Their positions from Road America are reversed, but the Team Penske duo of Will Power and Josef Newgarden again grabbed the front row spots for tomorrow afternoon’s Iowa Corn 300. Power won his 52nd career pole with an average of 182.371, edging Newgarden by 0.24 seconds. Only the top four qualifiers topped 180 mph. Ryan Hunter-Reay starts third and Simon Pagenaud starts fourth.
In a qualifying session that pretty much followed expectations, the biggest surprises were the performances of Spencer Pigot and Marco Andretti. Both were in the top ten in morning practice, but huge second lap drop-offs have them starting 18th and 19th respectively. Zach Veach, another front runner in the morning, will start 14th.
The top five in points will start in the top six positions. Pagenaud is the only top six starter not in the top five.
For the second race in a row, the fifth place driver in the standings won the pole.
Points leader Scott Dixon starts sixth. He has yet to win at Iowa Speedway.
Observations from Final Practice
Alexander Rossi put on quite a show passing lots of cars. he would stalk them for a few laps, then was able to pass on either side. His best pass was on Simon Pagenaud. he chased the Penske driver but quite the run he needed. When the pair came upon the slower car of Matheus Leist, Rossi got Pagenaud to end up directly behind Leist, slowing him enough for Rossi to dart around him. It was a thing of beauty.
Zach Veach looked very good, passing cars and running a consistent line.
Pagenaud lost an engine with less than 10 minutes left in the session.