BIRMINGHAM, Alabama – Josef Newgarden edged out teammate Will Power to earn his first pole of the 2018 season. The defending series champion had only two other poles in his career, one of which came at Sonoma last season when he sealed his first championship.
Newgarden turned a lap of 1:07.4413 (122.773 mph) around the 17-turn permanent road course, just .8412 seconds slower than the track record. The pole award is the 256th pole in IndyCar for Team Penske, the most of any team in the Verizon IndyCar Series.
St. Petersberg winner Sebastien Bourdais qualified third while Ryan Hunter-Reay, James Hinchcliffe, and Scott Dixon rounded out the Firestone Fast Six.
The Andretti teammates of Marco Andretti and Alexander Rossi, IndyCar’s most recent winner, just missed the Fast Six and will start Sunday’s race from the seventh and eighth positions. Other notables who failed to qualify inside the Fast Six includes Simon Pagenaud (9th), Graham Rahal (15th), and Tony Kanaan (23rd).
Coverage of the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama begins at 3 p.m. on NBCSN and will be broadcasted live on the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network. Though Saturday was hot and sunny, Sunday’s forecast is looking rainy. Firestone has a rain tire ready to rumble should rain fall on the track in Birmingham, Alabama.