Scott McLaughlin scored the pole – the first on an oval of his NTT IndyCar Series career – and the point that comes with it at World Wide Technology Raceway, but will drop back and give the pole up to teammate Josef Newgarden due to an engine penalty.
Colton Herta will start beside Newgarden in second, as Newgarden goes for a perfect season on the IndyCar ovals; he’s won all of them leading up to this weekend’s race at Gateway.
“Scott just did a better job,” de facto polesitter Newgarden told NBC Sports. “I had a phenomenal car. I’m really proud of the team, Luke (Mason), the whole group, they did a great job. This car was right where it needed to be.
“These things can turn so quickly. One minute you’re feeling like you’re in a good spot, and all of a sudden the race has taken a different shape. So I think we’re just going to be prepared to react. It’s obviously a great starting position, we’d like to control the race from there. But I think just being able to react with anything that’s unforeseen is really important for a day like today.”
A number of other drivers had to take engine penalties, including points leader Alex Palou. Scott Dixon (16th), Agustin Canapino (28th), Takuma Sato (17th), and Kyle Kirkwood (22nd) all took nine-place grid penalties in addition to Palou (14th) and McLaughlin (10th), and will start in the position next to them in parentheses.
There was a problem with Marcus Ericsson’s engine on the Swede’s cooldown lap. This means there is a chance that the Chip Ganassi Racing crew may have to take another penalty prior to the start of the race, but as of press time there has been no confirmation made on this matter.
The start of qualifying was delayed by a day, originally scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 26th, in the afternoon. A massive rain storm went through the track for much of Saturday, pushing everything back. IndyCar would instead run practice on Saturday night and moved qualifying to Sunday morning.
As for how the field is set, there were two laps run in the single-round session and the average speed is the driver’s qualifying speed, a la the Indianapolis 500. Drivers had to battle wiggles and grip throughout the session as the track did not have a lot of rubber laid down on it after heavy rain on Saturday.
The Bommarito Automotive Group 500 will be live on USA Network at 3:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, Aug. 27th.
About the author
Michael has watched NASCAR for 20 years and regularly covered the sport from 2013-2021. He moved on to Formula 1, IndyCar, and SRX coverage for the site, while still putting a toe in the water from time-to-time back into the NASCAR pool.
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