Sizzling on the heels of his first victory in 2021 on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway highway course final day trip, 2014 IndyCar champion Energy denied Andretti Autosport driver Herta by lower than 0.1mph to nail the 63rd open wheel pole place of his profession.
The third driver to exit, Arrow McLaren SP-Chevrolet’s Felix Rosenqvist, turned the primary driver of the weekend to supply a 179mph lap and landed a two-lap common of 178.928mph. That was sufficient to outlive robust efforts from Ed Jones (Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser Sullivan) and 2012 IndyCar champion Ryan Hunter-Reay (Andretti) till lastly eclipsed by Alexander Rossi.
The Andretti driver turned the primary to supply two laps within the 179mph bracket as he posted a 179.731mph common, just for Energy to provide you with a primary lap of 180.158mph – regardless of scuffling with a downshift to fourth into Flip 1 – which he adopted with a second lap of 181.081mph.
Energy’s team-mate Simon Pagenaud got here near edging him, with a stronger first lap, however misplaced a tenth on the second lap the place Energy improved which left the 2016 champion susceptible to Herta’s assault.
Certain sufficient, the 21-year-old’s two 180.5mph laps resulted in second, with practice pace-setter Josef Newgarden additionally beating fellow Penske driver Pagenaud to take third. Newgarden produced the strongest second lap of anyone, however his first had been underneath the 180mph barrier.
Pato O’Ward’s Arrow McLaren SP entry claimed fifth, to beat Marcus Ericsson within the lead Chip Ganassi Racing machine by hundredths of a mile-per-hour, whereas Rossi will begin seventh alongside six-time champion Scott Dixon.
Will Energy, Staff Penske Chevrolet
Picture by: Phillip Abbott / Motorsport Images
Graham Rahal’s common of exactly 179.000mph was sufficient to assert ninth, alongside Rosenqvist.
Penske’s rookie Scott McLaughlin appeared mildly tentative on his first flying lap, managing solely 177.940mph, however his second lap was 179.898 – quickest of the day to that time – which helped him to take eleventh spot.
Oval debutant Romain Grosjean regarded very settled for Dale Coyne Racing with RWR, producing a two-lap common of 178.220mph regardless of a barely messy second lap to qualify 14th within the 24-car discipline.
Championship chief Alex Palou’s fortunes took a knock, with solely twelfth quickest time, on high of his nine-place grid penalty for an early engine change. He’ll subsequently begin twenty first.
The vehicles will now be impounded, with minimal modifications allowed earlier than the race begin at 7.40pm native time.