Qualifying for this weekend’s 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series Bommarito Automotive Group 500 at Gateway Motorsports Park has been cancelled due to persistent rain. As a result, the grid order will be set by the current championship standings, meaning that Scott Dixon will lead the field to the green flag.
Opening practice at Gateway was forced to be delayed by three hours as rain continued to fall in the St. Louis area. The session was also brought to a premature close as rain returned, with Alexander Rossi having finished the session as the fastest driver.
Shortly after the conclusion of practice, IndyCar Series officials announced that qualifying, which was scheduled to take place later this evening, would not be held due to the rain. This meant that the starting grid for the race would be determined by the championship standings.
The championship leader, Scott Dixon, will start on the front-row alongside his nearest challenger Alexander Rossi. If both are in the running for the race win on Saturday night, the race could prove pivotal as the season nears its end at Sonoma Raceway.
Team-mates Josef Newgarden and Will Power will share the second row of the grid, with Ryan Hunter-Reay and Simon Pagenaud lining up fifth and sixth respectively. Graham Rahal and James Hinchcliffe will start just behind in seventh and eighth, with Sebastien Bourdais and Marco Andretti rounding out the top ten on the grid.
Despite only competing in the oval races this year, Ed Carpenter will line up in eleventh place, as his #20 car has also been entered in the road course and street races with Jordan King at the wheel.
Qualifying’s cancellation will likely come as a disappointment for the likes of Spencer Pigot, Tony Kanaan and Zach Veach. All three finished practice inside the top ten and will now start down in positions fourteen through sixteen. Veach will at least have the consolation prize of being the highest placed rookie, though that comes due to the absence of the injured Robert Wickens.
Final practice will still take place later this evening, with series officials opting to extend the session’s length to compensate for the loss of qualifying. The race itself will be run under the floodlights on Saturday evening.
2018 Verizon IndyCar Series – Bommarito Automotive Group 500 – Starting grid:
|1||9||Scott Dixon||NZL||Chip Ganassi Racing|
|2||27||Alexander Rossi||USA||Andretti Autosport|
|3||1||Josef Newgarden||USA||Team Penske|
|4||12||Will Power||AUS||Team Penske|
|5||28||Ryan Hunter-Reay||USA||Andretti Autosport|
|6||22||Simon Pagenaud||FRA||Team Penske|
|7||15||Graham Rahal||USA||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing|
|8||5||James Hinchcliffe||CAN||Schmidt Peterson Motorsports|
|9||18||Sebastien Bourdais||FRA||Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser Sullivan|
|10||98||Marco Andretti||USA||Andretti Herta|
|11||20||Ed Carpenter||USA||Ed Carpenter Racing|
|12||10||Ed Jones||UAE||Chip Ganassi Racing|
|13||30||Takuma Sato||JAP||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing|
|14||21||Spencer Pigot||USA||Ed Carpenter Racing|
|15||14||Tony Kanaan||BRA||A.J. Foyt Enterprises|
|16||26||Zach Veach (R)||USA||Andretti Autosport|
|18||4||Matheus Leist (R)||BRA||A.J. Foyt Enterprises|
|19||88||Gabby Chaves||COL||Harding Racing|
|21||19||Pietro Fittipaldi (R)||BRA||Dale Coyne Racing|