Simon Pagenaud wins first IndyCar pole of season at Toronto

TORONTO -- Simon Pagenaud took the pole Saturday for the IndyCar race Sunday at Exhibition Place.

Pagenaud had a track-record lap of 58.9124 seconds at an average speed of 109.138 mph on the 1.786-mile street course for his first pole of the season and 10th overall.

The Frenchman, the winner this year on the oval in Phoenix, gave Team Penske its eighth pole in 11 races this season.

"It was a really good lap, one of the best I've ever put together," Pagenaud said. "Certainly, there is not much more in it, but the whole qualifying I worked on details and driving. My teammates, they are tremendous; it's such a good atmosphere when we work together.

"Each practice we talked about how we manage the corners and we keep improving each other. I feel like I really extracted the best out of my car, the best out of my setup today. It's obviously the most satisfying thing, and that is what I'm always seeking for."

Graham Rahal was second Saturday for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, followed by Penske's Helio Castroneves and Will Power, and Chip Ganassi Racing's Scott Dixon. Hometown favorite James Hinchcliffe qualified sixth for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports.

"Honestly, I think on used tires, it's probably the best lap I've ever put together to put us P2," Rahal said. "The Penskes looked like they were going to run away with this thing. I'm so geeked for this team. These boys have worked so hard and, man, I couldn't be more proud of them. That was awesome."