VeeKay Takes Pole in Youthful Fast Six

Photo: Kyle McInnes

Rinus VeeKay tok the pole for tomorrow’s Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama with a lap of 1:06.25. Pato O’Ward, last year’s polke winner, will join VeeKay on the front row. O’Ward was 0.15 seconds slower than VeeKay.

Alex Palou, 2021 race winner and series champion, will start third, the same position he won the rac from last year. Scott McLaughlin, Alexander Rossi, and Felix Rosenqvist round out the first three rows.

As startling as the names in the Fast Six were, equally shocking was who was not in it. Scott Dixon missed the Fast Six at Barber for the first time. He will start 13th. Power had been in the Fast Six nine times in the 11 races here, will start 19th. Josef Newgarden will start seventh and Colton Herta 10th. Romain Grosjean will start eighth.

Colton Herta waited a bit too long to make his final run in the round of 12. That session ended early when Marcus Ericsson went off track and brought out the red flag with 25 seconds left.

The results set up a Fast Six with drivers who had 16 poles between them and an average age of 26 years.

In the Fast Six, VeeKay was the last car on track and nipped O’Ward at the line. The pole was VeeKay’s second career pole. The first came aqt the 2020 Harvest Classic Race 1 at IMS.

Notes

Veekay is the fourth different pole winner and ECR is the fourth different team to win a pole in 2022. Pole winners have won two of the three races this season.

Chevy has been quite strong this year. The manufacturer has three poles and has won the first three races of 2022.

How good are rookies Callum Ilott and Kyle Kirkwood? Ilott will nstart b11th and Kirkwood lines up 21st, but people were disappointed that neither advanced further today.

David Malukas continues to struggle. He has had wall contact every weekend this season.

Kudos to Alexander Rossi’s team and others from Andretti Autosport for getting the 27 car back together after after the big crash this morning. Rossi rewarded them as the onlky Andretti car to make the Fast Six.

Will rain affect the brace tomorrow? The latest radar looks as if there will be rain this afternoon, possibly during the final practice session later today.

Tomorrow’s forecast as of 2:50 pm Central calls for a 46-48 % chance of rain during race time tomorrow, with a better chance for in the hours leading up to the noon start.

Results:

1. (21) Rinus VeeKay, Chevrolet, 01:06.2507 (124.980 mph)
2. (5) Pato O’Ward, Chevrolet, 01:06.4003 (124.698)
3. (10) Alex Palou, Honda, 01:06.4415 (124.621)
4. (3) Scott McLaughlin, Chevrolet, 01:06.4967 (124.517)
5. (27) Alexander Rossi, Honda, 01:06.5549 (124.409)
6. (7) Felix Rosenqvist, Chevrolet, 01:06.6410 (124.248)
7. (2) Josef Newgarden, Chevrolet, 01:06.3348 (124.821)
8. (28) Romain Grosjean, Honda, 01:06.3820 (124.733)
9. (15) Graham Rahal, Honda, 01:06.6339 (124.261)
10. (26) Colton Herta, Honda, 01:06.7295 (124.083)
11. (77) Callum Ilott, Chevrolet, 01:07.2000 (123.214)
12. (8) Marcus Ericsson, Honda, 01:07.3561 (122.929)
13. (9) Scott Dixon, Honda, 01:06.5142 (124.485)
14. (30) Christian Lundgaard, Honda, 01:06.7462 (124.052)
15. (45) Jack Harvey, Honda, 01:06.6511 (124.229)
16. (06) Helio Castroneves, Honda, 01:06.8138 (123.926)
17. (51) Takuma Sato, Honda, 01:06.7541 (124.037)
18. (18) David Malukas, Honda, 01:06.8898 (123.786)
19. (12) Will Power, Chevrolet, 01:06.7775 (123.994)
20. (29) Devlin DeFrancesco, Honda, 01:07.0242 (123.537)
21. (14) Kyle Kirkwood, Chevrolet, 01:06.8213 (123.913)
22. (20) Conor Daly, Chevrolet, 01:07.0350 (123.518)
23. (4) Dalton Kellett, Chevrolet, 01:07.6869 (122.328)
24. (60) Simon Pagenaud, Honda, 01:07.1052 (123.388)
25. (11) Tatiana Calderon, Chevrolet, 01:07.9248 (121.900)
26. (48) Jimmie Johnson, Honda, 01:09.0075 (119.987)