After winning the Honda Indy Toronto from the pole last weekend, Simon Pagenaud won the pole position for the Iowa 300 Friday afternoon with an average two-lap speed of 180.073 mph around the 0.894-mile Iowa Speedway.
The pole is the third of the season for the Frenchman, who also won the Indianapolis 500 from the pole in May.
“Awesome job form the team. The car was really good in quali,” Pagenaud told NBC Sports following his pole run. “It’s really tough. It’s 135 degrees on the racetrack, so to get the balance right is really complicated. Ben Bretzman [Pagenaud’s Crew Chief] did a great job setting it up.
“I just focused on my stuff and just really sent it, quite frankly. It was the most intense two laps I’ve ever lived.”
Teammate Will Power will start alongside Pagenaud in Row 1, qualifying second-fastest with an average speed of 179.589 mph. Josef Newgarden completed the Penske 1-2-3 sweep by qualifying third with an average speed of 179.449 mph.
Takuma Sato (179.449 mph) qualified fourth-fastest, while defending Iowa 300 winner James Hinchcliffe (176.200 mph) qualified fifth.
Alexander Rossi (176.057 mph) qualified sixth while Graham Rahal (175.857 mph), Scott Dixon (175.725 mph), Ryan Hunter-Reay (175.725 mph), and Marcus Ericsson (175.578 mph) qualified seventh through 10th.
Live coverage of the Iowa 300 begins tomorrow evening at 7:00 p.m. ET on NBCSN.
Click here for full qualifying results
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Will Power led the only IndyCar Road America practice of the weekend Saturday, shooting to the top of the chart on his 22nd and final lap of the session at 1 minute, 46.0021 seconds in his No. 12 Dallara-Chevrolet.
Dixon knocked Jack Harvey’s No. 60 Dallara-Honda from the top spot (which would have marked the first time that a Meyer-Shank Racing car led practice).
Josef Newgarden, Power’s Team Penske teammate, was third, followed by Felix Rosenqvist and Ryan Hunter-Reay (who went off course late in the session but sustained no damage).
Alex Palou, Colton Herta, Graham Rahal, defending race winner Alexander Rossi and Pato O’Ward rounded out the top 10 in the practice that preceded a Saturday-Sunday race weekend doubleheader for IndyCar at Road America.
PRACTICE RESULTS: Click here to see who was fastest in the session
RACE INFORMATION: What you need to know for today’s REV Group Grand Prix
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IndyCar tested some new cooling devices with cars from Andretti Autosport, Chip Ganassi Racing and Team Penske. Several drivers have said the cockpit heat caused by the new aeroscreen was stifling during last week’s GMR Grand Prix, and IndyCar repositioned drink bottles this weekend to keep liquids cool
Scott Dixon, who is seeking to open the season with his third consecutive IndyCar victory, was 15th fastest at the Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, road course. Other notables in Road America practice: Marco Andretti (12th), Simon Pagenaud (19th).
Power is aiming for his second consecutive pole position after qualifying first last week on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.
Qualifying for the REV Group Grand Prix Race #1 will take place at 2:15 p.m. ET (NBCSN, NBC Sports Gold).
The broadcast of the IndyCar race at Road America will begin at 5 p.m. on NBCSN.