Ganassi Sweeps the Front Row at IMS

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The Firestone Fast Six in qualifying for tomorrow’s IndyCar Grand Prix, represented a blend of the old and the new. Scott Dixon and Will Power represented the veterans of the group, while Felix Rosenqvist, Jack Harvey, Colton Herta and Ed Jones showed up for the new. While Dixon on the front row was no surprise, Felix Rosenqvist winning his first career pole was.

Make no mistake, Rosenqvist has been fast all year, but beating the likes of Dixon and Power was quite an accomplishment. Will Power and Team Penske have dominated at this track, but Power was the only Penske car in the Firestone Fast Six and he finished sixth.

Quite honestly, I had overlooked Rosenqvist throughout qualifying. I told Susan that Colton Herta was going to win the pole. I was a bit surprised when he finished fourth in the Fast Six.

Team Penske continues to be a head-scratcher this season. While Power made the Fast Six, Pagenaud missed it and will start eighth Saturday. But Josef Newgarden and Helio Castroneves didn’t make it out of the first round.

But another mystery is what happened to Andretti Autosport. Ryan Hunter-Reay was the highest qualifying Andretti car, and he will roll off sixteenth tomorrow. I was behind his pit when he climbed out looking very dejected.

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Alexander Rossi will start seventeenth, while Zach Veach qualified twentieth and Marco Andretti will start twenty-third in a twenty-four car field.

What Colton Herta did was even more amazing when you realize that he was getting technical assistance from and sharing the same damper package with the Andretti cars – yet he’s up front and they’re buried deep in the back.

From what I saw in qualifying,  think tomorrow’s ace may be more interesting than most of the previous versions have been. I won’t lie, it was cold today and tomorrow doesn’t look any warmer. As I type about forty-five minutes after the conclusion of qualifying, my feet are still numb from being so cold. Tomorrow’s forecast also includes a significant chance of rain at some point during the race.

With five teams represented in the Firestone Fast Six, who knows who will win? Both Ganassi cars, one Penske car are joined by cars from Ed Carpenter, Harding Steinbrenner and Meyer-Shank Racing.

I was a little surprised that there was no car from Rahal Letterman Laningan, although Graham Rahal did qualify seventh – just missing the Fast Six. But Takuma Sato was a disappointing eleventh.

I hope that there is a better crowd tomorrow than was here for today. Granted today was a Friday and it was cloudy and cold, but this may have been the most underwhelming crowd I’ve ever seen here. I think that those that show up tomorrow will be rewarded with a much better race than they have seen in years past at this event.

It’s been a hectic day and we didn’t have as much time here today as we were expecting. Tomorrow will be more relaxed. There will be lots of track activity, but the NTT IndyCar Series doesn’t race until tomorrow afternoon at 3:40. Tonight, we are heading to dinner. Dawson’s has my vote, but Susan is lobbying for something different. Change is bad, but I’ll report the verdict tomorrow.

I’ll close with some of the photos we took this afternoon. I took most of these with my phone, but Susan got the one of Rosenqvist in the post-qualifying press conference. Thanks for following along today and check back in the morning.

George Phillips

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3 Responses to “Ganassi Sweeps the Front Row at IMS”

  1. Can anyone tell me when was the last time Ganassi swept the front row in qualifying?

  2. Ron Ford Says:

    Can someone tell me if the race will be televised on NBC? Qualifying yesterday was not shown on NBC in the Milwaukee area. Perhaps local outlets are permitted to pre-empt race programming with local programs?

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