Colton Herta snatches Portland pole from Power, title contenders struggle
Harding Steinbrenner Racing's Colton Herta snatched pole position from Team Penske's Will Power on his final of a thrilling qualifying session for the Grand Prix of Portland.
The Firestone Fast Six session witnessed Herta, Power and reigning champion Scott Dixon battle hard for the top spot in which all three were separated by a mere 0.024s.
Dixon had looked to be on for his first road course pole positions since Watkins Glen in 2016, but suffered tremendous wheelspin on his penultimate run out of Turn 7 and lost time all the way down the back straight to the timing beam.
The Kiwi would have to settle for third on the grid but will be the highest placed of the four title contenders as his rivals struggled to get through the preliminary stages of qualifying.
Meyer Shank Racing's Jack Harvey put in a stunning performance in the #60 AutoNation-Honda to line-up fourth for the penultimate race of the season.
On the third row is Chip Ganassi's Felix Rosenqvist ahead of Ryan Hunter-Reay in the #28 Andretti Autosport-Honda.
The second of the title contenders in Alexander Rossi will line-up seventh, his #28 NAPA-Honda nearly had a crash at the final corner as he attempted to start a lap on his final run on the Fast 12.
Behind the Californian is the Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports' pairing of James Hinchcliffe and super-sub Conor Daly who had driven at Portland before will line-up in eighth and ninth respectively.
Ed Carpenter Racing's Spencer Pigot rounds out the top 10 in the #21 AutoGeek-Chevrolet.
Championship leader Josef Newgarden was unable to make it out of the first part of qualifying after making a mistake on his final run which led to being knocked out by Andretti Autosport's Zach Veach in the dying seconds of the first session.
Team Penske team-mate Simon Pagenaud also struggled and got knocked out in the first part of qualifying in the second group as he also made several mistakes.
Sunday's 105-lap Grand Prix of Portland is scheduled to get underway at 12:35pm local time.