McLaughlin on Nashville IndyCar pole, Power penalised

Scott McLaughlin

Scott McLaughlin has qualified on pole position for the Nashville IndyCar race while series-leading Team Penske team-mate Will Power missed the Fast Six due to a penalty.

McLaughlin will share the front row with Andretti Autosport’s Romain Grosjean, with the Fast Six rounded out by Christian Lundgaard (Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing), Alex Palou (Chip Ganassi Racing), Pato O’Ward (McLaren SP), and Josef Newgarden (Penske).

Power, however, got relegated to eighth after causing a local yellow in Round 2 of the session, while Ganassi’s Scott Dixon and Marcus Ericsson both failed to even make it that far.

In the first race weekend for the new-specification alternate compound tyres, the Fast Six began with five drivers on used greens (as opposed to reds) and Newgarden on sticker blacks.

The #2 Penske pilot was slowest initially while McLaughlin kicked things off with a 1:15.2275s which was the benchmark when he and the other four on greens pitted after just one lap.

Newgarden climbed to third with a 1:15.4470s on his third lap as those primaries came good, but then Lundgaard moved to the top with a 1:14.7149s on his second run.

With the chequered flag out, Grosjean grabbed provisional pole on a 1:14.6975s but McLaughlin was still on a flyer and he would wrest qualifying honours back from the Frenchman.

Lundgaard ended up third, from Palou on a 1:14.9087s and O’Ward on a 1:14.9261s, while Newgarden’s best in the Fast Six was a 1:15.1461s on his single, black tyre run.

Back in Round 2 of Qualifying, McLaughlin had gone quickest just past the halfway mark with a 1:15.2446s on blacks, despite Palou and two others starting the segment on greens.

The New Zealander was then shuffled below the cut-off before reclaiming top spot with a 1:14.6788s on greens in the final minute before the chequered flag, and would end the stanza second-quickest to Palou, who set a 1:14.6437s.

Power looked to be through in sixth until he was stripped of his fastest lap for causing a local yellow which affected another driver when he ran long at Turn 4.

O’Ward, who was in the following car, inherited the final spot in the Fast Six while the Queenslander slipped to eighth, behind David Malukas (Dale Coyne Racing w/ HMD Motosports).

CLICK HERE for Power reaction

Graham Rahal (RLLR) qualified ninth, ahead of Rinus VeeKay (Ed Carpenter Racing), Jack Harvey (RLLR), and Dalton Kellett (AJ Foyt Racing).

Lundgaard, meanwhile, had advanced despite having to take a drive-through for causing a local yellow, given he had no time on the board when he was hit with the penalty.

Qualifying had started 90 minutes late due to weather conditions, and Group 1 of Round 1 then came to a halt less than three minutes in when Devlin DeFrancesco (Andretti) stopped in the middle of the track at Turn 4.

That red flag effectively turned the period into an alternate tyre-only affair, although it ended up being even shorter when Colton Herta (Andretti w/ Curb-Agajanian) locked up and understeered into the Turn 4 barriers in the final minute.

Palou was quickest on a 1:15.9983s and Kellett was the lucky recipient of the sixth berth into Round 2 when Herta was kicked out, but Alexander Rossi (Andretti) was trapped on the outside by his team-mate’s prang and Felix Rosenqvist (McLaren SP) also missed out.

In Group 2, two of Ganassi’s big guns were the most notable failures to advance.

Dixon could only rise from ninth to seventh when he clocked a 1:15.3179s with the chequered flag out, meaning Ericsson ended up ninth instead, as Power topped the 10-minute stanza on a 1:14.7460s.

As such, the back half of the starting grid includes Dixon in 14th, Rosenqvist in 15th, Rossi in 17th, Ericsson in 18th, and Herta in 23rd after being stripped of his lap times.

Simona De Silvestro (Paretta Autosport) ended up 21st on the grid in her third event of 2022.

Next up is a Warm Up session early tomorrow morning (AEST), then the 80-lap Race at 05:30 AEST.

Stan Sport’s live and ad-free coverage resumes on Monday morning at 05:00 AEST.

Results: Qualifying

Pos Num Driver C/E/T Qual time Session
1 3 Scott McLaughlin D/C/F 1:14.5555 Round 3 / Fast Six
2 28 Romain Grosjean D/H/F 1:14.6975 Round 3 / Fast Six
3 30 Christian Lundgaard D/H/F 1:14.7149 Round 3 / Fast Six
4 10 Alex Palou D/H/F 1:14.9087 Round 3 / Fast Six
5 5 Pato O’Ward D/C/F 1:14.9261 Round 3 / Fast Six
6 2 Josef Newgarden D/C/F 1:15.1461 Round 3 / Fast Six
7 18 David Malukas D/H/F 1:14.9616 Elimination Round 2 / Top 12
8 12 Will Power D/C/F 1:14.9818 Elimination Round 2 / Top 12
9 15 Graham Rahal D/H/F 1:15.3112 Elimination Round 2 / Top 12
10 21 Rinus VeeKay D/C/F 1:15.3897 Elimination Round 2 / Top 12
11 45 Jack Harvey D/H/F 1:15.9758 Elimination Round 2 / Top 12
12 4 Dalton Kellett D/C/F 1:16.5600 Elimination Round 2 / Top 12
13 60 Simon Pagenaud D/H/F 1:19.4039 Elimination Round 1 / Group 1
14 9 Scott Dixon D/H/F 1:15.3179 Elimination Round 1 / Group 2
15 7 Felix Rosenqvist D/C/F 1:21.1784 Elimination Round 1 / Group 1
16 14 Kyle Kirkwood D/C/F 1:15.4382 Elimination Round 1 / Group 2
17 27 Alexander Rossi D/H/F 1:21.4579 Elimination Round 1 / Group 1
18 8 Marcus Ericsson D/H/F 1:15.4501 Elimination Round 1 / Group 2
19 77 Callum Ilott D/C/F 1:57.6982 Elimination Round 1 / Group 1
20 51 Takuma Sato D/H/F 1:15.5935 Elimination Round 1 / Group 2
21 16 Simona De Silvestro D/C/F No Time Elimination Round 1 / Group 1
22 20 Conor Daly D/C/F 1:16.3955 Elimination Round 1 / Group 2
23 26 Colton Herta D/H/F No Time Elimination Round 1 / Group 1
24 06 Helio Castroneves D/H/F 1:16.5898 Elimination Round 1 / Group 2
25 29 Devlin DeFrancesco D/H/F No Time Elimination Round 1 / Group 1
26 48 Jimmie Johnson D/H/F 1:17.5888 Elimination Round 1 / Group 2

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