By: Spencer Neff
August 31, 2019 | 6:46 PM
For the second time in 2019, Colton Herta won the NTT P1 Award. During the Fast Six, the rookie turned a best lap of 57.8111 seconds (122.302 mph) on the 1.964-mile, 12-turn Portland International Raceway. After an eventful three rounds of qualifying, Herta will start on pole for tomorrow’s Grand Prix of Portland.
For the Harding Steinbrenner Racing driver, it is his second pole in 17 starts, both within the last seven races. For the second-generation driver, the pole comes 21 years after his father, Bryan, won the pole here. In that race, Bryan Herta also earned a third-place finish, his career-best at PIR.
Alongside Herta on the front row will be 2018 pole winner Will Power. In a wild qualifying session, the Team Penske driver was lone Chevrolet-powered entry to reach the Fast Six. With Power topping the second round, CHevrolet led a session for the first time this weekend.
Rounding out the drivers who reached the final round were Scott Dixon (Chip Ganassi Racing), Jack Harvey (Meyer Shank Racing), Felix Rosenqvist (Ganassi) and Ryan Hunter-Reay (Andretti Autosport).
After a frustrating DNF last weekend, Dixon was the only one of the Top Four in points to make the Fast Six.
Round 2: Championship Leaders fall back as Power dominates
Like the two drivers ahead of him in the standings, Andretti Autosport’s Alexander missed out on the fast Six, doing so by a narrow .0277 seconds to Scott Dixon, who was the highest-ranking driver in the standings to make the Fast Six.
Following Rossi, James Hinchcliffe and Conor Daly (Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports), Spencer Pigot (Ed Carpenter Racing), Zach Veach (Andretti) and Sebastien Bourdais (Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan). Tomorrow afternoon, they will line up seventh through twelfth.
Round 1: Points Leaders, Defending Race Winner among those eliminated
The “knockout-style” qualifications on road and street courses sets the stage for surprises on any given weekend. In the first group of Round 1 today, that was especially true. After posting just the seventh-quickest time, Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden will start 13th for Sunday’s race.
In his quest to go back-to-back at PIR and in the series, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s Takuma Sato also was unable to advance and will start 17th tomorrow. A year ago, Sato won from 20th on the grid. For these drivers, it will take a similar effort to win on Sunday.
Also eliminated in Group 1 were Grahal Rahal (RLLR), Tony Kanaan and Matheus Leist (A.J. Foyt Racing).
In Group 2, more of the same struck. This time, Newgarden’s teammate and current points runner-up Simon Pagenaud finished the 10-minute session in 9th and failed to advance.
Making up the outsides of Rows 7-11 will be current Rookie of the Year leader Santino Ferrucci (Dale Coyne Racing), Marco Andretti (Andretti Herta Autosport with Marco Andretti and Curb-Agajanian), Pagenaud, Max Chilton and Charlie Kimball (Carlin. Starting in 23rd on the grid will be Ed Carpenter Racing Scuderia Corsa’s Ed Jones.
Sunday’s 105-lap race will have NBC carrying the coverage with a start time of 3:00 PM Eastern.
The green flag is expected to drop at approximately 3:43 PM Eastern time, and you can also catch the race on the Advance Auto Parts IndyCar Radio Network by visiting RaceControl.IndyCar.com.
Additionally, the site provides live timing and scoring during each on-track session.
All NTT IndyCar Series races are broadcast live on the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network, Sirius 219, XM 202, IndyCar.com, indycarradio.com and on the INDYCAR Mobile app powered by NTT DATA.
Stay tuned to Open-Wheels for more coverage of this weekend’s Grand Prix of Portland.
Header Image By Joe Skibinski/INDYCAR