Rossi Soars To First IndyCar Pole At Watkins Glen

Alexander Rossi all smiles as he holds his first-ever Verizon P1 pole award. [Joe Jennings Photo]

Alexander Rossi all smiles as he holds his first-ever Verizon P1 pole award. [Joe Jennings Photo]

by Joe Jennings

WATKINS GLEN, N. Y. – In the waning seconds of qualifications at Watkins Glen International, Alexander Rossi soared to the pole for Sunday’s INDYCAR Grand Prix at The Glen, the penultimate race of the Verizon IndyCar Series season.

To accomplish his first career pole, Rossi had to outpace pole favorite Scott Dixon, doing so by a scant .0529 seconds.

“Our momentum had been building with each lap and I knew on the previous lap (four) that we had the speed to go faster on lap five and had there been a lap six it would have been faster,” Rossi said.

Rossi traversed the 3.37 mile road course in a time of 1:22.4639 and a speed of 147.119 miles per hour.

Dixon nailed down the second starting position with a speed of 147.025 mph. in the second round of qualifying, Dixon set a new single-lap standard of 147.202 mph.

Said the frustrated Dixon, “The front row is definitely decent. The frustrating part is that we had plenty in hand. The problem is if you cool off too much, it’s really hard to get back up to speed. We caught Helio so quickly, I don’t know what he was doing out there; he was just sort of cruising around. We caught him way too fast with two laps to go. You know, maybe we should have backed off I think on the second to last lap. I think we had probably another 3 or 4/10ths in the car. It was definitely frustrating to lose it that way.”

Row two qualifiers were Josef Newgarden and 2017 Indianapolis 500 winner Takuma Sato.

Charlie Kimball and Helio Castroneves grabbed the third row starts. They are followed by Ryan Hunter-Reay, Will Power, Sebastien Bourdais and Graham Rahal.

NBCSN will telecast the 60-lap race starting at 1 p.m. ET.

INDYCAR Grand Prix at The Glen qualifying results
WATKINS GLEN, New York – Qualifying Saturday for the INDYCAR Grand Prix at The Glen Verizon IndyCar Series event on the 3.37-mile Watkins Glen International, with qualifying position, car number in parentheses, driver, chassis-engine, time and speed in parentheses:

1. (98) Alexander Rossi, Honda, 01:22.4639 (147.119)
2. (9) Scott Dixon, Honda, 01:22.5168 (147.025)
3. (2) Josef Newgarden, Chevrolet, 01:22.5169 (147.024)
4. (26) Takuma Sato, Honda, 01:22.5660 (146.937)
5. (83) Charlie Kimball, Honda, 01:22.8081 (146.507)
6. (3) Helio Castroneves, Chevrolet, 01:23.3350 (145.581)
7. (28) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Honda, 01:22.9854 (146.194)
8. (12) Will Power, Chevrolet, 01:23.0987 (145.995)
9. (18) Sebastien Bourdais, Honda, 01:23.1459 (145.912)
10. (15) Graham Rahal, Honda, 01:23.2240 (145.775)
11. (14) Carlos Munoz, Chevrolet, 01:23.2959 (145.649)
12. (1) Simon Pagenaud, Chevrolet, 01:23.2981 (145.646)
13. (20) Spencer Pigot, Chevrolet, 01:23.4917 (145.308)
14. (4) Conor Daly, Chevrolet, 01:23.5089 (145.278)
15. (19) Ed Jones, Honda, 01:23.9851 (144.454)
16. (5) James Hinchcliffe, Honda, 01:23.6854 (144.972)
17. (10) Tony Kanaan, Honda, 01:23.9982 (144.432)
18. (7) Jack Harvey, Honda, 01:24.1390 (144.190)
19. (8) Max Chilton, Honda, 01:24.2012 (144.083)
20. (27) Marco Andretti, Honda, 01:24.1779 (144.123)
21. (21) JR Hildebrand, Chevrolet, 01:24.4543 (143.652)

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