ELKHART LAKE, Wisconsin – Helio Castroneves reached a level only a select few have in Indy car history by taking the Verizon P1 Award in today’s qualifying for the KOHLER Grand Prix at Road America.
Castroneves collected the landmark 50th pole position of his Indy car career by running a lap of 1 minute, 41.3007 seconds (142.649 mph) in the Firestone Fast Six, the last of three rounds of knockout qualifying on the 4.014-mile, 14-turn permanent road course in east-central Wisconsin. The achievement broke a tie for third on the all-time list with Bobby Unser and leaves Castroneves behind only Mario Andretti (67) and A.J. Foyt (53) atop the Indy car career poles chart.
KOHLER GRAND PRIX: Unofficial qualifying results
Driving the No. 3 REV Group Team Penske Chevrolet, Castroneves led a Team Penske sweep of the top four qualifying positions. Joining the Brazilian celebrating his 20th year in Indy car competition on the front row in Sunday’s race will be Will Power, whose lap of 1:41.3611 (142.564 mph) in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet puts the defending Road America race winner on the first row for the third time in four career starts at the track.
Josef Newgarden qualified third (tying his season’s best) in the No. 2 DeVilbiss Team Penske Chevrolet (1:41.6608, 142.143 mph), with reigning Verizon IndyCar Series champion Simon Pagenaud fourth in the No. 1 Menards Team Penske Chevrolet (1:42.0385, 141.617 mph). A Team Penske tweet stated it is the fourth time that the team has owned the top four qualifying spots in an Indy car race.
Scott Dixon remained the only Verizon IndyCar Series driver to reach the Firestone Fast Six at every event this season. The Chip Ganassi Racing driver qualified fifth in the No. 9 NTT Data Honda (1:42.9308, 140.389 mph). Graham Rahal will start sixth in the No. 15 GEHL/D-A Lubricant Honda for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (1:45.0464, 137.562 mph).
Marco Andretti tied his season-best qualifying performance and will start eighth in the No. 27 Andretti Autosport Honda (1:42.8614, 140.484 mph). Mikhail Aleshin, forced to miss practice Friday while settling visa issues to allow him to travel to the United States, was back in the No. 7 SMP Racing Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda today and qualified 19th (1:43.8891, 139.094 mph).
A final 30-minute warmup practice starts at 9 a.m. ET Sunday and streams live on RaceControl.IndyCar.com. Live race coverage begins at 12:30 p.m. on NBCSN and the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network.