IndyCar: Josef Newgarden takes pole for 2020 opener at Texas

Reigning Texas Motor Speedway race winner Josef Newgarden took the pole position for the 2020 IndyCar season-opening Genesys 300 at the track.

After topping the speed chart in the lone practice session for tonight’s 2020 IndyCar season-opening Genesys 300 at Texas Motor Speedway, Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon looked poised to take his first pole position in over three years.

But Dixon, who earned his most recent pole position in May of 2017 for the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, was bumped out of the provisional pole position in the final run of this afternoon’s qualifying session.

It was two-time and reigning series champion and reigning Texas Motor Speedway race winner Josef Newgarden of Team Penske who took the pole position for tonight’s race, giving him nine career pole positions and two at Texas Motor Speedway.

Newgarden took the pole position for this  200-lap race around the four-turn, 1.5-mile (2.414-kilometer) oval in Fort Worth, Texas by recording a two-lap average speed of 215.740 miles per hour in his #1 Chevrolet.

He has now been on the pole for each of the last three oval races, as he was awarded the pole position for last August’s race at Pocono Raceway based on entry points due to rain and he took the pole position for last August’s race at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway.

Dixon is set to start beside him on the front row in second place in his #9 Honda. Team Penske’s Simon Pagenaud qualified in third in his #22 Chevrolet alongisde Andretti Autosport’s Ryan Hunter-Reay in fourth in his #28 Honda.

The parity continued on the third row as well, as this row is also slated to feature one Honda driver and one Chevrolet driver. Andretti Autosport’s Zach Veach qualified in an impressive fifth place in his #26 Honda alongside Team Penske’s Will Power in sixth in his #12 Chevrolet.

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s Graham Rahal, Andretti Autosport’s Alexander Rossi, Chip Ganassi Racing’s Felix Rosenqvist and A.J. Foyt Enterprises’ Tony Kanaan are set to round out the top 10 in the starting lineup after qualifying in seventh, eighth, ninth and 10th place in their #15 Honda, #27 Honda, #10 Honda and #14 Chevrolet, respectively.

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s Takuma Sato crashed his #30 Honda during his qualifying attempt, and Ed Carpenter Racing rookie Rinus VeeKay did not make a qualifying attempt after crashing his #21 Chevrolet in practice. Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser Sullivan’s Santino Ferrucci also did not make a qualifying attempt after his #18 Honda “wasn’t right” during practice.

Here is the full starting lineup for the 2020 Genesys 300 at Texas Motor Speedway.

Starting Lineup
1st – Josef Newgarden
2nd – Scott Dixon
3rd – Simon Pagenaud
4th – Ryan Hunter-Reay
5th – Zach Veach
6th – Will Power
7th – Graham Rahal
8th – Alexander Rossi
9th – Felix Rosenqvist
10th – Tony Kanaan
11th – Marco Andretti
12th – Charlie Kimball
13th – Ed Carpenter
14th – Colton Herta
15th – James Hinchcliffe
16th – Alex Palou
17th – Marcus Ericsson
18th – Patricio O’Ward
19th – Conor Daly
20th – Oliver Askew
21st – Jack Harvey
22nd – Takuma Sato
23rd – Rinus VeeKay
24th – Santino Ferrucci

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Tonight’s race is set to be broadcast live on NBC beginning at 8:00 p.m. ET, with pre-race coverage set to begin at 7:30 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network.