Pagenaud scores first pole with Team Penske at MAVTV 500 in Fontana

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A Team Penske driver is on the pole for Saturday afternoon’s MAVTV 500, but not one who’s had a pole this season, or had a pole at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. previously.

Simon Pagenaud has secured the Verizon P1 Award, his first of the season and second of his career (Houston race one, 2014) in the No. 22 Penske Truck Rental Chevrolet.

Pagenaud’s two-lap average topped out at 218.952 mph around the 2-mile oval, and led teammate Helio Castroneves, who like Pagenaud seeks both his first win of the season and first at ACS.

Marco Andretti broke up the Chevrolet dominated party at the top of the timesheets with third place, easily his best start of the season (had been seventh at Detroit race two) in the No. 27 Snapple Honda.

Ed Carpenter and Juan Pablo Montoya completed the top five; Montoya is the series points leader.

Scott Dixon qualified sixth, just ahead of the last two winners in Fontana, Tony Kanaan and Will Power, line up seventh and eighth respectively.

Takuma Sato and Sage Karam completed the top 10 qualifiers. James Jakes did not set a time after a mechanical issue in the second practice session.

Qualifying speeds are below:

FONTANA, Calif.- Results of qualifying Friday for the MAVTV 500 Verizon IndyCar Series event on the 2-mile Auto Club Speedway, with qualifying position, car number in parentheses, driver, aero kit-engine, and speed:

1. (22) Simon Pagenaud, Chevrolet, 218.952
2. (3) Helio Castroneves, Chevrolet, 218.734
3. (27) Marco Andretti, Honda, 217.797
4. (20) Ed Carpenter, Chevrolet, 217.666
5. (2) Juan Pablo Montoya, Chevrolet, 217.250
6. (10) Tony Kanaan, Chevrolet, 217.184
7. (9) Scott Dixon, Chevrolet, 217.184
8. (1) Will Power, Chevrolet, 217.176
9. (14) Takuma Sato, Honda, 217.109
10. (8) Sage Karam, Chevrolet, 217.060
11. (26) Carlos Munoz, Honda, 216.878
12. (67) Josef Newgarden, Chevrolet, 216.490
13. (83) Charlie Kimball, Chevrolet, 216.242
14. (28) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Honda, 215.983
15. (11) Sebastien Bourdais, Chevrolet, 215.719
16. (5) Ryan Briscoe, Honda, 215.526
17. (41) Jack Hawksworth, Honda, 215.346
18. (98) Gabby Chaves, Honda, 213.720
19. (15) Graham Rahal, Honda, 213.639
20. (19) Tristan Vautier, Honda, 213.317
21. (4) Stefano Coletti, Chevrolet, 212.644
22. (18) Pippa Mann, Honda, 210.528
23. (7) James Jakes, Honda, no speed