Herta throws down a scorcher to snatch Detroit GP pole

Colton Herta captured Andretti Global’s first pole position of the season and the 12th of his career with a scorching lap of 1m00.547s in the No. 26 Honda at the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix. NTT IndyCar Series championship leader Alex Palou locked out the front row for Honda in the No. 10 Chip Ganassi Racing machine at Chevy’s home event (1m00.700s).

“Complete 180 and just super happy for the team,” Herta said after Sunday’s Indianapolis 500 ended with his car in the wall. “You know, they worked their tails off in the month of May and it was disappointing to say the least. To come back here for some redemption, man, it feels good.”

Palou didn’t think he had the speed to knock Herta off pole, but is confident for how the race might play out.


“Pretty happy,” he said. “The car’s been awesome since practice one yesterday and we’re able to fight during all segments in qualifying. Looking forward to tomorrow. It’s gonna be a busy, busy race, but with a fast car, everything is a little bit easier.”

New Indianapolis 500 winner Josef Newgarden was best of the Chevy camp in the No. 2 Team Penske entry (1m00.961s) in third and teammate Scott McLaughlin took fourth in the No. 3 Chevy (1m01.334s). Ganassi’s Scott Dixon, in his 100th participation in the Firestone Fast Six, was fifth in the No. 9 Honda (1m01.391s) and Andretti’s Kyle Kirkwood, who was third heading into the final minute of qualifying, spun, stalled, and was dropped to sixth after his two fastest laps were deleted for causing a red flag (1m04.293s).

“Hats off to Andretti Global. They’ve given us rocket ships this weekend. I knew it would be hard to beat Colton, which is where the mistake came from. Just a mistake,” Kirkwood said.

Qualifying opened with Theo Pourchaire leading the first group on track, followed by McLaughlin, Newgarden, Kirkwood, Will Power, and Santino Ferrucci who all moved on.

Behind them, Christian Rasmussen (13th), Romain Grosjean (15th), Alexander Rossi (17th), Rinus VeeKay (19th), Linus Lundqvist (21st), Kyffin Simpson (23rd), and Tristan Vautier (25th) were locked into their positions.

Grosjean, angered by Ferrucci who he said blocked him, jumped out of his car and sped down to Ferrucci’s A.J. Foyt Racing team to confront his frequent protagonist, but he was already gone.

Palou led the way in the second group with Christian Lundgaard, Herta, Marcus Ericsson, Pato O’Ward, and Dixon behind. On the outside looking in, Graham Rahal (14th), Pietro Fittipaldi (16th), Agustin Canapino (18th), Marcus Armstrong (20th), Felix Rosenqvist (22nd), Sting Ray Robb (24th), Helio Castroneves (26th), and Jack Harvey (27th) were done.

Rahal was sixth and about to go forward, but O’Ward knocked him out on his last lap. Rahal will have a six-spot grid penalty—as will Simpson—for unapproved engine changes once the order is set ahead of Sunday’s 100-lap race, which goes green at 12:45 p.m. ET on the USA Network.

The Fast 12 was settled with the top six of Herta, Kirkwood, Dixon, McLaughlin, Palou, and Newgarden. Dixon bumped Pourchaire (7th) at the finish line, followed by a livid Power (8th), Ericsson (9th), Ferrucci (10th), Lundgaard (11th), and O’Ward (12th).

O’Ward, trying to make room for a charging Kirkwood behind him, stalled with 3m45s left in the session, triggering a red flag, while holding seventh—before he could put in a quick lap. He’d lose his two fastest laps and drop to 12th.


Story originally appeared on Racer