IndyCar

Josef Newgarden wins pole position for IndyCar Detroit Grand Prix Race 2

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After winning yesterday’s Race 1 of the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix, Josef Newgarden won the pole position for Race 2 this afternoon with a lap of 1 minute, 14.8607 seconds around the 2.35-mile Belle Isle Park street circuit.

The pole is the first for Newgarden since last year at Toronto, as well as the first of his career at Belle Isle.

“It was a good lap,” Newgarden told NBC Sports. “I got it on the first one. I could tell the temperatures were coming up quicker than yesterday. Normally, our second lap is our peak lap, and I could see the grip was already there so I had to go, and the second lap was done. The tires were already burned off so I tried to maximize that first one.”

“I must have got lucky, you know? I guess it worked out.”

Race 1 polesitter Alexander Rossi attempted to make it back-to-back poles from qualifying Group 1, but his time of 1 minute, 15.1825 seconds was not enough to put his NAPA Honda at the top. He’ll start today’s race from the outside front row.

Rossi’s teammate at Andretti Autosport, Zach Veach (1:15.2625), qualified third and will share the second row with rookie Colton Herta (1:15.6478).

James Hinchcliffe (1:15.4393) and Scott Dixon (1:15.8003) are set to line up in the third row, and behind them will be two more rookies in the fourth row: Felix Rosenqvist (1:15.4958) from Chip Ganassi Racing and Patricio O’Ward (1:15.9263) from Carlin.

As for Indianapolis 500 champion Simon Pagenaud, he’ll have to climb from mid-pack again today after qualifying 14th (1:16.2190).

But it could be much worse. Graham Rahal (1:17.3698) will start this afternoon’s race from the 22nd and final starting position after he experienced a gearbox failure.

Group 2 qualifying was interrupted by a nearly 50-minute red flag delay due to water on the track at Turn 6. A tarp on the tire barriers there sagged and released rain water collected from yesterday.

Once the clean-up was over, INDYCAR officials reset the clock to the full 12 minutes for Group 2 competitors.

Coverage of Race 2 for the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix begins at 3:00 p.m. ET on NBC.

Click here for full qualifying results 

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Kyle Busch happy with first stint: ‘Put me in the car, there’s excitement!’

AP Photo/Terry Renna
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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The Rolex 24 at Daytona debut of the “KB Show” was cut short by a strategy maneuver but still delivered drama and a positive result.

Kyle Busch got the No. 14 RCF GT3 Lexus back on the lead lap and back in contention for a GTD victory at Daytona International Speedway.

“It was good,” Kyle Busch said with a broad smile after a 42-minute stint. “Just, uh, shit, put me in the car, and there’s excitement around! Drove all my way back to the lead lap and everything.

“Overall, we’ve had a good experience and hell I only got one stint in, so I’m ready for more. Sign me up, coach!”

The two-time Cup champion was expected to drive for at least 90 minutes, but the first full-course caution of the race (with 19 hours and 16 minutes remaining) caused AIM Vasser Sullivan to change up its drive plan. Busch was called to the pits in favor of Parker Chase.

“With all the strategy and the way the wave-bys work here, it’s quite different than what we’re accustomed to (in NASCAR),” said Busch, who likely will drive longer now later in the race. “That wasn’t bad. To get ourselves back on the lead lap and back to a position where we can start scrapping again hopefully is what we needed.

“So I got one stint in, but I’m trying to save myself and (teammate) Jack (Hawksworth) for a little later.”

Busch climbed into the car shortly after 6 p.m. as the last of the No. 14’s four drivers. He complained a few times on his radio about traffic, which he said was his biggest challenge.

“There were a couple of instances we ran down a smaller car, and (it was) just mirror driving in front of us,” he said. “That was pretty bad. We lost probably 2 seconds on that. Overall, I guess that’s road racing.

The yellow flag was exactly what Busch’s team needed after being forced to start from the rear of the field when it missed qualifying because of an engine change. Hawksworth, who started the race, said the car was “quick in the wrong places and slow in the right places” after struggling with handling and speed in the first stint.

“I don’t feel we’re out of it,” Hawksworth said. “It’s a very long race. Still early days. We need to work on having speed for the end of the race. The position right now doesn’t really make any difference. We’ll need to find some performance at the end of the race to fight for the win.”