Rinus Veekay Earns Second Career Pole Position for Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama

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This is Veekay's first pole since the GMR Grand Prix in 2021, a race where he also claimed his maiden IndyCar Series victory. (Photo Credit: Chris Owens / Penske Entertainment / Courtesy of IndyCar)

Ed Carpenter Racing‘s Rinus Veekay will start from pole position for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama, marking the second pole of the Dutchman’s young career, and the fourth different polesitter this season.

Veekay, who was fastest in practice this morning, was the last driver on track as time expired for the for the Fast Six session, denying Pato O’Ward the chance for back-to-back poles at Barber Motorsports Park.

“We knew we were in a good position, but to actually put it on pole is always an accomplishment,” Veekay said. “I think the whole team maximized everything. We made the right decisions with tyres, setup, everything, really a team effort.”

O’Ward’s starting spot on the outside of the front row is his best of the season, and after signing a new contract extension with Arrow McLaren SP confidence is high for the Mexican. AMSP had both their cars feature in the Fast Six, with Felix Rosenqvist starting fifth.

Many thought that this weekend would be Andretti Autosport‘s to dominate, especially after testing at the track in early April as well as littering the top of the charts in the first practice session, but unfortunate gambles in the Fast Twelve cost them a great deal of track position.

Late in the session, Marcus Ericsson spun in the turn seven complex and stalled in the gravel. Colton Herta, who stayed on pit road for a good portion of the session, was unable to put in a more competitive lap time, and ended the session eleventh. Romain Grosjean was also unable to improve, and was eliminated in eighth. With Ericsson having his fastest laps deleted, Herta will be able to move up one spot to tenth, but that position doesn’t reflect his pace this weekend.

Only one Andretti car made the Fast Six, and that was Alexander Rossi. After a major crash in practice this morning required the entire back half of his car to be replaced, a herculean effort by the entire team’s staff allowed Rossi to race his way into a sixth place starting position.

Scott Dixon and Will Power were both shockingly eliminated in the first round, at a track both have qualified historically well at. This will be the first year that Dixon will not feature in a Fast Six session at Barber, and will start thirteenth, while Power, who has eight front row starts in eleven races at the track, will start nineteenth. The Australian veteran hasn’t been able to find the improvements in pace that his Team Penske teammates have, with Josef Newgarden starting seventh and Scott McLaughlin finishing fourth.

As he’s been all weekend, Callum Ilott continues to pace the rookie field, reaching his first career Fast Twelve. The single car Juncos Hollinger Racing team was in the top ten of each practice session, and translated it to an eleventh place start. Christian Lundgaard will be the second-highest rookie in fourteenth.

There will be one more practice session this evening at 1420 PT / 1720 ET / 2120 GMT, before the race tomorrow at 1000 PT / 1300 ET / 1700 GMT.

Honda Indy Grand Prix of Indianapolis – Qualifying Results

121Rinus VeeKayNEDEd Carpenter Racing01:06.2507
25Pato O’WardMEXArrow McLaren SP01:06.4003
310Alex PalouESPChip Ganassi Racing01:06.4415
43Scott McLaughlinNZLTeam Penske01:06.4967
527Alexander RossiUSAAndretti Autosport01:06.5549
67Felix RosenqvistSWEArrow McLaren SP01:06.6410
72Josef NewgardenUSATeam Penske01:06.3348
828Romain GrosjeanFRAAndretti Autosport01:06.3820
915Graham RahalUSARahal Letterman Lanigan Racing01:06.6339
1026Colton HertaUSAAndretti Autosport01:06.7295
1177Callum Ilott (R)GBRJuncos Hollinger Racing01:07.2000
128Marcus EricssonSWEChip Ganassi Racing01:07.3561
139Scott DixonNZLChip Ganassi Racing01:06.5142
1430Christian Lundgaard (R)DENRahal Letterman Lanigan Racing01:06.7462
1545Jack HarveyGBRRahal Letterman Lanigan Racing01:06.6511
166Helio CastronevesBRAMeyer Shank Racing01:06.8138
1751Takuma SatoJPNDale Coyne Racing w/ Rick Ware Racing01:06.7541
1818David Malukas (R)USADale Coyne Racing w/ HMD Motorsports01:06.8898
1912Will PowerAUSTeam Penske01:06.7775
2029Devlin DeFrancesco (R)CANAndretti Steinbrenner Autosport01:07.0242
2114Kyle Kirkwood (R)USAA.J. Foyt Enterprises01:06.8213
2220Conor DalyUSAEd Carpenter Racing01:07.0350
234Dalton KellettCANA.J. Foyt Enterprises01:07.6869
2460Simon PagenaudFRAMeyer Shank Racing01:07.1052
2511Tatiana Calderon (R)COLA.J. Foyt Enterprises01:07.9248
2648Jimmie JohnsonUSAChip Ganassi Racing01:09.0075
(R) – Rookie
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Lifelong sports junkie, currently studying Broadcast Journalism at Hofstra University. Lead writer for Indycar at The Checkered Flag.
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