Ryan Hunter-Reay fights his car around the Long Beach circuit, en route to claiming pole position for Sunday's race. (Photo: Phillip Abbott/LAT Photographic)

fights his car around the circuit, en route to claiming pole position for Sunday’s race. (Photo: Phillip Abbott/LAT Photographic)

Ryan Hunter-Reay and James Hinchcliffe made it an all-Andretti Autosport front row for the .

Hunter-Reay snatched the pole away from his teammate with a late qualifying lap on Saturday at 1 minute, 7.8219 seconds on the temporary course through the streets of downtown. Hinchcliffe wound up second after his lap at 1 minute, 7.9403 seconds.

“If you are going to lose pole, it might as well be to a teammate,” Hinchcliffe said.

Sebastien Bourdais was third, followed by Josef Newgarden, rookie Jack Hawksworth and Simon Pagenaud.

Honda drivers made up five of the Fast Six spots, with Bourdais the only Chevrolet representative.

Several top names failed to advance into the final round, including Scott Dixon and Helio Castroneves.

Defending race winner Takuma Sato didn’t make it out of the first group, and was penalized for interfering with Hunter-Reay during his lap. The punishment stripped Sato of his two fastest laps in the session.

“Tough qualifying session,” Sato said.

Also failing to advance was Indianapolis 500 winner Tony Kanaan, making his second start for Target/Chip Ganassi Racing.

In the next group, Will Power failed to move on for just the second time in his career. He last failed to advance out of the first round at Brazil last season.

“Obviously, the team is starting a lot further back then we had hoped,” Power said. “We just have to try to make that work from where we are and do the best we can tomorrow.”

Defending series champion Scott Dixon did advance into the second round, as did runner-up Helio Castroneves. But neither made it into the Fast Six round, shutting both Team Penske and Chip Ganassi Racing out of the final group.

Juan Pablo Montoya continued to struggle in his return to IndyCar after seven seasons in NASCAR. As he was pushing for more speed on his last qualifying attempt, he lost control of his car and hit the wall. He’ll start 16th on Sunday.

“We keep gaining on it and I definitely think we had a car that was capable of the Fast Six. We just brushed the wall in turn four,” he said. “I was trying hard to get that extra two tenths and it didn’t work out.”

Also struggling was Graham Rahal, who has not found much speed and qualified last in the 23-car field. Oriol Servia, making his first start of the season for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, also struggled in morning practice but picked up some speed in qualifying and advanced into the second round.

Servia was eliminated in that round and will start 12th.

“We tried to make more changes to get the balance in the car better and then tried some bigger ones for qualifying,” Rahal said. “We are just struggling with overall grip. Oriol had a big grip gain on alternate tires and I didn’t feel it. We have a lot of work to do.”

Unofficial Qualifying Results:

  1. Ryan Hunter-Reay – 1:07.8219
  2. James Hinchcliffe – 1:07.9403
  3. Sebastien Bourdais – 1:07.9580
  4. Josef Newgarden – 1.08.0097
  5. Jack Hawksworth – 1.08.0525
  6. Simon Pagenaud – 1:08.0732 
  7. Scott Dixon – 1:07.9981
  8. Marco Andretti – 1:08.0179 
  9. Helio Castroneves – 1:08.1119 
  10. Justin Wilson – 1:08.1218
  11. Carlos Munoz – 1:08.1506 
  12. Oriol Servia – 1:08.3532 
  13. Tony Kanaan – 1:08.4424 
  14. Will Power – 1:08.1159 
  15. Takuma Sato – 1:08.5660 
  16. Juan Pablo Montoya – 1:08.3649
  17. Mike Conway – 1:08.5702 
  18. Ryan Briscoe – 1:08.3699 
  19. Charlie Kimball – 1:08.6507 
  20. Mikhail Aleshin – 1:08.4321 
  21. Carlos Huertas – 1:08.7051 
  22. Sebastian Saavedra – 1:08.9619 
  23. Graham Rahal – 1:09.0562
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