IndyCar – Andretti takes pole in Milwaukee

Marco Andretti - (Photo by Lesley Ann Miller for Chevy Racing)Marco Andretti, who currently lies second in the IndyCar championship behind Helio Castroneves, secured pole position Friday in Milwaukee thereby trimming the Brazilian’s points lead by one point.


Driving the No. 25 RC Cola Andretti Autosports car, the young American buried the track’s two-lap qualifying record set in 2012 by Dario Franchitti (168.737 mph average) with an average speed of 170.515 mph.

“So far, that was about as good as we could run, so I’m pleased,” said Andretti, who earned his first IndyCar pole here in 2008. “I think the RC Cola car will be tough to beat. A win would be huge, I told Dad (and team owner Michael Andretti) that hopefully pole is only half of his Father’s Day gift.”

The Milwaukee Mile track has proved a happy hunting ground for the Andretti family over the years; Michael Andretti won five times here as a driver and has four wins as a team owner. Andretti Sports Marketing, an arm of Andretti Autosport, is the promoter of the event this weekend.

To highlight how competitive this year’s championship has been so far, Andretti is the sixth different pole winner from the nine races so far this season with seven different race winners from five teams. Andretti’s teammate James Hinchcliffe is the only two-time race winner so far this year and he’ll line-up 2nd on the grid. The Canadian recorded the fastest lap of the weekend (170.868 mph) on the first lap of qualifying.

“Don’t tell Marco, but the outside is way better on the start,” said Hinchcliffe joking. “That is what I was going for.”

Defending race winner and reigning IndyCar champion Ryan Hunter-Reay (170.100) and E.J. Viso (169.828), the other two Andretti Autosport drivers, qualified fourth and fifth, respectively. Will Power broke up what would have been an Andretti Autosport front row grid lock out by qualifying third (170.212) in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske car.

Sebastian Saavedra qualified a career-best sixth in the No. 6 Dragon Racing car, while Indy 500 winner Tony Kanaan qualified seventh and Josef Newgarden made it two in a row in the top 10.

Castroneves, a three-time pole winner at Milwaukee and the race winner last weekend at Texas Motor Speedway, tied his season low by qualifying 18th in the No. 3 PPG Team Penske car.

Video highlights from Friday’s practice 1 session can be seen here,

Video highlights from practice 2 can be seen here,

Qualifying Friday for the Milwaukee IndyFest IZOD IndyCar Series event on the 1.015-mile Milwaukee Mile, with qualifying position, car number in parentheses, driver, chassis-engine, and speed:  

1. (25) Marco Andretti, Dallara-Chevy, 170.515  

2. (27) James Hinchcliffe, Dallara-Chevy, 170.418          

3. (12) Will Power, Dallara-Chevy, 170.212         

4. (1) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Dallara-Chevy, 170.100          

5. (5) EJ Viso, Dallara-Chevy, 169.828      

6. (6) Sebastian Saavedra, Dallara-Chevy, 169.732        

7. (11) Tony Kanaan, Dallara-Chevy, 169.482     

8. (67) Josef Newgarden, Dallara-Honda, 169.462          

9. (77) Simon Pagenaud, Dallara-Honda, 169.311           

10. (55) Tristan Vautier, Dallara-Honda, 169.215           

11. (9) Scott Dixon, Dallara-Honda, 168.820       

12. (16) James Jakes, Dallara-Honda, 168.470    

13. (19) Justin Wilson, Dallara-Honda, 168.412  

14. (7) Sebastien Bourdais, Dallara-Chevy, 168.141       

15. (14) Takuma Sato, Dallara-Honda, 168.023   

16. (98) Alex Tagliani, Dallara-Honda, 167.512   

17. (10) Dario Franchitti, Dallara-Honda, 167.263          

18. (3) Helio Castroneves, Dallara-Chevy, 167.169         

19. (4) Ryan Briscoe, Dallara-Chevy, 165.765      

20. (18) Ana Beatriz, Dallara-Honda, 165.364     

21. (20) Ed Carpenter, Dallara-Chevy, 164.797   

22. (83) Charlie Kimball, Dallara-Honda, 164.124           

23. (15) Graham Rahal, Dallara-Honda, 163.230 

24. (78) Simona De Silvestro, Dallara-Chevy, 162.886   


MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 25 RC Cola Chevrolet):

“The RC Cola car has been hooked up since we rolled off the trailer, so very pleased with that. Chevrolet has done a great job as well, but I’m even more pleased because I think we have a heck of a race car underneath us too.” (What a win would mean at Milwaukee) “It’d be huge. I told Dad that hopefully [the pole] is only half of his Father’s Day gift. I mean, it’d be great because [Andretti Sports Marketing] is promoting this thing too.”

JAMES HINCHCLIFFE (No. 27 GoDaddy Chevrolet):

“Don’t’ tell Marco but the outside is way better on the start.  That is what is what I was going for!  It was a hell of a team effort, look at that 4 out of the Top 5 guys.  Will ruined the Andretti Autosport Parade and everybody on the team deserves such credit after the practice that we had.  Man, the third time starting second, I mean like it’s always the bridesmaid, never the bride.  I mean I won that pole so bad. For where we were especially at practice, the front row, I will take it! “

WILL POWER (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet):

“We’ve had a good Verizon car all day. I thought we might have enough for pole today but I made a little mistake on the last lap and we just missed it. Starting third is a good position for us tomorrow. I think the Verizon Chevy will be pretty good in the race. We’re not sure what the weather will be – we hope the rain stays away, especially for the fans – but it should be a good race.”

RYAN HUNTER-REAY (No. 1 DHL Chevrolet):

“We had a great car, and we just got a little carried away with trying to help the car turn – that’s what beats a lap time here. We missed the pole by just a little bit last year, so we felt we needed to go get it today. We just over-stepped it today. It’s easy to do here at Milwaukee, but we’ll have a good No. 1 DHL Chevrolet for tomorrow, I promise you that.”

E.J. VISO (No. 5 Team Venezuela PDVSA Citgo Chevrolet): 

“Probably the first lap I didn’t get the maximum out of the car. I was a little bit cautious… I had a moment in Turn 1 on my out lap. Anyways, I think we have a pretty strong car and I’m really looking forward to this race. I believe we have a pretty good setup that we’ve been working on and developing. Congratulations to my teammate Marco (Andretti) on his pole position.”

SEBASTIAN SAAVEDRA (No. 6 Dragon Racing Chevrolet): 

“I am very happy with putting the #6 TrueCar Dragon Racing car up front. It’s defiantly a great feeling for all of the guys and a huge boost of motivation. It is very important to qualify up front here in Milwaukee due to the lack in passing opportunities. We really went aggressive on our first qualifying lap and it paid off. I am really looking forward to tomorrow’s race.”

Chris Berube, Chevrolet Racing Program Manager, IZOD IndyCar Series: 

“Congratulations to Marco Andretti for winning the pole in qualifying today at The Milwaukee Mile! We are so proud of Team Chevy for securing the top seven positions at this storied venue in West Allis, Wisconsin.  The unique challenges of this short oval with flat corners requires a key setup and a dose of bravery from the drivers to get the most out of a lap.  We look forward to the race tomorrow and know a win powered by the Chevrolet IndyCar twin turbo V6 will have to be earned over the course of 250 grueling laps. ”  By James Foreman

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