FONTANA, Calif. (AP) — Marco Andretti has won the pole for the IndyCar season finale at Auto Club Speedway.
Andretti’s qualifying average was 216.069 mph, and narrowly held off Ryan Briscoe’s challenge of 216.058.
It’s the first pole since 2008 for Andretti, who is stuck in the worst season of his career. Andretti is ranked a career-worst 17th in the standings headed into Saturday night’s finale.
IndyCar points leader Will Power qualified third, but will drop back 10 spots on the starting grid for making an unapproved engine change. Same for Ryan Hunter-Reay, who qualified 17th and also will drop back at the start.
Power takes a 17-point lead over Hunter-Reay into the finale. Both are seeking their first championship.