Scott Dixon will chase his first IndyCar win at St Petersburg tomorrow from eighth on the grid.
The defending series champion was eliminated from group qualifying in Q2, missing out on a spot in the Firestone Fast Six by 0.06s.
The start of qualifying was far from ideal for Dixon.
He brought out a yellow in his Q1 group after spinning down an escape road. He managed to avoid contact with the barrier though race control did take away his best lap time due to the incident.
Mustering up a last lap gasp to advance to Q2, Dixon then clocked the sixth-best lap of the session.
The Kiwi’s time was 0.0603s quicker than Ryan Hunter-Reay, who was the first driver eliminated at the cutoff.
Unfortunately, Dixon ended up eighth in the final moments of Q2, ending his progress in qualifying.
He will start from the fourth row ahead of Graham Rahal and championship leader Alex Palou.
Scott McLaughlin will line up 14th after narrowly missing out on advancing to Q2.
An early flyer on the primary tyres saw McLaughlin leapfrog to the top of the timesheets in his Q1 group.
However, late improvements throughout the field bumped the rookie to seventh, and he was duly eliminated.
Still, McLaughlin will start six places ahead of teammate Will Power whose disastrous qualifying leaves him starting 20th.
Power clipped the barrier on what was shaping up to be his best lap. The collision knocked his right-rear wheel out of line, and he failed to improve.
“It’s nuts to go from one of the best cars on Friday to the worst car today,” Power said.
Colton Herta claimed his fifth career pole position ahead of Jack Harvey at the very end of the Fast Six.
Herta was one of several drivers caught up in last weekend’s opening lap melee at Barber Motorsport Park.
It is the first pole the 21-year-old has claimed with his father, Bryan, as his race engineer.
Josef Newgarden will start tomorrow’s race from third with Simon Pagenaud directly alongside him.
Sebastien Bourdais and Pato O’Ward rounded out the top six.
The Grand Prix of St Petersburg is set to start at 4.30 am NZT on Monday.