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Tuesday, August 16, 2022

McLaughlin wins Nashville Pole; Grosjean, Lundgaard Follow

Nashville, Tenn. ( Associated Press) – Scott McLaughlin won the second pole of his IndyCar career and Romain Grosjean and Christian Lundgaard earned their highest starting places of the season in rain-delayed qualifying for the Music City Grand Prix.

McLaughlin won pole in Saturday’s session on a flying final run around an 11-turn, 2.1-mile course that started 90 minutes late due to weather delays, and a muddy, shortened first qualifying group left some drivers angry. Left in warm, humid Nashville conditions after rain.

The Team Penske driver was also the fastest in Saturday morning practice.

Grosjean finished second for Andretti Autosport, having eliminated three drivers in the first round of qualifying. Lundgaard was a career-best third for Rahal Letterman Lanigan, who advanced all three of his drivers into the top 12.

Lundgaard overcame a penalty in the second round and closed a tire in the final round and still managed to finish third.

The contenders for the championship had a mixed day with defending champion Alex Palu, sixth in a six-driver fight, as the highest qualifier in fourth place. Pato O’Ward, who is fifth in the standings, advanced only because IndyCar leader Will Power was knocked out of the final quick six rounds to obstruct O’Ward’s lap when he finished in the top 12 from the course. was out.

The penalty took away the power of his fastest lap and O’Ward took his place. Power has a nine-point lead over defending race winner Marcus Ericsson, and with Sunday’s race the first of the last four of this season only 52 points separate Power from Palu.

“We can have a great day tomorrow,” Power said of starting on eighth. “Get a good strategy, good pit stops and see what we’ve got.”

Penske’s Joseph Newgarden, who is third in the standings, finished sixth.

Ericsson and Scott Dixon, who finished fourth in the standings, failed to make the first round exits. Dixon will start from 14th and Ericsson 18th, where they started with last year’s win.

sloppy session

Colton Herta crashed in the first group of the first round to bring up a season-ending red flag that ruined the runs of several drivers, including teammate Alexander Rossi.

“A little too ambitious for what the conditions were. A lot of that grip fell off after the rain, just trying to find the right breaking point, and I just got over it,” said Herta. I apologize to Andretti in particular, because I think I probably screwed up too well on Rossi there. And maybe a few more people.

“I intentionally try not to do this, and was actually an honest mistake, so I feel bad for everyone involved.”

The drivers were booing after the first group because it was too small. Before Herta’s spin, Andretti Autosport rookie Devlin DeFrancesco also chewed three of the 10 scheduled minutes in the qualifying group.

This meant that most drivers who finished in the round did not have a chance to score a qualifying run.

“Man, I’m so disappointed. That’s not the game, man,” said Simon Pagenaud, who will be ranked 13th. “We can wait all day for the storm to pass, but they make us sit on their laps Don’t give enough time. It’s just unbelievable. I can’t say anything.

“It is a great shame because you don’t get to perform at your level. We are going to start again where we are not. A lot of people out there don’t belong. ,

Felix Rosenquist, who crashed in Saturday’s first practice, felt that his lap would have pushed him before Herta stalled the crash.

“Just annoying,” said Rosenquist. “I didn’t even have a lap. We had a kind of warmup lap. It’s something we should focus on, maybe we should go straight out and try to do a lap, but it’s annoying When it’s always red flags and sessions don’t even work out.”

The brief season meant that Dalton Kellett dropped out of the first group for the first time in 37 career IndyCar starts. He would start a career-high 12th and was embraced by the team and family members when he finished the top-12 season.

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More Associated Press Auto Racing: https://apnews.com/hub/auto-racing and https://twitter.com/ Associated Press_Sports

World Nation News Desk
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