Skip to content

First Firestone Fast Six runs for Pagenaud, Wilson, Newgarden

Aug 31, 2013, 7:00 PM EDT

Grand Prix Of Baltimore - Day 1 Getty Images

Few would argue Simon Pagenaud and Justin Wilson are two of the top drivers in the IZOD IndyCar Series. Additionally, few would argue Josef Newgarden is one of the series’ emerging talents, who hasn’t yet had many opportunities to shine thanks to near consistent mechanical gremlins and bad luck.

So it may come as some as a surprise, then, that all three made the Firestone Fast Six in qualifying for today’s Grand Prix of Baltimore presented by SRT for the first time this year. For Newgarden, it’s also the first Fast Six appearance of his career.

Pagenaud and Schmidt teammate Tristan Vautier both advanced into the Fast Six; each has led a practice session (Pagenaud on Saturday morning, Vautier Friday afternoon) this weekend.

“The engineer (Ben Bretzman) worked really hard on understanding how to control the ride better, and they digged really deep after Sonoma,” Pagenaud said. “Even though it’s a completely different racetrack, there’s a lot of things they understood, and the car is just absolutely fantastic this week.  So I’m very proud of the HP team. And being here with Tristan is also a great accomplishment for the team.”

Wilson posted his best qualifying effort since Toronto 2012, when he qualified third. Much of the attention at the Dale Coyne Racing team has gone to Wilson’s younger brother Stefan, who is debuting this weekend.

“To be honest, I didn’t expect it after practice,” Justin Wilson said. “We were 10th in practice this morning, 17th yesterday, so it’s been a bit of a struggle this weekend, but we’ve just kept digging away and fighting back. (We’re) not quite in Will and Scott’s league, but I’ll keep looking at it and see what I can learn as a driver and see what we can learn with the setup and try and get there.”

Newgarden seems to have a torrid love affair with the otherwise controversial Pratt Street chicane. He is using Lucas Luhr’s chassis from Sonoma (nicknamed “Rapunzel”), and has made up most of his time through the chicane in maximum attack mode.

“That’s like the only place I’m good around this circuit I feel like,” Newgarden said. “I’m just barreling it in there, I don’t even care what part I’m hitting. The front’s going everywhere; it doesn’t matter. I’m just flat out through it pretty much.”

Vautier in sixth made his third Fast Six of the season, having also made it at St. Petersburg and Barber, the first two races of 2013. His was a bit more controversial, though. That will be hit in a separate post.

With Pagenaud, Wilson and Newgarden making the Fast Six, 20 different drivers have made it in this year at least once.

Latest Posts
  1. MotoGP: Iannone claims maiden pole position in Italy

    May 30, 2015, 6:00 PM EDT

    Spain's rider Andrea Iannone steers his Ducati during the third Free Practice session of the Italy's MotoGP Grand Prix on May 30, 2015 on the Mugello 's racetrack. AFP PHOTO / GABRIEL BOUYS        (Photo credit should read GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images) Getty Images

    Ducati gets both of its riders onto the front row of the grid for its home race at Mugello in Italy.

  2. Munoz wins rain-shortened first race in Detroit

    May 30, 2015, 5:26 PM EDT

    Photo: INDYCAR Photo: INDYCAR

    Munoz wins in the wet, as Detroit race one is shortened.

  3. Power leads halfway, while Andretti looks to seize Dual in Detroit Race 1

    May 30, 2015, 4:47 PM EDT

    Will Power led after 35 laps in the Dual in Detroit Race 1.

  4. WSR: Vaxiviere wins opening race at Spa-Francorchamps

    May 30, 2015, 4:30 PM EDT

    © Renault Sport © Renault Sport

    The Lotus driver wins at Spa with a brave overtake around the outside of Pouhons.

  5. Rahal, Kimball out early in Detroit (VIDEO)

    May 30, 2015, 4:16 PM EDT

    Photo: INDYCAR Photo: INDYCAR

    Separate incidents take Rahal and Kimball out of the race in Detroit.

  6. Action Express wins; safety worker taken to hospital in TUDOR race at Detroit

    May 30, 2015, 4:11 PM EDT

    Photo: IMSA Photo: IMSA

    Cameron, Curran win but a post-checkered flag accident emerges as story.

  7. Tost and Horner uneasy about possible F1 tire war

    May 30, 2015, 3:30 PM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Germany - Previews Getty Images

    F1 team principals issue their concern about the possibility of a tire war between Pirelli and Michelin in the future.

  8. Toro Rosso drivers expecting challenging Canadian GP

    May 30, 2015, 2:30 PM EDT

    MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - MAY 23:  Carlos Sainz of Spain and Scuderia Toro Rosso drives during final practice for the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix at Circuit de Monaco on May 23, 2015 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco.  (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images) Getty Images

    Sainz and Verstappen ready for their first races at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

  9. Hangover? How Indy 500 winners have fared in their follow-up races

    May 30, 2015, 2:09 PM EDT

    Ryan Hunter-Reay Ryan Hunter-Reay

    How Indianapolis 500 champions have done in their next race since 2000.

  10. WATCH LIVE: Eli Tomac goes for third straight Pro Motocross win at Thunder Valley (2 p.m. ET, Live Extra)

    May 30, 2015, 1:45 PM EDT

    Photo: Chris Ortiz/ProMotocross.com Photo: Chris Ortiz/ProMotocross.com

    Live coverage begins at 2 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Live Extra with the pre-race show and continues at 3 p.m. ET with all four motos.

  11. Le Mans: Nakajima cleared to take part in test day

    May 30, 2015, 1:30 PM EDT

    NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - APRIL 12:  Driver Kazuki Nakajima of Japan and Toyota Racing during the FIA World Endurance Championship 6 Hours of Silverstone race at Silverstone on April 12, 2015 in Northampton, England.  (Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images) Getty Images

    The Japanese driver will return to the wheel of the Toyota LMP1 car on Sunday.

  12. The week that was for Juan Pablo Montoya

    May 30, 2015, 12:56 PM EDT

    Juan Pablo Montoya Juan Pablo Montoya

    The days following Montoya’s second Indianapolis 500 were both “really cool” and “hell” at once.

  13. Maldonado remains confident of points following tough start to 2015

    May 30, 2015, 12:15 PM EDT

    xxxx during previews to the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix at Circuit de Monaco on May 20, 2015 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. Getty Images

    He may sit bottom of the drivers’ championship, but Maldonado remains upbeat ahead of next weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix.

  14. Max Verstappen drives his father, Jos, mad around the streets of Monaco (VIDEO)

    May 30, 2015, 11:00 AM EDT

    xxxx during qualifying for the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix at Circuit de Monaco on May 23, 2015 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. Getty Images

    He may only be 17, but Max can still give his father a scare behind the wheel of a road car.

  15. GRC Lites’ class of 2015 look to stand out

    May 30, 2015, 10:00 AM EDT

    Photo: Tony DiZinno Photo: Tony DiZinno

    We caught up with a few of the GRC Lites drivers before their season kicks off.

  16. Mallya joins call for more autocratic rule of Formula 1

    May 30, 2015, 9:30 AM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Hungary - Practice Getty Images

    Force India team owner claims F1 has become too democratic in letting some of the teams have a say.

  17. Grosjean annoyed by Monaco crash accusations

    May 29, 2015, 5:00 PM EDT

    xxxx during practice for the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix at Circuit de Monaco on May 21, 2015 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. Getty Images

    Frenchman hopes to bounce back in Canada next weekend after finishing outside of the points in Monaco.

  18. Power wins Verizon P1 Award in Detroit with new track record

    May 29, 2015, 4:52 PM EDT

    Photo: INDYCAR Photo: INDYCAR

    Will Power and Helio Castroneves complete the front row for first of two IndyCar races in Detroit.

  19. Sainz shares video of near-miss with Ericsson from Monaco

    May 29, 2015, 4:00 PM EDT

    MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - MAY 23:  Carlos Sainz of Spain and Scuderia Toro Rosso drives during qualifying for the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix at Circuit de Monaco on May 23, 2015 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco.  (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images) Getty Images

    Sainz went on to finish the race in tenth place, but it all very nearly ended far earlier in Monaco last Sunday.

  20. Formula E: Garcia replaces Pic for Moscow ePrix

    May 29, 2015, 3:00 PM EDT

    A Formula E China Racing Antonio Garcia powers his car during the first pratice session in Punta del Este, Uruguay on December 13, 2014. Uruguay will host the third race of the inaugural Formula-E electric car race championship on December 13.  AFP PHOTO / PABLO PORCIUNCULA        (Photo credit should read PABLO PORCIUNCULA/AFP/Getty Images) Getty Images

    GT racer returns after making his Formula E debut in Uruguay at the end of 2014.