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Hunter-Reay races to Long Beach pole

The SportsXchange

Ryan Hunter-Reay won the pole on Saturday for the IndyCar Series' Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach (Calif.).

Hunter-Reay was timed in 1 minute, 7.8219 seconds on the 1.968-mile, 11-turn temporary street course, edging Andretti Autosport teammate James Hinchcliffe by .1184 of a second in the final qualifying session for Sunday's 40th running of the Long Beach race.

The pole was the sixth of Hunter-Reay's IndyCar career.

"It just comes down to this team giving me what I need when I need it," Hunter-Reay said. "What a qualifying session. You never knew who was going to put in the best lap; it was anybody's session.

"It's a good start for us, but tomorrow is going to be challenging. We have the standing start and a long day on the beach. We've been on the outside pole so many times here and finally got the big one."

Three-time Long Beach winner Sebastien Bourdais was on the provisional pole until the final minute of the session. He will start in row two with Josef Newgarden. Rookie Jack Hawksworth and Simon Pagenaud qualified in the third row.

Will Power, who won the season-opening race in St. Petersburg, Fla., and is a two-time winner at Long Beach, will start 14th.

In other news, Townsend Bell will drive in the Indianapolis 500 on May 25 for a team co-owned by Jimmy Vasser and Kevin Kalkhoven. Bell finished fourth at Indy in 2009.
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