Race Weekend Central

Colton Herta Takes Pole in Tense Detroit Qualifying Session

Colton Herta took his first NTT IndyCar Series pole of 2024 during Saturday’s (June 1) qualifying on the streets of Detroit.

Herta bested Alex Palou to the pole by a margin of 0.1520 seconds, with Indianapolis 500 winner Josef Newgarden placing third.

“Just super happy for the team,” Herta said after qualifying. “They’ve worked their tails off in the Month of May, and it was disappointing to say the least.”

The disappointment in question was Herta’s campaign in the Indianapolis 500 coming undone less than halfway through the race when he spun from second place, eventually finishing 23rd.

“This qualifying session is so difficult here,” Herta continued. “This track, obviously it’s hard to pass, but also it’s so hard to just get a clean lap bumps are here. It’s probably the most aggressive place we go to as far as bumps and walls. So it feels good to get this one.”

Firestone Fast Six

Kyle Kirkwood threw a wrench in the plans of the other five drivers in the Fast Six when his No. 27 Honda ran into the turn 1 runoff area. The car stalled, triggering a red flag and costing Kirkwood his two fastest laps.

With Kirkwood’s red flag coming out so late in the session, the pole was decided by a sprint of single, timed laps for the Fast Six, where Herta came out on top.

PositionDriverNumberTeamTime
1Colton Herta26Andretti Global1:00.5475
2Alex Palou10Chip Ganassi Racing+0.1520s
3Josef Newgarden2Team Penske+0.4132s
4Scott McLaughlin3Team Penske+0.7571s
5Scott Dixon9Chip Ganassi Racing+0.8430s
6Kyle Kirkwood27Andretti Global+3.7451s
See also
Santino Ferrucci & Kyle Kirkwood Tangle Off-Track in Detroit Practice

Round 2

Theo Pourchaire, now confirmed to be competing in the No. 6 Arrow McLaren Chevrolet for the rest of the season, nearly made waves on his return to the series. Having sat out the Indianapolis 500 where the No. 6 was driven by Callum Ilott, Pourchaire displayed a strong pace throughout the second round of qualifying, but came up just short of advancing to the Firestone Fast Six.

The Frenchman will be the highest-starting Arrow McLaren car on Sunday.

Behind Pourchaire was Will Power, who was visibly, and, audibly frustrated after missing out on the top-six shootout.

Pato O’Ward, who looked to be a contender for pole position, found frustration and elimination instead of a clean track and a ticket to the Fast Six. Radio communications indicated that the No. 5 Chevrolet suffered a brake fire.

PositionDriverNumberTeamTime from Advancing
7Theo Pourchaire6Arrow McLaren+0.0287s
8Will Power12Team Penske+0.0557s
9Marcus Ericsson28Andretti Global+0.1450s
10Santino Ferrucci14A. J. Foyt Enterprises+0.3296s
11Christian Lundgaard45Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing+0.4608s
12Pato O’Ward5Arrow McLaren+2.3424s

Round 1 Group 1

Fresh off a confrontation with Kirkwood in morning practice, Ferrucci drew the ire of his third driver of the day when Romain Grosjean accused the American of blocking him on a flying lap.

PositionDriverNumberTeamTime from Advancing
13Christian Rasmussen20Ed Carpenter Racing+0.1024s
15Romain Grosjean77Juncos Hollinger Racing+0.2027s
17Alexander Rossi7Arrow McLaren+0.2999s
19Rinus VeeKay21Ed Carpenter Racing+0.3134s
21Linus Lundqvist8Chip Ganassi Racing+0.3391s
23Kyffin Simpson 4Chip Ganassi Racing+0.4864s
25Tristan Vautier 51Dale Coyne Racing w/ RWR+0.9185s
See also
2024 IndyCar Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix Preview

Round 1 Group 2

In a session full of claustrophobic moments, Felix Rosenqvist had the most pointed words regarding the cramped nature of racing around the streets of Detroit.

Pietro [Fittipaldi] held me up,” Rosenqvist said. “I think maybe Dixon held him up. I tried to be close to him so they would get a penalty, because that’s the only way they give people a penalty, and I went off so… double trouble.”

PositionDriverNumberTeamTime from Advancing
14Graham Rahal15Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing+0.0614s
16Pietro Fittipaldi30Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing+0.2962s
18Agustin Canapino78Juncos Hollinger Racing+0.4844s
20Marcus Armstrong11Chip Ganassi Racing+0.6684s
22Felix Rosenqvist60Meyer Shank Racing+0.6719s
24Sting Ray Robb41A. J. Foyt Enterprises+0.7732s
26Helio Castroneves66Meyer Shank Racing+0.7737s
27Jack Harvey18Dale Coyne Racing+0.9849s

2024 IndyCar Detroit Grand Prix Qualifying Results

The Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix will be underway Sunday, June 2, at 12 p.m. ET with coverage on the USA Network and Peacock.

About the author

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Alex is the IndyCar Content Director at Frontstretch, having initially joined as an entry-level contributor in 2021. He also serves as Managing Director of The Asia Cable, a publication focused on the international affairs and politics of the Asia-Pacific region which he co-founded in 2023. With previous experience in China, Japan and Poland, Alex is particularly passionate about the international realm of motorsport and the politics that make the wheels turn - literally - behind the scenes.

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