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LONG POND, Pa. – Mikhail Aleshin has won the IndyCar pole at Pocono Raceway.
Aleshin, fastest in morning practice on the tricky 2.5-mile triangular track, turned a fast lap of 220.454 mph in his No. 7 Honda to edge Josef Newgarden for the top spot Saturday. It's the first career pole for the Russian, who drives for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports.
Takuma Sato was third, his best start of the season, followed by Helio Castroneves, Carlos Munoz, Aleshin's teammate James Hinchcliffe, Alexander Rossi, Will Power, Tony Kanaan and Ed Carpenter.
Points leader Simon Pagenaud qualified 14th in windy conditions. Defending race winner Ryan Hunter-Reay crashed in morning practice and did not qualify.
Pocono Raceway painted "JW" on the track at the finish line and Union Jacks flew at half-staff in honor of Englishman Justin Wilson, who died a year ago after being struck by debris in the closing laps of the IndyCar race here.