A New Pole Winner for Saturday

In my last post, I mentioned that Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s (RLLR) Christian Lundgaard had turned the second-quickest time in both practice sessions today. I also noticed that Jack Harvey had run fifth in both sessions. Conversely, I took note of the fact that my pick to win, Romain Grosjean had run sixteenth and nineteenth quick respectively in the two sessions. Lundgaard finished on the pole and Harvey qualified fourth, while Grosjean qualified eighteenth. Who says you can tell nothing from practice?

This race has a history of flipping the tables on the points-leaders. It seems if you did well at Barber, you did not qualify well today – unless your name is Lundgaard. Lundgaard won his first career pole and will lead the field in tomorrow’s GMR Grand Prix on the IMS road course.

Team Penske will start twelfth, thirteenth  and sixteenth. Scott McLaughlin, the winner at Barber, will start sixteenth – one spot lower that Devlin Francesco. RLLR has produced a lot of head-scratching results so far this season, but they have this track figured out. Their three cars will start first, fourth and eighth. Graham Rahal was the only RLLR driver to miss out on the Firestone Fast Six.

Points leader Marcus Ericsson also just missed out on the Fast Six. Teammates Scott Dixon and Marcus Armstrong will start ninth and eleventh respectively. Alex Palou is the only Ganassi driver that made the Fast Six and he will start third.

Alexander Rossi was the only Arrow McLaren driver to not make the Firestone Fast Six. Felix Rosenqvist will sit outside the front row alongside Lundgaard, while Pato O’Ward qualified fifth. Rossi will roll off tenth tomorrow.

Kyle Kirkwood was the only Andretti Autosport driver to crack the Fast Six, and he qualified sixth. After showing signs of resurgence this season, they have a lot of homework to do tonight. Colton Herta qualified fourteenth, Devlin DeFrancesco fifteenth and Romain Grosjean eighteenth.

Maybe the biggest negative surprise of the day was David Malukas, he was quietly eliminated in Round One and will start twentieth.

In the post-race press conference, Lundgaard and Rosenqvist (who share the front row) were asked about any budding rivalry amongst the Scandinavian drivers. They both acknowledged there may be something there, but that they also respect and support each other.


That will do it for us today. We still need to check into our hotel and get something to eat. Our friend Mike Silver snapped this photo of us in the pits just before qualifyuing got underway.


It’s been a full and fun day, but I’m tired. Once we get checked in to our hotel, I don’t think I’m long for this world. Fortunately, the IndyCar warmup is not until 11:15 tomorrow. We should be more rested by then. Please check back here in the morning.

George Phillips

2 Responses to “A New Pole Winner for Saturday”

  1. Wow.
    During the Alabama race, I became a Lundgaard enthusiast.

  2. Chris Lukens Says:

    I wish you would publish the entire starting lineup. IndyCar.com doesn’t seem to want to.

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