Baltimore, MD- What a thrilling Grand Prix of Baltimore Izod IndyCar Series qualifying session. In the end Scott Dixon fittingly beat his new rival Will Power for the pole as time expired in the 10-minute session.
Power who won both poles for IndyCar events in Baltimore the past two years was well on his way for his third consecutive pole. He was also the only Chevrolet powered machine in the six car session and looked to have beat the Honda’s.
Dixon put a stop to that with a lap of 1:18.0838 in the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda on his last lap and earned his 20th career IndyCar pole and second of the season.
Fittingly enough the two biggest rivals and storymakers over the last week will share the Front Row.
Power who wrecked Dixon in this morning’s 45-minute practice session will join Dixon in Row 1 with a time of 1:18.1171 in the No. 12 Verizon Wireless Chevrolet. It is Power’s ninth straight top five start this season and 11th consecutive top 10 start.
The favorite to win tomorrow’s 75 Lap race Simon Pagenaud was third quickest with a time of 1:18.4307 in the No. 77 Sam Schmidt/Peterson Motorsports Honda. Pagenaud was fastest in the morning session and looks very strong this weekend.
Justin Wilson will join Pagenaud in Row 2 as he set a time of 1:18.8098 in the No. 19 Boy Scouts of America Dale Coyne Racing Honda.
Josef Newgarden and Tristian Vautier rounded out the top six in today’s session.
The biggest incident of the three round session came when Graham Rahal got into the tire barriers in Turn 8. Rahal just set the top lap of the group but found the tires. What was bizarre is IndyCar officials failed to throw out the red flag and Vautier ran into the back of his Honda.
Rahal already appeared to be in pain due to his wrist was mad when Vautier rammed into the back of him. To make matters worse Rahal’s top two laps were disallowed as he will start 12th in tomorrow’s race.
1. 9 Dixon
2. 12 Power
3. 77 Pagenaud
4. 19 J.Wilson
5. 67 Newgarden
6. 55 Vautier R
7. 3 Castroneves
8. 1 Hunter-Reay
9. 83 Kimball
10. 14 Sato
11. 27 Hinchcliffe
12. 15 Rahal
13. 16 Jakes
14. 98 Filippi R
15. 10 Franchitti
16. 11 Kanaan
17. 4 Servia
18. 25 Andretti
19. 78 de Silvestro
20. 20 Carpenter
21. 6 Saavedra
22. 5 Viso
23. 18 S. Wilson R
24. 7 Bourdais
Eric Smith is a Senior Writer for the Indy Sports Report covering Racing. Follow Eric and the Indy Sports Report on Twitter.
Eric Smith is a Senior Writer for the Indiana Sports Report covering Racing. He’s covered both IndyCar and NASCAR action since 2009 and is recognized as an accredited member of the media by both the IndyCar Series and all three divisions of NASCAR racing.
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