ELKHART LAKE, Wis – Surprise, surprise, Scott Dixon didn’t make the Firestone Fast Six in Saturday’s Verizon IndyCar Series qualifying round. That left the door open for other to make up some ground in the standings for Sunday’s Kohler Grand Prix (12:30 p.m. ET/NBCSN/INDYCAR Radio Network).
They’d do just that.
Dixon’s main challengers for this year’s championship all made the Fast Six and even saw Josef Newgarden win the pole for Sunday’s 55 Lap race in Road America. Newgarden, needed this too. He entered Sunday’s race without scoring a top five finish in five straight races. His last top five was in his win at Barber back in April. That dropped him from first to fifth in the standings.
Now, he’s been extremely fast this weekend.
Newgarden, was fastest in both practice sessions from the 4.014-mile track on Friday and won his third pole of the 2018 season on Saturday. It’s his fifth career pole, four of which coming since he joined Team Penske last season.
He will be joined by his teammate Will Power on the front row. It was Power’s 10th straight top six starting spot and ninth top three starting spot in 10 races this season. Power, won the 2016 race in Road America while Newgarden finished second last year.
They’re 1-2 to start the race on Sunday.
Row 2 is an all Andretti Autosport row as Ryan Hunter-Reay and Alexander Rossi will start third and fourth respectively. Hunter-Reay enters with four straight top five finishes on the season.
Rookie Robert Wickens rounded out the top five in his No. 6 Honda.
Simon Pagenaud surprisingly didn’t make it out of the first round as his No. 22 Chevrolet will start 14th. That’s the seventh time in the last two seasons he failed to qualify inside the top 10.
Kohler Grand Prix Starting Lineup
Row 4: Takuma Sato, Scott Dixon
Row 5: Graham Rahal, Spencer Pigot
Row 6: Zach Veach R, Ed Jones
Row 7: Jordan King R, Simon Pagenaud
Row 8: Marco Andretti, James Hinchcliffe
Row 9: Zachary Claman DeMelo R, Tony Kanaan
Row 10: Charlie Kimball, Matheus Leist R
Row 11: Alfonso Celis Jr. R, Max Chilton
Row 12: Gabby Chaves