Team Penske Sweeps IndyCar Qualifying At Texas

Ganassi's Dixon Starts 7th, Jones 13th

Scott Stiller
June 09, 2018 - 9:16 am
Josef Newgarden No. 1 Verizon Chevrolet

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

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Defending Verizon IndyCar Series Champion Josef Newgarden led a Team Penske sweep in qualifying for Saturday night's DXC Technology 600 at Texas Motor Speedway.

Newgarden's 2-lap average speed of 220.613 mph in the No. 1 Verizon Chevrolet was .0643-seconds faster than his teammate Simon Pagenaud, who's 2-lap average was 220.311 mph in the No. 22 DXC Technology Chevy.  Penske's Will Power, the 2018 Indianapolis 500 Champion and defending race winner, was right behind in the No. 12 Verizon Chevrolet at 220.194 mph giving Penske a 1-2-3 sweep.

"This is a big boost for us particularly coming off of Detroit," said Newgarden, a Franklin, Tennessee native.  "When you have cars go 1-2-3, it show the competitiveness of all the cars."

"It was fantastic effort from the whole No. 22 team," said Pagenaud.  "We missed the pole on three ovals so far by a little bit."

The pole position was the eighth time a Team Penske driver has captured the first starting spot at the 1.5-mile superspeedway oval in Fort Worth, Texas.

Schmidt Peterson Motorsports rookie Robert Wickens continued his impressive season qualifying fourth in the No. 6 Lucas Oil SPM Honda at 219.561 mph and Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser Sullivan's Sebastien Bourdais rounded out the top 5 at 219.302 mph.

PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing's Scott Dixon qualified 7th at 219.112.

"The PNC Bank car was great earlier today and wasn't bad in the afternoon, we just missed a little bit on the balance," said Dixon, a two-time winner at Texas.  "But I'm not worried too much, as it doesn't really matter where you qualify here because you can win from about any starting position.  The car just had a bit of understeer so we had to lift.  Not a big deal and we'll be ready to race for sure."

Dixon's teammate Ed Jones will start 13th in the No. 10 NTT Data Honda.

"We just missed the balance a little in qualifying," said Jones.  "The race this year will be a little bit different with the change in the amount of downforce we have on the car, so that will be interesting."

Race coverage begins at 8 p.m. Saturday on the NBC Sports Network and on the IndyCar Radio Network.

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