Newgarden scores first career IndyCar pole in Milwaukee

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MILWAUKEE – Josef Newgarden and the CFH Racing team carried their practice pace into qualifying en route to the Verizon P1 Award for the 12th round of the Verizon IndyCar Series season.

It’s Newgarden’s first pole position of his career, and also the first for the CFH team since both Ed Carpenter Racing and Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing merged – incidentally, a move reported at this race last year by NBCSN reporter Robin Miller.

Newgarden’s two-lap average of 170.223 mph in the No. 67 Direct Supply CFH Racing Chevrolet topped the field, and was one of two drivers in the 170 range.

Newgarden’s pole is also the first from outside Chip Ganassi Racing and Team Penske since Mid-Ohio 2014, when Sebastien Bourdais took the top spot. Power’s pole at Milwaukee last year kicked off a string of 14 races in a row where a Penske or Ganassi driver took the top spot.

Ryan Briscoe, a past race winner and polesitter in Milwaukee, qualified second in the No. 5 Arrow/Lucas Oil Schmidt Peterson Honda at 170.086 mph.

Chip Ganassi Racing teammates Sage Karam and Tony Kanaan were third and fourth, with Briscoe’s Schmidt Peterson Motorsports teammate James Jakes completing an abnormal top five on the grid.

Auto Club Speedway race winner Graham Rahal qualified sixth, ahead of Charlie Kimball, points leader Juan Pablo Montoya, Marco Andretti and Scott Dixon.

It was a tough qualifying session for Penske’s four cars; Montoya was eighth while Will Power was 14th, Simon Pagenaud 17th and Helio Castroneves 24th and last after missing his spot in the qualifying queue. The Brazilian will start from the rear of the field at a traditional bogey track.

Here is the provisional starting grid:

1 67 Josef Newgarden, 170.223
2 5 Ryan Briscoe, 170.086
3 8 Sage Karam (R), 169.639
4 10 Tony Kanaan, 169.542
5 7 James Jakes, 169.317
6 15 Graham Rahal, 169.126
7 83 Charlie Kimball, 169.122
8 2 Juan Pablo Montoya, 169.108
9 27 Marco Andretti, 168.994
10 9 Scott Dixon, 168.650
11 11 Sebastien Bourdais, 168.462
12 98 Gabby Chaves (R), 168.364
13 14 Takuma Sato, 168.288
14 1 Will Power, 167.978
15 25 Justin Wilson, 167.863
16 28 Ryan Hunter-Reay, 167.690
17 22 Simon Pagenaud, 167.422
18 26 Carlos Munoz, 166.545
19 4 Stefano Coletti (R), 166.410
20 19 Tristan Vautier, 165.786
21 41 Jack Hawksworth, 164.827
22 20 Ed Carpenter, 164.005
23 18 Pippa Mann, 159.214
24 3 Helio Castroneves, No Speed

IndyCar teams with NASCAR on IMS road course doubleheader in 2021

IndyCar NASCAR doubleheader 2021
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The NTT IndyCar Series will be sharing Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the NASCAR Cup Series in a race weekend doubleheader for the second consecutive season, but both series will be on the road course in August 2021.

IMS announced Wednesday that IndyCar will hold an Aug. 14, 2021 race on its 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. It’ll be a day before NASCAR’s premier series runs the same layout for the first time after the Brickyard 400 was contested on the 2.5-mile oval for the first time in 27 years.

This season’s rescheduling of the IndyCar GMR Grand Prix to July 4, 2019 (a day before the Brickyard 400) led to the first NASCAR-IndyCar doubleheader weekend. The Xfinity Series also raced on the IMS road course for the first time July 4 after the IndyCar race ended.

INDYCAR AT IMS THIS WEEKEND: Harvest GP schedule, entry lists

IndyCar will be holding its second race weekend this year at the IMS road course Friday and Saturday with the Harvest GP.

“Our first NASCAR-INDYCAR weekend was a big success last July, with positive feedback from
our loyal fans who watched the races on NBC and from the drivers, teams and participants
involved,” IMS president Douglas Boles said in a statement. “The Xfinity Series’ debut on the IMS road course provided exactly the kind of thrilling action from the green to checkered flags that we anticipated, so we know the teams and drivers of the Cup Series will put on a great show as they turn left and right for the first time at IMS.

“We can’t wait to welcome back fans to see NASCAR and INDYCAR together during this
exciting weekend as we add another memorable chapter in the long, storied history of the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”

It also will mark the first NASCAR Cup-IndyCar doubleheader with a crowd as fans weren’t permitted at IMS in July because of the novel coronvavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Over the course of Wednesday, NASCAR is releasing its 36-race slate for next season. IndyCar has yet to release its full 2021 schedule.