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

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

RANK CAR NO. DRIVER NAT. TEAM BEST TIME
1 21 Rinus VeeKay NED Ed Carpenter Racing 01:06.2507
2 5 Pato O’Ward MEX Arrow McLaren SP 01:06.4003
3 10 Alex Palou ESP Chip Ganassi Racing 01:06.4415
4 3 Scott McLaughlin NZL Team Penske 01:06.4967
5 27 Alexander Rossi USA Andretti Autosport 01:06.5549
6 7 Felix Rosenqvist SWE Arrow McLaren SP 01:06.6410
7 2 Josef Newgarden USA Team Penske 01:06.3348
8 28 Romain Grosjean FRA Andretti Autosport 01:06.3820
9 15 Graham Rahal USA Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 01:06.6339
10 26 Colton Herta USA Andretti Autosport 01:06.7295
11 77 Callum Ilott (R) GBR Juncos Hollinger Racing 01:07.2000
12 8 Marcus Ericsson SWE Chip Ganassi Racing 01:07.3561
13 9 Scott Dixon NZL Chip Ganassi Racing 01:06.5142
14 30 Christian Lundgaard (R) DEN Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 01:06.7462
15 45 Jack Harvey GBR Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 01:06.6511
16 6 Helio Castroneves BRA Meyer Shank Racing 01:06.8138
17 51 Takuma Sato JPN Dale Coyne Racing w/ Rick Ware Racing 01:06.7541
18 18 David Malukas (R) USA Dale Coyne Racing w/ HMD Motorsports 01:06.8898
19 12 Will Power AUS Team Penske 01:06.7775
20 29 Devlin DeFrancesco (R) CAN Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport 01:07.0242
21 14 Kyle Kirkwood (R) USA A.J. Foyt Enterprises 01:06.8213
22 20 Conor Daly USA Ed Carpenter Racing 01:07.0350
23 4 Dalton Kellett CAN A.J. Foyt Enterprises 01:07.6869
24 60 Simon Pagenaud FRA Meyer Shank Racing 01:07.1052
25 11 Tatiana Calderon (R) COL A.J. Foyt Enterprises 01:07.9248
26 48 Jimmie Johnson USA Chip Ganassi Racing 01:09.0075
(R) – Rookie

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