Alexander Rossi’s recent turn of speed in the 2022 NTT INDYCAR Series has just seen him claim his first pole position in more than three full years this Saturday (June 11) at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.
It was a strategy call from Rossi’s Andretti Autosport team not to pit the American driver that made the difference in his session, allowing him to continue turning fast laps on a set of primary black Firestone tires. Josef Newgarden, on reds, ultimately came up just 0.0715 of a second short, followed by defending champion Alex Palou, Indianapolis 500 winner Marcus Ericsson and Colton Herta, all on blacks. Pato O’Ward, in sixth, was the only other driver to use the reds in the Fast Six session.
Rain hovered just to the west of the four-mile Road America circuit for the entirety of qualifying. Though the track was never more than damp, the pressure was on both drivers and teams to deliver fast laps early and often.
With a big oversteer moment at the exit of Canada Corner, Detroit winner Will Power barely missed out on the Firestone Fast Twelve in Round 1. David Malukas made the Fast Six for the first time in his career last time out in Detroit, but narrowly missed out on the Fast Twelve by just over .030 of a second, giving the final spot to Team Penske’s Scott McLaughlin, who made a big save on the exit of Canada Corner in the closing seconds of the first round.
With teams expecting rain in the Fast Twelve session, the full field headed out on the asphalt, hoping to squeeze in one fast lap before the heavens opened. But a red flag for Juncos-Hollinger Racing’s Callum Ilott going into the barriers in turn 14 stopped all drivers in their tracks, eliminating the rookie Englishman from the session.
Luckily, the rain held off as marshals removed the No. 77 while Ilott drove it back to the pits. With five minutes remaining, the full field went back out to finish qualifying.
A transmission issue for Romain Grosjean delayed the No. 28 team getting out on track, forcing the Frenchman to push hard on only one lap on the alternate red-sided Firestones. Despite taking full advantage of INDYCAR’s casual approach to track limits, Grosjean missed out on the Fast Six by less than a tenth of a second to teammate and eventual pole sitter Rossi.
The NTT INDYCAR Series Sonsio Grand Prix of Road America airs Sunday, June 12 at 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC and Peacock.
Starting Lineup for Sonsio Grand Prix of Road America
- Alexander Rossi
- Josef Newgarden
- Alex Palou
- Marcus Ericsson
- Colton Herta
- Pato O’Ward
- Romain Grosjean
- Felix Rosenqvist
- Scott McLaughlin
- Scott Dixon
- Simon Pagenaud
- Callum Ilott
- Christian Lundgaard
- David Malukas
- Helio Castroneves
- Will Power
- Conor Daly
- Rinus VeeKay
- Jack Harvey
- Takuma Sato
- Graham Rahal
- Devlin DeFrancesco
- Kyle Kirkwood
- Dalton Kellett
- Jimmie Johnson
- Tatiana Calderon
- Simona De Silvestro
More Sonsio Grand Prix Coverage
DeHARDE: Friday Practice Results, Notes
GINTZ: Can Andretti Autosport Get Turned Around?
About the author
Jack Swansey is an open-wheel racing editor at Frontstretch.com and co-hosts The Pit Straight Podcast, but you can also catch him writing about NASCAR, sports cars, and anything else with four wheels and a motor. Originally from North Carolina and now residing in Los Angeles, he joined the site as Sunday news writer midway through 2022 and is an avid collector (some would say hoarder) of die-cast cars.
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