Conor Daly and Josef Newgarden captured the pole positions in IndyCar Iowa Speedway qualifying for the race weekend doubleheader at the 0.894-mile oval.
Daly turned a 175.188-mph lap to start first in tonight’s race, whose starting order was determined by the first qualifying lap. The second qualifying lap set the lineup for Saturday.
It’s the first career pole position after 54 starts in the NTT Series for Daly (whose best previous start was seventh in 2016 at Toronto and best oval start had been 11th at Gateway in 2017).
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It also was the first pole for Trevor Carlin’s team and kept Chevrolets unbeaten for the top spot over Honda in six races this year.
— IndyCar on NBC (@IndyCaronNBC) July 17, 2020
“Well, I guess I didn’t hold Pato up that time, that’s for sure,” Daly cracked to NBC Sports Gold reporter Dillon Welch, a reference to Pato O’Ward, whom he battled in both races at Road America last weekend (including a crash in Saturday’s race that injured Daly’s shoulder).
“This is awesome. So thankful to have a bit of a comeback, to be driving this car. I’m just so thankful to be here. I hated this place the last few years. Now we’re on the pole. This is hilarious. We’ve got one more mission tonight. and that’s the race so hopefully we can execute.”
It’s also the second start of the season in the No. 59 Chevrolet for Daly, who finished sixth with Carlin in the June 6 season opener at Texas Motor Speedway before moving to Ed Carpenter Racing for the past three races on road courses.
Say hello to your Race #1 Pole winning team!!!! So unbelievably, ridiculously excited for @ConorDaly22 and the @GallagherGlobal team!!! #GallagherRacing // #XCDS // #AssentAero pic.twitter.com/69pjxMlpX1
— Carlin (@CarlinRacing) July 17, 2020
Newgarden will start second in tonight’s race at Iowa, followed by Will Power, Colton Herta and Alexander Rossi.
Takuma Sato will start sixth, followed by Felix Rosenqvist, who scored his first career IndyCar victory Sunday at Road America, O’Ward, Jack Harvey and Marcus Ericsson.
The starting position woes this season continued for Simon Pagenaud, who had to wave off his IndyCar Iowa Speedway qualifying attempts because of a fuel pressure problem. He will start 23rd in both races. After qualifying third at Texas, Pagenaud’s best starting spot in five races has been 17th.
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Daly also was second fastest in an afternoon practice paced by Colton Herta. In three previous starts at Iowa, Daly had qualified 21st, 19th and 16th (last year when he finished 13th, his best at the track).
“I think so,” Daly said when asked by Welch if he had the pace to earn his first IndyCar victory. “In practice, we were happy the whole time. We’ve got clean air. This is wild. I’ve started on the last row every time I’ve raced here. Quite a difference.”
The front row in IndyCar Iowa Speedway qualifying for Saturday went to the Team Penske Chevrolets of Newgarden and Power. It’s the third pole this season for Newgarden, who also qualified first at Texas and Road America.
Daly was third in the qualifying results for Saturday’s race, followed by Ryan Hunter-Reay, Herta, Harvey, Alex Palou, Tony Kanaan, Ericsson and Rosenqvist.