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MCLAUGHLIN TO START FROM ROW TWO, POWER ROW 10


Published at 4/30/2022

Scott McLaughlin will start tomorrow’s IndyCar race at Barber Motorsports Park from fourth, while his Aussie teammate Will Power was buried in the pack.

Pole position went to Dutchman Rinus VeeKay, just the second pole of his IndyCar career after setting a 1m 6.2507s time.

By taking pole VeeKay became the fourth different polesitter in as many races.

After a difficult start to 2022 Arrow McLaren SP driver Pato O’Ward will join him on the front row after setting a time 0.15s slower than VeeKay. Prior to his front row start O’Ward’s best starting spot this season was 10th on the oval at Texas.

Reigning IndyCar Series winner and 2021 Barber winner Alex Palou will start third, just 0.04s slower than O’Ward in his Chip Ganassi Racing Honda.

McLaughlin will start alongside the defending champion on the second row, the New Zealander was just 0.05s slower than the Spaniard and less than 0.1s away from p2 in what was an incredibly tight session. He was the only Team Penske car to make it into the fast six.

It was a tough day for a couple of veterans, six-time series winner Scott Dixon qualified 13th, while 2014 series champ Power will start 19th.

Further forwards Alexander Rossi qualified an impressive fifth. It came as Andretti Autosport had to repair or replace the entire back half of Rossi’s car in two hours and 45 minutes after he crashed at the start of the final practice session.

Felix Rosenqvist made it two Arrow McLaren’s in the top six, less than a tenth from Rossi’s time.

Series points leader Newgarden will start seventh in his #2 Team Penske Chevrolet after falling less than two-hundredths of a second short of earning a spot in the Fast Six.

Romain Grosjean, Graham Rahal and Long Beach pole sitter Colton Herta rounded out the top 10.

Callum Ilott was the top rookie qualifier, grabbing a career-best 11th spot.

Ilott and a handful of other drivers were on quicker final laps at the end of the second round of qualifying when Marcus Ericsson got stuck in the gravel around the tight and technical track and triggering a red flag.

Ericsson will start alongside Ilott in 12th ahead of Kiwi Dixon, Christian Lundgaard, Jack Harvey, and the two most recent Indy 500 winners Helio Castroneves and Takuma Sato.

2019 Indy 500 winner Simon Pagenaud endured a tough Saturday, qualifying 24th.

Three former series champions will need to work overtime to get to the front Sunday on the tight, 17-turn, 2.3-mile circuit after disappointing qualifying results.

Team Penske drivers have won the first three races of the season, with Scott McLaughlin capturing the season opener at St. Petersburg and Josef Newgarden winning at Texas and Long Beach, can they keep the streak going?

Coverage of the 90-lap Alabama Grand Prix commences tomorrow (Monday) at 3.00am AEST with live and exclusive coverage on Stan Sport.

For more of the latest motorsport news pick up the current issue of Auto Action.

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