Friday evening at Indianapolis - The IndyCars are qualified…
…for tomorrow’s Big Machine Spiked Coolers Grand Prix. Instead of a regular Firestone Fast Six qualifying, with three sessions, this was a Firestone Fast Twelve, with just two sessions, but it was just as fun to watch everything happen in the last few seconds.
Here is the way the IndyCars qualified for Season Round 12, with times for the TOP SIX: [R] denotes rookie
Pole - Pato O’Ward, Arrow McLaren SP - time of 1:10.7147s for a speed of 124.167mph
P2 - Will Power, Team Penske - time of 1:10.7214s for a speed of 124.155mph
P3 - Romain Grosjean [R], Dale Coyne Racing w/ Rick Ware Racing - time of 1:10.7418s for a speed of 124.119mph
P4 - Christian Lundgaard [R], Rahal Letterman Lanigan - time of 1:10.7433s for a speed of 124.116mph
P5 - Colton Herta, Andretti Autosport - time of 1:10.7631s for a speed of 124.082mph
P6 - Alex Palou, Chip Ganassi Racing - time of 1:10.9996s for a speed of 123.996mph
P7 - Jack Harvey, Meyer Shank Racing
P8 - Conor Daly, Ed Carpenter Racing
P9 - Rinus VeeKay, Ed Carpenter Racing
P10 - Alexander Rossi, Andretti Autosport
P11 - Marcus Ericsson, Chip Ganassi Racing
P12 - Simon Pagenaud, Team Penske
P13 - Ryan Hunter-Reay, Andretti Autosport
P14 - Josef Newgarden, Team Penske
P15 - Sebastien Bourdais, AJ Foyt Enterprises
P16 - Takuma Sato, Rahal Letterman Lanigan
P17 - Graham Rahal, Rahal Letterman Lanigan
P18 - Ed Jones, Dale Coyne Racing w/ Vasser Sullivan
P19 - Max Chilton, Carlin
P20 - Felix Rosenqvist, Arrow McLaren SP
P21 - Scott McLaughlin [R], Team Penske
P22 - Jimmie Johnson [R], Chip Ganassi Racing
P23 - Helio Castroneves, Meyer Shank Racing
P24 - James Hinchcliffe, Andretti Autosport
P25 - RC Enerson [R], Top Gun Racing
P26 - Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing
P27 - Cody Ware [R], Dale Coyne Racing w/ Rick Ware Racing
P28 - Dalton Kellett, AJ Foyt Enterprises
In the final minutes of qualifying we saw rookie Romain Grosjean fly to the top, ready to repeat his feat of his pole here last May. Right with him was fellow rookie Christian Lundgaard. They both looked like they have been doing this for years, and were only separated by 0.0015 seconds. Then, in the final 5 seconds, Pato O’Ward and Will Power popped on top, separated by 0.0067 seconds. IN-CRED-IBLE !!..and so much fun to watch.
Will Power thought that Pato slowed him down on his first of three laps in the session and lodged a complaint, but Race Control said, “Sorry, no” and the results stood. This is Pato’s 3rd pole of the season - the most of any driver in the series, so far this year.
Great qualifying for Conor Daly who barely bested his lightning-fast teammate, Rinus VeeKay - the WINNER of the last race on the Road Course.
In the Q-1 session Scott Dixon made an unforced error and spun, putting himself far away from his championship rivals Alex Palou, Marcus Ericsson and Pato O’Ward. He will have to dig hard and have some luck on Saturday to get anywhere near them.
Felix Rosenqvist was poised to transfer, but sped through Scott Dixon’s yellow flag area and incurred a penalty of his best lap. He will now start P20 instead of in the TOP 12.
Not only did former Road Course WINNER Josef Newgarden not transfer out of the Q-1 session, but he will also have to start the race 6 grid position WORSE than this qualifying, as he is being penalized for an unapproved engine change, following Nashville. He, like Dixon, will need to dig, tomorrow.
The was Jimmie Johnson’s best qually yet, as he was in the TOP SIX for much of the Q-1 session, but ultimately he failed to transfer. He was still very happy with his own performance, and should be. He beat out 6 guys, including Helio Castroneves, James Hinchcliffe, RC Enerson and Scott Dixon.
Conor Daly (left) and Jimmie Johnson swapped helmets today - a sign of mutual respect.
The race is scheduled for broadcast on NBC-SN on Saturday, starting at 12:30pm EASTERN time. Prior to that, there will be a short early-morning warm-up, featured on Peacock at 8:45am EASTERN time.