New Zealander Scott Dixon has beaten Australia’s Will Power for the IndyCar pole at Watkins Glen International in a penalty-filled affair.
Fastest in all three practices, Dixon topped the Fast Six with a track-record time of 1 minute, 22.5259 seconds at 147.008 mph.
It was Dixon’s second pole of the season and 25th of his career, tying him with Paul Tracy for 11th all-time.
Power, second in points to Team Penske teammate Simon Pagenaud, will start second, followed by Sebastien Bourdais, Helio Castroneves, Tony Kanaan, and Max Chilton.
Pagenaud failed to make the final six for the first time this season and will start seventh. He leads Power by 28 points with two races left in the season.
“It was a crazy session for all, with people getting tossed and stuff,” Dixon said.
“Just happy we scraped through. There was definitely a lot of chaos during qualifying with people getting pulled back out of the group they had transferred into.”
Power was second-fastest in morning practice and went to the top of his group late in the opening 10-minute qualifying session. Max Chilton, Pagenaud, Josef Newgarden, RC Enerson and Mikhail Aleshin also made the cut.
James Hinchcliffe initially advanced but lost his fastest lap because he spun and affected the progress of Power during the session, allowing Aleshin to sneak in. Alexander Rossi, Conor Daly, Ryan Hunter-Reay, and Spencer Pigot also did not advance.
Teams struggled to find the right balance with both the red and black tires on the newly paved surface at The Glen.
The red compound is softer, grippier and usually faster, but on this day the harder compound in the blacks proved the better choice.