Friday, December 2, 2022

McLaughlin Beats Out Grosjean for Pole in Nashville

Scott McLaughlin at Nashville
Scott McLaughlin seized pole in qualifying at Nashville. Image courtesy of James Black / Penske Entertainment

Scott McLaughlin pulled out a late flyer claim pole for the Big Machine Music City Grand Prix.

Piloting the No. 3 Team Penske Chevrolet, the 29-year-old New Zealander threw down a quick lap of 1m14.5555s (101.401 mph) around the 11-turn, 2.1-mile temporary street circuit in Nashville to best the No. 28 Andretti Autosport Honda of Grosjean by 0.1420s. For McLaughlin, it marks his second pole of his career and the 2022 NTT IndyCar Series season.

Behind McLaughlin and Grosjean was the continued impressive form of rookie Christian Lundgaard, who put the No. 30 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda in third. Reigning IndyCar champion Alex Palou was the last driver on track to attempt a run, but ended up fourth in the No. 10 Chip Ganassi Racing Honda when all was finished.

The No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet of Pato O’Ward claimed fifth, while two-time IndyCar champion Josef Newgarden ended up sixth in the No. 2 Team Penske Chevrolet.

During the Firestone Fast Six fight for pole, Newgarden was the only driver to start on the primary (black sidewall) compound, while the other competitors began their attempts on the eco-friendly alternate (green sidewall) tire.

The group of drivers that saw qualifying end in the Fast 12 were led by rookie David Malukas, who will start seventh for tomorrow’s 80-lap race. Championship leader Will Power appeared poised to advance, but lost his best lap after being penalized for causing a local yellow that impeded another competitor, which happened to be O’Ward that was affected and advanced as a result. Power will start eighth.

Graham Rahal and Rinus VeeKay ended up ninth and 10th, respectively. Jack Harvey came away 11th, and the No. 4 AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet of Dalton Kellett ended up 12th.

The most notable part of the early part of qualifying happened in Group 1 of Round 1. Colton Herta was in a position to advance, but continued on and ended up overshooting Turn 4 and went into the tire barrier, breaking the front wing. The crash brought out a red flag, which also ended running for Group 1. By virtue of bringing out the red flag, Herta lost his two fastest laps, which dropped him out of an advanced spot and elevated Dalton Kellett, who advanced into the Fast 12 for the first time in his IndyCar career. Herta’s incident also impacted teammate Alexander Rossi, who saw his chance to advance halted by the red flag. Rossi will start 17th, while Herta will begin his assault for tomorrow’s contest from 23rd.

Six-time IndyCar champion Scott Dixon also endured another miserable qualifying session, with his No. 9 Chip Ganassi Racing Honda being the fastest not to advance out of Group 2 of Round 1. Dixon ended up 14th.

Up Next: The warm-up session is set for Sunday at 10:15 a.m. ET, with live coverage on Peacock, the IndyCar Radio Network and IndyCar Live!

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