Team Penske’s Simon Pagenaud was the man to beat on Saturday, after he captured Pole for the Honda Indy Toronto.
Pagenaud set the fastest lap of the day after crossing the line with a time of 58.4293, the Frenchman’s second pole of the season.
— NTT IndyCar Series (@IndyCar) July 13, 2019
“The DXC Technology car has been phenomenal all weekend, it was a matter of just extracting the best out of it, getting the tires going, putting myself in good rhythm,” said Pagenaud.
“The car is very consistent. I was trying to get a car that’s versatile, that’s why you see me being so confident and being able to put down good laps.”
“[It’s] great to be in that kind of shape.”
After dominating the ‘Month of May’ at Indianapolis, Pagenaud has struggled failing to earn a top-five finish in the last four races.
Many of Pagenaud’s post-Indy 500 commitments are beginning to wind down, and he believes this could be the perfect weekend to turn things around.
“I feel like May was great but I have another mountain to climb, I want to win another championship.”
Dixon leads the Chasing Pack
Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon will start Sunday’s race from second on the grid, after finishing the session with a time of 58.5948.
If you weren't already impressed with @scottdixon9 – he is racing this weekend INJURED.
— IndyCar on NBC (@IndyCaronNBC) July 13, 2019
Dixon, who was in contention for Pole, spun on the exit of turn 10. Subsequently, this ruined the Kiwi’s his final qualifying lap.
As no drivers were impeded by Dixon’s incident, IndyCar officials opted not to bring out the red flag.
Causing a red flag would have resulted in Dixon losing his fastest lap and would’ve been demoted to sixth place.
Dixon’s teammate Felix Rosenqvist rounded out the top three with a time of 58.6793 in his No. 10 Cessna Chip Ganassi Racing Honda.
Rosenqvist has been strong all weekend, finishing in the top three in every session.
The Swedish rookie will be eager to challenge for his first career victory when the green flag flies on Sunday.
Will Power, a three-time winner of the Honda Indy Toronto, was uncharacteristically slow in the first round of qualifying.
The No. 12 Verizon-Chevrolet finished the day in 15th place with a time of 59.5508. This marked Power’s worst qualifying effort in 16 career starts at Toronto.
Hometown hero James Hichcliffe didn’t fare much better than Power, with the No. 5 Arrow SPM Honda only good enough for 14th.