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Qualifying report

IndyCar Nashville: McLaughlin takes pole by big margin

Team Penske’s Scott McLaughlin will start from pole position for the IndyCar Series race on the streets of Nashville, beating the opposition by over three tenths of a second.

Scott McLaughlin, Team Penske Chevrolet, Pole Award, Pole winner

Photo by: Gavin Baker / Motorsport Images

McLaughlin lapped the 11-turn, 2.1-mile temporary street course with a best lap of 1m14.6099s, and will start ahead of Pato O’Ward (Arrow McLaren) and Colton Herta (Andretti).

Qualifying was delayed by over three and a half hours due to track conditions after heavy rain caused standing water when it was originally slated to run. As a consequence, it ran in dry and sunny weather instead.

O’Ward set the early pace during the Fast Six shootout at 1m15.3506s, before series leader Alex Palou (Chip Ganassi Racing) – who opted for new harder primary tyres as opposed to used alternates – grabbed P1 with 1m15.2462s.

Herta beat them both with 1m15.2416s, but McLaughlin unleashed 1m14.6099s in the final minute to take pole.

O’Ward beat Herta for P2, but was 0.3296s slower than McLaughlin. That trio will start ahead of Palou, David Malukas (Dale Coyne Racing) and Romain Grosjean (Andretti).

Herta was angry with Grosjean’s team for sending his car out right in front of him, which he felt hampered his bid for the front row.

McLaughlin had only set the fourth-fastest time in the second round of qualifying that determined the final six who would progress to the pole shootout. 

That session was headed by O’Ward on 1m14.5944s from Herta, Palou, McLaughlin, Grosjean and Malukas.

Failing to make it through were FP1 pacesetter Will Power (Penske), Kyle Kirkwood (Andretti), hometown hero and title contender Josef Newgarden (Penske), Alexander Rossi (McLaren), series debutant Linus Lundqvist (Meyer Shank Racing) and Scott Dixon (Ganassi) who crashed hard at Turn 11 in the closing moments and will start 12th.

Scott McLaughlin, Team Penske Chevrolet

Scott McLaughlin, Team Penske Chevrolet

Photo by: Gavin Baker / Motorsport Images

In Group 1, McLaughlin was fastest with a time of 1m15.1629s, half a second ahead of Dixon, Malukas, Rossi, Newgarden and Lundqvist.

Toronto winner Christian Lundgaard (Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing) was among those who failed to progress, missing out by just 0.0093s. Similarly unfortunate were his team-mate Graham Rahal, Helio Castroneves (MSR), Rinus VeeKay (Ed Carpenter Racing), Santino Ferrucci (AJ Foyt Racing), and Agustin Canapino (Juncos Hollinger Racing), who lost a lap for a pitlane violation. Benjamin Pedersen (Foyt) caused an early red flag by overshooting Turn 11 and stalled.

In Group 2, Herta set the quickest time at 1m15.0030s, 0.05s ahead of Kirkwood, Palou, O’Ward, Grosjean and Power, who got away with a wall brush.

Felix Rosenqvist (McLaren) was another to be knocked out by a slim margin of just 0.0039s. Also making no further progress were Marcus Armstrong (CGR), Callum Ilott (JHR), FP2 pacesetter Marcus Ericsson (CGR), Jack Harvey (Rahal), Sting Ray Robb (Coyne), Devlin DeFrancesco (Andretti) and Ryan Hunter-Reay (ECR).

IndyCar Nashville Starting Grid

 
 
   
Driver Info
 
 
Cla Driver # Time Mph
1 New Zealand S. McLaughlin Scott McLaughlin Team Penske 3 1'14.6099 64.319
2 Mexico P. O'Ward Patricio O'Ward Arrow McLaren 5 +0.3296 64.036
3 United States C. Herta Colton Herta Andretti Autosport 26 +0.6317 63.779
4 Spain A. Palou Alex Palou Chip Ganassi Racing 10 +0.6363 63.775
5 United States D. Malukas David Malukas Dale Coyne Racing 18 +1.2604 63.250
6 France R. Grosjean Romain Grosjean Andretti Autosport 28 +1.3822 63.149
7 Australia W. Power Will Power Team Penske 12 +0.5285 63.866
8 United States K. Kirkwood Kyle Kirkwood Andretti Autosport 27 +0.5542 63.844
9 United States J. Newgarden Josef Newgarden Team Penske 2 +0.8763 63.572
10 United States A. Rossi Alexander Rossi Arrow McLaren 7 +0.9612 63.500
11 Sweden L. Lundqvist Linus Lundqvist Meyer Shank Racing 60 +1.4616 63.083
12 New Zealand S. Dixon Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing 9 +2.1593 62.509
13 Denmark C. Lundgaard Christian Lundgaard Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 45 +1.4886 63.060
14 Sweden F. Rosenqvist Felix Rosenqvist Arrow McLaren 6 +0.8539 63.591
15 United States G. Rahal Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 15 +1.5726 62.991
16 New Zealand M. Armstrong Marcus Armstrong Chip Ganassi Racing 11 +0.9532 63.507
17 Brazil H. Castroneves Helio Castroneves Meyer Shank Racing 06 +1.6104 62.960
18 United Kingdom C. Ilott Callum Ilott Juncos Hollinger Racing 77 +1.4071 63.128
19 Netherlands R. van Kalmthout Rinus van Kalmthout Ed Carpenter Racing 21 +1.7257 62.865
20 Sweden M. Ericsson Marcus Ericsson Chip Ganassi Racing 8 +1.4321 63.107
21 United States S. Ferrucci Santino Ferrucci A.J. Foyt Enterprises 14 +2.0317 62.614
22 United Kingdom J. Harvey Jack Harvey Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 30 +1.5094 63.043
23 Argentina A. Canapino Agustin Canapino Juncos Hollinger Racing 78 +2.0801 62.574
24
R. Robb Ray Robb Dale Coyne Racing
51 +1.7808 62.819
25 Denmark B. Pedersen Benjamin Pedersen A.J. Foyt Enterprises 55    
26 Canada D. DeFrancesco Devlin DeFrancesco Andretti Autosport 29 +1.8270 62.781
27 United States R. Hunter-Reay Ryan Hunter-Reay Ed Carpenter Racing 20 +2.6318 62.127

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