Race Weekend Central

Josef Newgarden Wins Pole Position at Mid-Ohio

LEXINGTON, Ohio — After a crushing defeat at Road America two weeks ago, Josef Newgarden secured pole position for Sunday’s (July 4th) Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for his third pole in a row in the 2021 NTT IndyCar Series season.

The No. 2 Team Penske Chevrolet navigated the 13 turn, 2.258 mile natural terrain road course in 1 minute, 6.6739 seconds to average 121.919 mph. Newgarden’s gap to second fastest Colton Herta was only .0031 seconds, so the front row from Road America will start up front at Mid-Ohio.

Marcus Ericsson was third fastest, his best starting position in IndyCar competition since his rookie year in 2019. Will Power was fourth, which was a remarkable effort after the No. 12 Team Penske Chevrolet had some small mechanical trouble at the start of the first round of qualifying.

Scott Dixon was fifth fastest ahead of Alexander Rossi in sixth place, but Rossi was a bit lucky to even get out of the first round of qualifying at all.

Newgarden was fastest in the first group of round one, but behind the Tennessee native there was a large chain of events taking place that would affect the rest of qualifications. Jack Harvey was in second place when the checkered flag came out but spun coming out of turn 9. After stalling the car, a local yellow flag was displayed, causing Rossi to lift on his final lap.

Harvey received a penalty from race control for impeding another competitor (Rossi) and lost his two fastest laps, dropping the No. 60 Meyer Shank Racing Honda to 23rd. Rossi also received a penalty for not lifting off enough to reduce his speed by 15 percent and he lost his fastest lap. However, Simon Pagenaud did not slow down at all and he also lost his fastest lap.

As a result of these penalties, Rossi managed to get to sixth place after initially entering the first group of round one in eighth place. Alex Palou, Power, Graham Rahal, Sebastien Bourdais and Rossi advanced to round two.

In group two, Herta managed to turn the fastest lap over Dixon, Ericsson, Ryan Hunter-Reay, James Hinchcliffe and Rinus VeeKay, who is returning to IndyCar competition after breaking his clavicle in a cycling accident.

In round two of qualifying, Newgarden, Herta, Power, Rossi, Dixon and Ericsson went fastest to advance to the Firestone Fast Six. All sessions following group ran without incident.

Full starting lineup:

  1. Josef Newgarden
  2. Colton Herta
  3. Marcus Ericsson
  4. Will Power
  5. Scott Dixon
  6. Alexander Rossi
  7. Alex Palou
  8. Graham Rahal
  9. James Hinchcliffe
  10. Ryan Hunter-Reay
  11. Rinus VeeKay
  12. Sebastien Bourdais
  13. Felix Rosenqvist
  14. Scott McLaughlin
  15. Simon Pagenaud
  16. Ed Jones
  17. Max Chilton
  18. Romain Grosjean
  19. Takuma Sato
  20. Pato O’Ward
  21. Dalton Kellett 
  22. Santino Ferrucci
  23. Jack Harvey
  24. Conor Daly
  25. Jimmie Johnson
  26. Ryan Norman

About the author


Christopher DeHarde has covered IndyCar racing and the Road to Indy for various outlets since 2014. In addition to open wheel racing, DeHarde has also covered IMSA and various short track racing events around Indiana. Originally from New Orleans, DeHarde moved to the Indianapolis area in 2017 to further pursue a career as a motorsports writer.

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Hey all you Jimmy Johnson fans tell me again. How did Kurt Busch do in his one off at Indy?

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