Andretti Autosport has locked out the front row for the Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey as Colton Herta claimed his third pole of the 2021 IndyCar season ahead of team-mate Alexander Rossi.
Herta was able to pull out stunning laps in both Q2 and the Firestone Fast 6 to ensure he’ll have a clean run to the first corner on Sunday, just as he did in 2019.
Rossi has continued to show his resurgence in form during the season-ending West Coast triple-header with another strong qualifying effort that put him just behind in second place.
A difficult run of form continued for Penske’s Will Power could only manage third on the grid, the highest placed of the team’s four-car outfit.
The Australian was initially set for second place just 0.027s behind Herta, however his fastest lap was deleted after he was caught setting a fast time in a local yellow flag at the Corkscrew.
Points leader Alex Palou will start from fourth in the No.10 NTT Data Honda, crucially ahead of his championship rivals.
The Spaniard had initially looked to be favourite for pole with his smooth style suiting the low levels of grip around the Laguna Seca circuit.
Pato O’Ward heads up the third row from fifth despite a spin at the Corkscrew on his final run, the No.45 RLL Honda of Oliver Askew put in solid effort to start from sixth place.
Chip Ganassi team-mates and title rivals Marcus Ericsson and Scott Dixon will share the fourth row of the grid.
Simon Pagenaud will start ninth ahead of a surprise Q2 entrant in Carlin’s Max Chilton who will start from 10th on the grid, the Briton’s best result of the season.
Josef Newgarden’s title chances struck a huge blow as the two-time series champion struggled in qualifying and will have to start deep in the midfield from 17th place.
Sunday’s 95-lap Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey is scheduled to begin at 15:00 EDT.