The polesitter and the man who missed by 0.035sec were inevitably left with contrasting emotions after the session but shared optimism for tomorrow.

Chip Ganassi Racing's Scott Dixon scored the 24th pole position of his career with a run that eclipsed Team Penske's pacesetter Helio Castroneves by just 0.035sec.

He said: "I think it started with the first few laps. I was all down and out. I'm like ‘oh that doesn't look so good.' I couldn't get my splits to go negative [signifying an improvement on pole time] and then we just crossed the line to get another lap. The team were like ‘keep going, keep going'.

"We just gave it our all and the car just kept getting quicker – I think the Firestone tires finally came in. I was probably not as hard on them as I needed to be right out of the gate.

"So stoked for Team Target it's great to be back on the pole. Whenever you can start on the pole at a street course, especially, is a big help.

"Where they have made the few changes, it is definitely pretty bumpy and a lot tighter in Turns 9 through 11. I think even getting two-wide for the start is going to be difficult, but I'm sure we will be able to pull it off.

"For us, we just have to hope for a clean day. I think whenever the Target car has had a clean day we have been at the right end of the field. We have had a few upsets this year, but just excited to be on pole. It feels damn good and hopefully we can convert it into a win tomorrow."

Castroneves said: "Certainly we had a good car. We made a lot of changes. I have to give credit to my engineer Jonathan Diuguid.

"In the first session I was struggling, but then we made a change, the car was really good. And I said ‘alright let's just keep doing what we are doing, we know what we have to do.'

"We didn't want to wait until the end in case of yellow or red flag so we decided to go a little bit better. Maybe the track got a little bit better, but definitely the Ganassi guys they know what they are doing. This is not their first rodeo.

"I did have a little bit of traffic issue with Will [Power]. I don't mean I missed the pole position because of him. I'm saying when you approach someone's dirty air all of a sudden you lose a little bit of balance.

"The Ganassi guys they went a little bit better. The Shell/Pennzoil Chevrolet is looking very good. I didn't get the pole, but I tell you what, it's going to be a good race tomorrow for the fans."

Interestingly, Power implied that getting out of Castroneves' way may have hurt his own chances at pole. "I let Helio go and went out in the marbles, so on the last run it took almost two bloody laps to get the marbles off my tires.

"It's tough out there, easy to make mistakes and very slippery surfaces. Unless you get everything right you don't get the lap time.

Regarding tomorrow's race, he commented: "The last turn is like threading a needle the way you have to apex the wall and then the exit wall kind of sticks out a little bit.

"So you would expect a few yellows. Sometimes you expect that and there is none, but just have to keep it clean on the first lap and then go into what strategy we think is going to work best judging off the guys in front of us."


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