Pato Pips Power to Spiked Coolers GP Pole, Lundgaard Shines in Qualifying Debut

3 Mins read
(Photo Credit: James Black / Courtesy of IndyCar)

Patricio O’Ward claimed his third pole of the season for the Big Machine Spiked Coolers Grand Prix, beating the qualifying master of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course Will Power to the top spot by 0.0067 seconds. This weekend IndyCar utilized the modified two-stage elimination qualifying last seen at the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix, and O’Ward was one of the last drivers in the fast twelve to complete their lap, pushing his Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet to the limit to take the pole.

Power sat atop the first qualifying group in a relatively quiet session, followed by Jack Harvey who is always fast at IMS. Despite an off-track excursion on the exit of turn ten, Rinus Veekay made it through to the fast twelve along with his Ed Carpenter Racing teammate Conor Daly.

Helio Castroneves and Scott McLaughlin were some of the big names among the drivers eliminated, along with rookie Cody Ware and RC Enerson of Top Gun Racing who are making their series debut on a road course this weekend.

The fireworks came out in the second group, as Alexander Rossi went the fastest. Following him was Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing rookie Christian Lundgaard, who finished seventh in the afternoon practice session, and finished second in this group. Romain Grosjean continued to show pace at the track he won the pole position at in May, advancing in fourth place.

Jimmie Johnson showed his best pace all year in this session, frequently finding himself in the top six at a track he finally has been to in an IndyCar before. Unfortunately for the seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion he did not advance, but he was not alone as Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Scott Dixon failed to advance.

At the very end of the session, Dixon lost control and span on the straightaway between turns 10 and 11, just before the timing line. Not only did he lose that lap time, he lost his then-best time for bringing out a local yellow flag. Currently sitting second in the championship, Dixon will have his work cut out for him in the race as he starts twenty-sixth. Josef Newgarden also failed to advance, and will serve a six position grid penalty for an unapproved engine change following the Music City Grand Prix. He will start twentieth.

Christian Lundgaard. (Photo Credit: Travis Hinkle / Courtesy of IndyCar)

Lundgaard impressed once again in the fast twelve, trading fastest laps with Grosjean for the pole position. Alex Palou had some time at the top as drivers began to put on the alternate red-wall tyres and set faster lap times, but Lungaard and Grosjean lept over them again before being pushed down the order by O’Ward and Power. In the end, Lungaard will start his first IndyCar race from fourth, alongside Grosjean in third.

Andretti Autosport‘s Colton Herta was consistent in qualifying, and overcame practice issues to qualify fifth. Alongside him will be championship leader Palou, who was fastest in practice, in sixth.

Harvey qualified seventh for Meyer Shank Racing at his best track, and will be alongside Daly who impressed with another top ten starting position like he had for the GMR Grand Prix. Hopefully for the American, he will be able to make it past turn one without incident.

The winner of the GMR Grand Prix Veekay will look to repeat starting from ninth place, two places lower than where he started for his victory in May, and will be joined on the fifth row by Rossi who starts tenth.

Rounding out the fast twelve was Music City Grand Prix winner Marcus Ericsson, who qualified in eleventh place, and Simon Pagenaud who qualified twelfth.

The Big Machine Spiked Coolers Grand Prix takes place tomorrow at 1300 EST / 1800 BST.

Big Machine Spiked Coolers Grand Prix Qualifying Results

15Pato O’WardMEXArrow McLaren SP01:10.714 sec.
212Will PowerAUSTeam Penske01:10.721 sec.
351Romain Grosjean (R)FRADale Coyne Racing w/ Rick Ware Racing01:10.741 sec.
445Christian Lundgaard (R)DENRahal Letterman Lanigan Racing01:10.743 sec.
526Colton HertaUSAAndretti Autosport01:10.763 sec.
610Alex PalouESPChip Ganassi Racing01:10.829 sec.
760Jack HarveyGBRMeyer Shank Racing01:10.887 sec.
820Conor DalyUSAEd Carpenter Racing01:10.953 sec.
921Rinus VeeKayNEDEd Carpenter Racing01:11.020 sec.
1027Alexander RossiUSAAndretti Autosport01:11.024 sec.
118Marcus EricssonSWEChip Ganassi Racing01:11.034 sec.
1222Simon PagenaudFRATeam Penske01:11.134 sec.
1328Ryan Hunter-ReayUSAAndretti Autosport01:11.508 sec.
1414Sebastien BourdaisFRAA.J. Foyt Enterprises01:11.550 sec.
1530Takuma SatoJPNRahal Letterman Lanigan Racing01:11.417 sec.
1615Graham RahalUSARahal Letterman Lanigan Racing01:11.558 sec.
1718Ed JonesUAEDale Coyne Racing w/ Vasser-Sullivan01:11.436 sec.
1859Max ChiltonGBRCarlin01:11.573 sec.
197Felix RosenqvistSWEArrow McLaren SP01:11.534 sec.
202Josef NewgardenUSATeam Penske01:11.362 sec.*
213Scott McLaughlin (R)NZLTeam Penske01:11.667 sec.
2248Jimmie Johnson (R)USAChip Ganassi Racing01:11.862 sec.
2306Helio CastronevesBRAMeyer Shank Racing01:11.731 sec.
2429James HinchcliffeCANAndretti Steinbrenner Autosport01:12.081 sec.
2575RC EnersonUSATop Gun Racing01:12.334 sec.
269Scott DixonNZLChip Ganassi Racing01:12.266 sec.
2752Cody WareUSADale Coyne Racing w/ Rick Ware Racing01:13.757 sec.
284Dalton KellettCANA.J. Foyt Enterprises01:12.549 sec.
(R) = Rookie, * = Six Place Grid Penaly for Engine Change
308 posts

About author
Lifelong sports junkie, currently studying Broadcast Journalism at Hofstra University. Lead writer for Indycar at The Checkered Flag.
Related posts

Helio Castroneves kicks off 2022 SRX with Five Flags win

2 Mins read
In a battle of former Indianapolis 500 winners in short track cars, Hélio Castroneves held off Tony Kanaan to win the 2022 Superstar Racing Experience season opener at Five Flags Speedway.

2022 Sonsio Grand Prix: The Rookie Report

5 Mins read
This was a tough week for the rookie class, taking on the physically demanding Road America circuit. How did they make out? Let’s break it all down in this week’s Rookie Report.
Extreme EIndyCar

Romain Grosjean intrigued by Baja 1000, Extreme E

3 Mins read
Romain Grosjean, off-road racer? A video posted by Extreme E of a chat between him and Catie Munnings showed interest in the series and the legendary Baja 1000.