Heading into qualifications for the Edmonton Indy, Josef Newgarden knew the field would be tight and the most minute of details would be the difference between advancing through the IZOD IndyCar Series’ knockout-style qualifying and being stuck on the outside looking in.
With the top 18 cars separated by less than one second in the last practice session before qualifications, Newgarden knew it would be tough to make the cut.
As rain inched closer to the Edmonton City Centre Airport circuit, Newgarden rolled out in his No. 67 Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing (SFHR) Dallara/Honda/Firestone car in the first group of cars. Despite a run that he felt was strong, Newgarden narrowly missed advancing.
“I feel like I put in a solid lap,” Newgarden said. “I don’t think I left much out there on the table. I had good stability and great depth in the brakes.”
Newgarden ended up 15th with a top lap speed of 104.313 mph.
“If the crew had told me that my last lap was good enough for P1 in that first session, I honestly wouldn’t have been surprised,” Newgarden said. “It wasn’t good enough though. Everyone’s just really close out there this weekend.”
The revamped temporary street circuit at the Edmonton City Centre Airport has plenty of zones for passing and Newgarden and his SFHR team plan on being fully prepared to take advantage of them on race day.
“We’ll put our heads together tonight and see what we can come up with for the race tomorrow,” Newgarden said. “We’ve got passing zones so we should be able to make something happen.”
Ryan Hunter-Reay of Andretti Autosport captured the pole for the Edmonton Indy with a lap speed of 103.664 mph. Hunter-Reay is coming off of three consecutive victories at the Milwaukee Mile, Iowa Speedway and the Streets of Toronto.
The top-five in qualifying for the Edmonton Indy were represented by five different teams. Dario Franchitti of Ganassi Racing, Ryan Briscoe of Team Penske, Takuma Sato of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing and Alex Tagliani of Bryan Herta Autosport will start second through fifth in the Edmonton Indy.
The green flag drops on the Edmonton Indy at 2:47 p.m. ET on Sunday, July 22. The race will be broadcast on NBC Sports Network, formerly known as Versus, live beginning at 2 p.m. ET.