017 which remained unmatchable, although teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay drew within one-tenth of this pair to land P3. Herta thus grabbed a championship point and a guaranteed front row start.
Felix Rosenqvist was fourth for Chip Ganassi Racing, but yesterday’s polesitter Rinus VeeKay was only seventh after making a mistake on his quickest lap.
In Group 2, Takuma Sato’s Rahal Letterman Lanigan-Honda car went straight out on reds and set a 69.7584, while Team Penske’s Will Power turned a 69.9 on the harder compound Firestone primaries.
Switching to reds, Power then delivered the killer punch with a 68.9767sec around the 2.439-mile road course, a quarter second faster than next fastest in group, Alexander Rossi of Andretti Autosport, with Arrow McLaren SP’s Pato O’Ward third. They will start third and fifth respectively, alongside Palou and Hunter-Reay.
Yesterday’s winner Josef Newgarden was fifth fastest so will roll off ninth, while his championship adversary Scott Dixon of Chip Ganassi Racing was eighth so will start 15th.
Lap times in Group 2 were all within one second of Power’s pole, which is…