Nashville IndyCar: Herta dominates to take pole position

Colton Herta delivered his sixth IndyCar Series pole with a brilliant lap of Nashville’s 2.17-mile street course, while local star Josef Newgarden crashed in Q2 and will start 12th.

Nashville IndyCar: Herta dominates to take pole position

Herta advanced from his Q1 group on primary tyres, which meant the Andretti Autosport driver had a set of fresh red soft tyres for the final segment of qualifying, and he duly delivered a scintillating 1m13.6835s with his third lap to grab pole position in the top six pole shootout.

In that context, six-time IndyCar champion Scott Dixon did a great job to deliver a lap 0.5492s slower, beating Chip Ganassi Racing team-mate and points leader Alex Palou in the process.

Alexander Rossi was second fastest of the Andretti Autosport drivers in fourth place and ahead of the fastest Chevrolet driver, Arrow McLaren SP’s Felix Rosenqvist, while Romain Grosjean landed sixth for Dale Coyne Racing with RWR.

But with IndyCar points leader Palou picking up a six-place grid drop for an unapproved engine change, the Spanish driver will start the Nashville race down in ninth place.

In Q2, Simon Pagenaud was the only driver to take used soft tyres from the start of the session, and he briefly held top spot but was eventually eclipsed before all drivers ducked into the pits for fresh softs.

Grosjean threw down a marker on his fourth lap in Q2 with a 1m15.0078s ahead of Palou and Herta, but was then bumped off top spot by the championship leader, and demoted further by Rosenqvist.

Romain Grosjean, Dale Coyne Racing with RWR Honda

Romain Grosjean, Dale Coyne Racing with RWR Honda

Photo by: Phillip Abbott / Motorsport Images

Josef Newgarden, who lay sixth at the time, was attempting to set another flyer when he locked up into Turn 10 and smacked the wall hard with his right-front and the right-rear. The resulting debris spread on to the track was considered interference with the close-following O’Ward, so Newgarden had his fastest lap deleted, dropping him to 12th, alongside team-mate Will Power.

That didn’t help O’Ward who wound up ninth, while Jack Harvey’s Meyer Shank Racing missed the Fast Six by 0.12s but will start sixth - up one spot due to Palou's penalty.

Earlier in Q1's second group, Grosjean had a little spin in the Turn 10 run-off but was able to resume with a spin-turn.

Herta continued the form he’s shown in practice, and on primaries he delivered a 1m14.7067s – at that point a full second ahead of the opposition on primary tyres, and the first lap in the 101mph bracket.

Dixon eventually shaded that with a 1m14.6673s but needed a set of alternate compound tyres to do it. Harvey delivered third-fastest time for Meyer Shank Racing ahead of the impressive James Hinchcliffe, ahead of Pagenaud’s Penske and Grosjean in the Dale Coyne Racing with RWR-Honda.

Ryan Hunter-Reay failed to advance, his cause not helped by being issued a drive-through penalty for speeding on pitlane, while Rinus VeeKay was kicking himself for tapping the wall with his Ed Carpenter Racing car, bending the rear suspension and leaving him starting behind team-mate Conor Daly, but ahead of Takuma Sato.

In Q1's first group, Jimmie Johnson drove his Chip Ganassi Racing into the wall at Turn 10 on his out-lap, which caused a red flag and meant the qualifying segment only got going with 3m30s remaining, forcing all the remaining drivers on to the soft tyres with no sighting laps. Johnson’s team-mate Palou landed top spot with a 1m15.3385s, a few hundredths ahead of Andretti Autosport’s Rossi and the Arrow McLaren SP of O’Ward.

Scott McLaughlin, who suffered an incident this morning, was eliminated after brushing the wall with his right-front wheel, as were the Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing cars of Graham Rahal and Santino Ferrucci, and Meyer Shank Racing’s Helio Castroneves, who is making his first IndyCar road/street course start of the year.

IndyCar Nashville Music City Grand Prix - Qualifying results

Fast Six 

P

No

Name

FTime

Diff

Gap

FL

Laps

LapTime

LPit

Led

ST

FSpeed

Elapsed

Engine

Tire

Points

Team

1

26

Colton Herta

1:13.6835

1:13.6835

0.000

3

3

1:13.6835

0

 

3

102.601

6:34.5151

Honda

A

260

Andretti Autosport

2

9

Scott Dixon

1:14.2327

0.5492

0.5492

3

3

1:14.2327

0

 

4

101.842

6:47.4532

Honda

A

328

Chip Ganassi Racing

3

10

Alex Palou

1:14.6316

0.9481

0.3989

4

4

1:14.6316

2

 

1

101.298

6:42.6637

Honda

A

384

Chip Ganassi Racing

4

27

Alexander Rossi

1:14.6646

0.9811

0.0330

4

4

1:14.6646

1

 

2

101.253

6:51.1960

Honda

A

201

Andretti Autosport

5

7

Felix Rosenqvist

1:15.0045

1.3210

0.3399

2

2

1:15.0045

0

 

5

100.794

4:23.1241

Chevy

A

94

Arrow McLaren SP

6

51

Romain Grosjean

1:15.3980

1.7145

0.3935

3

3

1:15.3980

0

 

6

100.268

5:09.0088

Honda

A

151

Dale Coyne Racing w/Rick Ware Racing

Q2

P

No

Name

FTime

Diff

Gap

FL

Laps

LapTime

LPit

Led

ST

FSpeed

Elapsed

Engine

Tire

Points

Team

1

10

Alex Palou

1:14.4578

1:14.4578

0.000

6

7

1:28.2003

4

 

1

101.534

11:08.2736

Honda

A

384

Chip Ganassi Racing

2

27

Alexander Rossi

1:14.5252

0.0674

0.0674

6

7

1:34.2125

4

 

3

101.442

11:20.5486

Honda

A

201

Andretti Autosport

3

26

Colton Herta

1:14.7232

0.2654

0.1980

6

7

1:24.3425

4

 

4

101.173

10:44.6331

Honda

A

260

Andretti Autosport

4

9

Scott Dixon

1:14.8394

0.3816

0.1162

6

7

1:29.8086

4

 

2

101.016

11:07.5382

Honda

A

328

Chip Ganassi Racing

5

7

Felix Rosenqvist

1:14.8476

0.3898

0.0082

5

6

1:15.0847

3

 

7

101.005

10:20.3461

Chevy

A

94

Arrow McLaren SP

6

51

Romain Grosjean

1:15.0078

0.5500

0.1602

4

6

1:15.3512

3

 

12

100.790

10:08.5260

Honda

A

151

Dale Coyne Racing w/Rick Ware Racing

7

60

Jack Harvey

1:15.1309

0.6731

0.1231

5

6

1:18.8060

3

 

6

100.624

10:49.0169

Honda

A

170

Meyer Shank Racing

8

22

Simon Pagenaud

1:15.1354

0.6776

0.0045

6

6

1:15.1354

3

 

10

100.618

10:14.2719

Chevy

A

271

Team Penske

9

5

Pato O'Ward

1:15.1914

0.7336

0.0560

5

6

1:15.6485

3

 

5

100.543

10:30.9797

Chevy

A

345

Arrow McLaren SP

10

29

James Hinchcliffe

1:15.3255

0.8677

0.1341

6

7

1:28.2633

5

 

8

100.364

11:22.5185

Honda

A

131

Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport

11

12

Will Power

1:15.4678

1.0100

0.1423

7

7

1:15.4678

4

 

11

100.175

10:41.1497

Chevy

A

209

Team Penske

12

2

Josef Newgarden

1:15.5062

1.0484

0.0384

3

6

1:14.8873

4

 

9

100.124

9:10.5438

Chevy

A

315

Team Penske

Q1 Group 2

P

No

Name

FTime

Diff

Gap

FL

Laps

LapTime

LPit

Led

ST

FSpeed

Elapsed

Engine

Tire

Points

Team

1

9

Scott Dixon

1:14.6673

1:14.6673

0.000

7

7

1:14.6673

4

 

2

101.249

10:49.5509

Honda

A

7

Chip Ganassi Racing

2

26

Colton Herta

1:14.7067

0.0394

0.0394

4

4

1:14.7067

0

 

1

101.196

6:11.4099

Honda

A

16

Andretti Autosport

3

60

Jack Harvey

1:15.2585

0.5912

0.5518

6

6

1:15.2585

3

 

7

100.454

10:53.2964

Honda

A

24

Meyer Shank Racing

4

29

James Hinchcliffe

1:15.2646

0.5973

0.0061

6

7

1:21.9789

4

 

10

100.446

11:03.8075

Honda

A

19

Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport

5

22

Simon Pagenaud

1:15.3661

0.6988

0.1015

6

6

1:15.3661

3

 

6

100.310

10:17.1165

Chevy

A

15

Team Penske

6

51

Romain Grosjean

1:15.3730

0.7057

0.0069

5

6

1:19.0267

3

 

8

100.301

10:26.8508

Honda

A

22

Dale Coyne Racing w/Rick Ware Racing

7

28

Ryan Hunter-Reay

1:15.4984

0.8311

0.1254

7

7

1:15.4984

4

 

11

100.135

11:00.8162

Honda

A

18

Andretti Autosport

8

14

Sebastien Bourdais

1:15.6055

0.9382

0.1071

6

7

1:16.2396

4

 

3

99.993

11:06.3270

Chevy

A

10

AJ Foyt Enterprises

9

8

Marcus Ericsson

1:15.6379

0.9706

0.0324

5

6

1:24.6842

4

 

4

99.950

9:36.8593

Honda

A

6

Chip Ganassi Racing

10

20

Conor Daly

1:15.6685

1.0012

0.0306

6

6

1:15.6685

4

 

12

99.909

10:05.5522

Chevy

A

13

Ed Carpenter Racing

11

21

Rinus VeeKay

1:15.7029

1.0356

0.0344

4

5

1:19.4737

3

 

5

99.864

9:22.2453

Chevy

A

14

Ed Carpenter Racing

12

30

Takuma Sato

1:15.8503

1.1830

0.1474

6

6

1:15.8503

5

 

13

99.670

10:29.8487

Honda

A

20

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

13

18

Ed Jones

1:15.8770

1.2097

0.0267

6

6

1:15.8770

3

 

9

99.635

10:13.5519

Honda

P

12

Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser Sullivan

14

52

Cody Ware

1:17.6115

2.9442

1.7345

6

6

1:17.6115

4

 

14

97.408

10:23.3143

Honda

A

29

Dale Coyne Racing w/Rick Ware Racing

Q1 Group 1

P

No

Name

FTime

Diff

Gap

FL

Laps

LapTime

LPit

Led

ST

FSpeed

Elapsed

Engine

Tire

Points

Team

1

10

Alex Palou

1:15.3385

1:15.3385

0.000

4

4

1:15.3385

2

 

2

100.347

10:24.2266

Honda

A

384

Chip Ganassi Racing

2

27

Alexander Rossi

1:15.3721

0.0336

0.0336

4

4

1:15.3721

2

 

1

100.302

10:20.5337

Honda

A

201

Andretti Autosport

3

5

Pato O'Ward

1:15.4160

0.0775

0.0439

4

4

1:15.4160

2

 

4

100.244

10:39.4848

Chevy

A

345

Arrow McLaren SP

4

7

Felix Rosenqvist

1:15.5305

0.1920

0.1145

4

4

1:15.5305

2

 

3

100.092

10:31.0183

Chevy

A

94

Arrow McLaren SP

5

2

Josef Newgarden

1:15.5474

0.2089

0.0169

4

4

1:15.5474

2

 

9

100.070

10:09.8026

Chevy

A

315

Team Penske

6

12

Will Power

1:15.6309

0.2924

0.0835

4

4

1:15.6309

2

 

7

99.959

10:15.1820

Chevy

A

209

Team Penske

7

15

Graham Rahal

1:16.1097

0.7712

0.4788

4

4

1:16.1097

2

 

8

99.330

10:29.0798

Honda

A

256

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

8

06

Helio Castroneves

1:16.3479

1.0094

0.2382

4

4

1:16.3479

2

 

6

99.020

10:54.8523

Honda

A

103

Meyer Shank Racing

9

45

Santino Ferrucci

1:16.4647

1.1262

0.1168

4

4

1:16.4647

2

 

10

98.869

10:44.6213

Honda

A

127

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

10

4

Dalton Kellett

1:17.1516

1.8131

0.6869

4

4

1:17.1516

2

 

13

97.989

10:49.7348

Chevy

A

95

AJ Foyt Enterprises

11

59

Max Chilton

1:17.5553

2.2168

0.4037

4

4

1:17.5553

2

 

12

97.479

10:36.9498

Chevy

A

77

Carlin

12

3

Scott McLaughlin

1:18.1899

2.8514

0.6346

4

4

1:18.1899

2

 

5

96.688

10:36.5183

Chevy

A

198

Team Penske

13

48

Jimmie Johnson

No Time

---

---

--

---

--.---

0

 

11

---

1:46.2978

Honda

P

56

Chip Ganassi Racing

 

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