After a delay of an hour and a half due to rain and lightning, the drivers had to take the race green and risk everything in an effort to earn a qualifying position to race around the streets of Nashville.
However, over time, cars began to run on the road, all the water evaporated and allowed smooth tires to be installed from the very beginning.
When the checkered flag flew after three knockout rounds, it was Scott McLaughlin who set the fastest time in the afternoon. The Kiwi cut the city’s track in 1:14.5555, a tenth of a second over Romain Grosjean.
Pole is McLaughlin’s second in his IndyCar career, and he hopes he can turn that Pole into a win as he did in St Petersburg to open the season.
Christian Lundgaard continued to impress, locking up the rookie for the third fastest lap of the day in his RLL Honda. He will start alongside Alex Ballou in the second grade.
Pato O’Ward used his quick hands to put the Arrow McLaren SP Chevy in third row, and he will start alongside Josef Newgarden.
Will Power nearly advanced to Fast 6 along with his Penske teammates, but caused the local yellow while running and incurred a penalty that nullified his fastest lap. It will start at 8 pm on Sunday.
All three RLL drivers advanced from round one, representing a much-needed strong showing for the team. Graham Rahal and Jack Harvey were the lowest qualifiers, despite finishing ninth and eleventh respectively.
Before the first laps started, Devlin DeFrancesco parked his car at the end of the long bridge section and had to be restarted from the AMR safety crew. As a result, he was not allowed to advance, and he would start from the back of the pack.
Colton Herta also had problems on his first attempt, and Andretti Autosport Honda threw him into the hurdles. This incident adds to Hertha’s recent disappointment, and he will have to work his way out of the way back on the twenty-first.
Herta’s error also disrupted other drivers’ lanes, including teammate Alexander Rossi’s fast lap, meaning many only had time for one quick lap before the first round was completed.
Dalton Kellett was one of the drivers who profited from the misfortune of others, and driver AJ Foyt Racing advanced into the top 12 for the first time in his career. The 28-year-old will start from the sixth grade.
Last year’s race winner Marcus Ericsson underperformed and will have to try to reclaim his points lead from 18th.
Sunday’s race is scheduled to begin at 3:00 p.m. ET, when it can rain again over Nashville.
|1||Scott McLaughlin||01: 14.5555||101.401|
|2||Romain Grosjean||01: 14.6975||101.208|
|3||Christian Lundgaard||01: 14.7149||101.185|
|4||Alex Ballou||01: 14.9087||100.923|
|5||Batu ward||01: 14.9261||100.899|
|6||Joseph Newgarden||01: 15.1461||100.604|
|7||David Mallukas||01: 14.9616||100.852|
|9||Graham Rahal||01: 15.3112||100.383|
|10||Rinus Vikai||01: 15.3897||100.279|
|11||Jack Harvey||01: 15.9758||99.505|
|12||Kellett Dalton||01: 16.5600.001||98.746|
|13||Simon Pagenaud||01: 19.4039||95.209|
|14||Scott Dixon||01: 15.3179||100.375|
|15th||Felix Rosenqvist||01: 21.1784||93.128|
|16||Kyle Kirkwood||01: 15.4382||100.214|
|17||Alexander Rossi||01: 21.4579||992,809|
|18||Marcus Ericsson||01: 15.4501||100.199|
|19||Callum Ellot||01: 57.6982||64.232|
|20||Takuma Sato||01: 15.5935||100.009|
|21||Simona de Silvestro||no time||–|
|22||Conor Daly||01: 16.3955||98.959|
|23||Colton Hertha||no time||–|
|24||Helio Castroneves||01: 16.5898||98.708|
|25||Devlin de Francesco||no time||–|
|26||Jimmy Johnson||01: 17.5888||97,437|
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