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Newgarden leads Penske top three sweep in DXC Technology 600 qualifying

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Josef Newgarden captured the pole in what was a Team Penske sweep of the top three in positions in qualifying for Saturday night’s DXC Technology 600 at Texas Motor Speedway.

Newgarden posted a two-lap average 220.613 mph, bettering teammates Simon Pagenaud (220.311 mph) and Will Power (220.194). Power actually appeared to be on a pole run on his first lap, but hit the hard rev limiter entering Turn 3, which cost him valuable time.

Newgarden’s pole is his second of the year, and his third since joining Team Penske last year – it’s also the fourth of his Verizon IndyCar Series career.

“We fought all weekend. To come here and have speed in all the race cars is really nice,” Newgarden said afterward. “I think it comes down to a lot of things, the team, the personnel we have. We have some of the best people in the paddock. You can see that. When you have cars go 1-2-3, it shows the competitiveness of all the cars.”

Robert Wickens, who tied Tony Kanaan for the fastest time in practice, posted a lap of 219.561 mph to qualify fourth.

Sebastian Bourdais (219.302 mph) rounded out the top five.

Kanaan (219.157 mph) was unable to back up his practice speed and qualified sixth. Scott Dixon, Alexander Rossi, Takuma Sato, and Ryan Hunter-Reay rounded out the top 10.

Other notables include James Hinchcliffe (15th) and Graham Rahal (19th), both of whom struggled mightily in qualifying.

Results are below.

 

 

 

Alex Palou fastest as several go off course during IndyCar practice at IMS

IndyCar Harvest GP practice
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Alex Palou paced the opening practice Thursday for the IndyCar Harvest GP at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.

The Dale Coyne Racing rookie turned a 1-minute, 10.177-second lap around the 2.439-mile, 14-turn road course in his No. 55 Dallara-Honda.

Jack Harvey was second, followed by Colton Herta, points leader Scott Dixon and Max Chilton.

FRIDAY AT IMS: Details for watching Race 1 of the Harvest GP

Qualifying for Friday’s race will be at 6:20 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Gold.

Will Power, who won the pole position for the July 4 race at the track, spun off course with just more than a minute left in the session after the left rear of his No. 12 Dallara-Chevrolet made slight contact with the right front of Alexander Rossi’s No. 28 Dallara-Honda.

Power was among several drivers who went off track, but there were no damaged cars during the session. Marcus Ericsson missed the final 5 minutes of the practice after being penalized for causing a red flag with a Turn 8 spin.

Arrow McLaren SP drivers Pato O’Ward and Helio Castroneves, who is driving for Oliver Askew (who is recovering from concussion-like symptoms), also veered off course as did rookie Rinus VeeKay and Santino Ferrucci.

Seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson was in attendance at the session before racing Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway. Johnson will be driving a partial schedule of road and street courses in IndyCar next season for Chip Ganassi Racing.

“Literally, the smallest of details, I can pick up on,” Johnson told NBC Sports pit reporter Kevin Lee. “It’s been really nice today just to see how a session starts and obviously to jump on the radio and listen to how the systems work and then obviously you get into the car and the setup and such. I’m at Ground Zero right now, a 45-year-old rookie trying to learn my way into a new sport essentially.”

Johnson told Lee his sponsorship hunt to run a Ganassi car “has gone really well. The fact that I’m here today and ingrained so deeply in the team is a great sign of where things are going. Looking forward to getting behind the wheel of a car soon and hopefully having some announcements for the world to see soon, too.”

Fans were in attendance Thursday for the first time this season at IMS, which is allowed a limited crowd of 10,000 for its races this weekend.