FONTANA, Calif. — Simon Pagenaud will start on the pole Saturday night in IndyCar’s 500-mile race at Auto Club Speedway.

Pagenaud had a two-lap average of 218.952 mph on the 2-mile oval Friday to earn his second career pole. He also topped qualifying in Houston in 2014.

Helio Castroneves was right behind him, giving Team Penske both spots on the front row.

Marco Andretti was third, Ed Carpenter fourth and points leader Juan Pablo Montoya gave Team Penske three of the top five spots.

Team Penske has dominated the series so far this season, entering this weekend’s race with three of the top four drivers in points.

Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon, third in the points, finished sixth.

NASCAR’S MOST POPULAR driver is calling the Confederate flag “offensive to an entire race” while voicing his support for it being removed from the grounds of the South Carolina state capitol.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. said he’s long felt that the flag has no place in present day use.

Teammate Jeff Gordon says Hendrick Motorsports has long prohibited any merchandise that uses the Confederate flag.