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IndyCar Road America starting lineup: Colton Herta wins first pole this year; O’Ward second

Colton Herta will lead the field to green for the IndyCar Series Grand Prix at Road America after capturing his first pole position of the season.

Colton Herta will lead an NTT IndyCar Series starting lineup to the green flag for the first time this year, qualifying on pole position for the Sonsio Grand Prix at Road America.

It’s the 10th career pole position for the Andretti Autosport driver, who most recently started first at Toronto last year.

After going off course twice during Saturday morning practice and avoiding any damage, Herta turned a lap of 1 minute, 40.1945 seconds in his No. 26-Dallara-Honda on the four 14-turn, 4.014-mile road course that was repaved during the offseason.

QUALIFYING RESULTS: Click here for Sonsio Grand Prix qualifying speeds | Round 1, Group 1 | Round 1, Group 2 | Round 2 l Round 3

INDYCAR AT ROAD AMERICA: How to watch, weekend schedule, entry lists

ALTERNATE OR PRIMARY: Tire designations for the start of the race

“Great car,” Herta told NBC Sports’ Dillon Welch. “We’ve been working at it the whole time. This place with the repave is not easy. So to have a car that was stable enough to really attack in the Fast Six (final round of qualifying) was really impressive.

“It’s been way too long this year for us to get a pole. It’s nice to finally get one.”

In becoming the sixth pole-sitter in eight races this year, Herta nipped Pato O’Ward (1:40.3643).

“Just missed pole by a tad,” O’Ward told NBC Sports’ Kevin Lee. “This is a very good starting position. Ready to flow with it tomorrow.”

Points leader Alex Palou rebounded from a crash Saturday morning to qualify third, ahead of Josef Newgarden and Alexander Rossi. Kyle Kikwood (sixth) made the final round of qualifying but was unable to turn a lap because of a mechanical problem.

“It hurts because we could have been fighting for pole more without that crash,” Palou said. “Good recovery making sure we had our car on track. We did a big rebuild, especially on the right side, and everything felt normal. Just had to get the confidence back. Happy to be starting P3. It’s awesome to drive an IndyCar around Road America.”

After tangling in a crash Saturday morning, Will Power (18th) and Scott Dixon (23rd) will be starting in the back half of the 27-car field.

Romain Grosjean qualified 19th after a spin in qualifying as many drivers struggled to find the limit on the fresh asphalt whose smooth surface offered maximum grip and high speeds.

Here’s the IndyCar starting lineup for Sunday’s Sonsio Grand Prix at Road America (qualifying position, car number in parentheses, driver, engine and speed):


1. (26) Colton Herta, Honda, 1:40.1945 (144.223)
2. (5) Pato O’Ward, Chevrolet, 1:40.3643 (143.979)


3. (10) Alex Palou, Honda, 1:40.4930 (143.795 mph)
4. (2) Josef Newgarden, Chevrolet, 1:40.9530 (143.140)


5. (7) Alexander Rossi, Chevrolet, 1:41.1854 (142.811)
6. (27) Kyle Kirkwood, Honda, no speed


7. (45) Christian Lundgaard, Honda, 1:41.0480 (143.005)
8. (11) Marcus Armstrong, Honda, 1:41.1737 (142.828)


9. (8) Marcus Ericsson, Honda, 1:41.2202 (142.762)
10. (55) Benjamin Pedersen, Chevrolet, 1:41.4989 (142.370)


11. (14) Santino Ferrucci, Chevrolet, 1:41.6314 (142.184)
12. (29) Devlin DeFrancesco, Honda, 1:41.8277 (141.910)


13. (18) David Malukas, Honda, 1:41.5204 (142.340)
14. (15) Graham Rahal, Honda, 1:41.5121 (142.352)


15. (21) Rinus VeeKay, Chevrolet, 1:41.7420 (142.030)
16. (6) Felix Rosenqvist, Chevrolet, 1:41.5823 (142.253)


17. (77) Callum Ilott, Chevrolet, 1:41.8005 (141.948)
18. (3) Scott McLaughlin, Chevrolet, 1:41.7005 (142.088)

ROW 10

19. (28) Romain Grosjean, Honda, 1:41.8529 (141.875)
20. (60) Simon Pagenaud, Honda, 1:41.7257 (142.053)

ROW 11

21. (78) Agustin Canapino, Chevrolet, 1:41.9247 (141.775)
22. (12) Will Power, Chevrolet, 1:41.9275 (141.771)

ROW 12

23. (9) Scott Dixon, Honda, 1:42.2745 (141.290)
24. (30) Jack Harvey, Honda, 1:41.9329 (141.764)

ROW 13

25. (51) Sting Ray Robb, Honda, 1:42.6862 (140.724)
26. (06) Helio Castroneves, Honda, 1:42.0399 (141.615)

ROW 14

27. (20) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Chevrolet, 1:44.1738 (138.714)