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Helio Castroneves Wins Pole for Race 2 of the Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston

June 29th, 2014 at 12:33 PM
By Mark Eddinger

Qualifying Sunday morning for Race 2 of the Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston presented by the Great Houston Honda Dealers was in a different format than normal qualifying for the Verizon IndyCar Series but it was Helio Castroneves of Team Penske that earned the Verizon P1 Award.

_DSC1046 from Flickr via Wylio? 2012 Bryce Womeldurf, Flickr | CC-BY-ND | via Wylio

Two groups went out based on practice times from Friday to set the inside and outside lanes on the starting grid at the NRG Park Stadium Circuit. For Castroneves it is his second pole of 2014 and 41st of his career. He had a time of 59.1702 seconds to lead Group 2. Rookie Mikhail Aleshin led Group 1 with a 1:00:2493 and will start on the front row for Schmidt Peterson Hamilton Motorsports.

Castroneves also earned three championship points and now enters the scheduled 90-lap race 31 points behind his Team Penske teammate Will Power.

On row two will be Simon Pagenaud, who won the pole yesterday for Race 1 and Graham Rahal. Sebastien Bourdais will start fifth with Justin Wilson sixth, James Hinchcliffe seventh, Tony Kanaan eighth, Carlos Munoz ninth, and Takuma Sato tenth.

Yesterday's surprise winner of Race 1, rookie Carlos Huertas for Dale Coyne Racing, will start from 13th. Juan Pablo Montoya, who finished second yesterday will start from 14th. Other notables in the starting grid are Marco Andretti in 16th, Will Power 18th, and Ryan Hunter-Reay 21st. There are 23 cars in the field.

Also Sunday morning INDYCAR fined Marco Andretti and Andretti Autosport both $2,500 for failure to yield to the blue flag in Race 1 yesterday. The blue flag signals to move over for the leaders and Andretti instead held up Takuma Sato for several laps while his teammate James Hinchcliffe gained ground. Andretti has also been placed on probation for three races starting with today's race.

Race 2 at the 10-turn street course can be seen today at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

Tags: Andretti Autosport, Carlos Huertas, Dale Coyne Racing, Graham Rahal, Helio Castroneves, IndyCar Series, Juan Pablo Montoya, Marco Andretti, Mikhail Aleshin, Motorsports, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Simon Pagenaud, Takuma Sato, Team Penske, Will Power

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