Qualifications complete at Pocono, Marco Andretti remains quickest

Jeff Zelevansky

Marco Andretti was quickest in Thursday testing and Saturday morning practice, and backed it up once again with his second pole award of the season.

Marco Andretti continued to be the only driver with an average lap speed over 221 miles per hour around the 2.5 mile Pocono Raceway, which was more than good enough to claim the Verizon P1 Award for Sunday's Pocono IndyCar 400 fueled by Sunoco.

"I got everything out of it. I knew I was going to be pleased with the result. It all came together. It was going to be all about balance. We were really focusing on all details in practice."

Marco becomes the third member of the Andretti family to win the pole at the Long Pond, Pennsylvania facility.

"It means a lot to me. This is the first place where, besides Milwaukee, I was able to get a pole where they did."

Tony Kanaan was second fastest during the morning practice session, but couldn't get the car to stick in Turn 1 relegating him to fifth fastest overall.

This left the window open for an Andretti Autosport sweep of the front row. 2012 series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay qualified second while James Hinchcliffe will start the race at the "Tricky Triangle" on the outside. Hinchcliffe spoke about his team's performance.

"Andretti Autosport, 1-2-3, it's incredible. It's Pocono, Andretti on pole, Andretti Autosport on front row -- you couldn't write a better story than that."

E.J. Viso was on track to possibly make it a front four sweep, but got loose into Turn 1 on his second qualifying lap and wrecked hard into the SAFER barrier. Alex Tagliani concluded the session brushing the outside wall and spun into the inside SAFER barrier. Both drivers were treated and released from the care center.

While sweeping the practice sessions and qualifying has been nice, Andretti and team have been focused on closing the deal on Sunday and beyond.

"Tomorrow is the one we want. That would be icing on the cake. My first goal is tomorrow. I really want to get this monkey off my back. I want to get the wins coming. We need to close the gap, first and foremost, on the points lead."

The complete qualifying results can be found below:

1. Marco Andretti

2. Ryan Hunter-Reay

3. James Hinchcliffe

4. Will Power

5. Tony Kanaan

6. Helio Castroneves

7. Scott Dixon

8. Takuma Sato

9. Simon Pagenaud

10. Simona De Silvestro

11. Tristan Vautier

12. Sebastien Bourdais

13. Charlie Kimball

14. James Jakes

15. Ed Carpenter

16. Josef Newgarden

17. Graham Rahal

18. Dario Franchitti

19. Pippa Mann

20. Justin Wilson

21. Sebastian Saavedra

22. E.J. Viso

23. Ryan Briscoe

24. Alex Tagliani

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