Rinus VeeKay beat Indy Lights title rival Oliver Askew to pole for the first race at Portland International Raceway.
For most of the half-hour qualifying session it looked like championship leader Askew would take pole, as he set the fastest lap 10 times in a row on his first run.
Further improvements came in the second qualifying run, and it was only with five minutes to go that Juncos Racing’s VeeKay moved into second, just under a tenth behind Askew.
Two laps later VeeKay moved into first place, and he had enough life in his tyres to end the session with a stunning 1m03.995s lap.
Andretti Autosport driver Askew had made improvements of his own, but came up 0.1196s short. The extra point for pole means Askew now leads VeeKay by 51 points.
After also shining on his second, Askew’s team-mate Robert Megennis ended up qualifying a close third, with the second Juncos car of Dalton Kellett taking a surprise fourth after consistently strong pace in the second half of the session.
HMD Motorsports pair David Malukas and Toby Sowery were fifth and sixth, ahead of the sole Belardi Auto Racing entry of Lucas Kohl and the third Andretti car of Ryan Norman, who had very briefly topped the times early on.
|HMD Motorsports/Team Pelfrey
|Belardi Auto Racing