Photo: Indycar, Chris Jones
Will Power won the pole for tomorrow’s GMR Grand Prix with a brilliant final lap in the Fast Six. he nipped Jack Harvey by 0.188 seconds. Old news. This was Power’s fourth pole in this race. He won the other three times he started on pole. The pole was the 58th of Power’s career, and he is just nine shy of tying Mario Andretti for the most career poles. He will creep even closer by year’s end.
What I want to focus this qualifying report on though is the younger drivers in the series. Overall, they had a great day. I will discuss them after a recap of qualifying.
Round 1, Group 1
The youngsters led the way, grabbing the first four spots to advance. Defending series champion Josef Newgarden struggled to squeeze into the final transfer spot.
Round 1, Group 2
This session had a more traditional look with Power leading and more drivers expected to advance filling the next round.
Round of 12
Half of the drivers in the second round have less than three full years of Indycar experience. It looked as if the fast Six would shape up to be another the great Power vs. Herta pole battles we had last season, but another youngster decided to spoil the fun.
Jack Harvey came within a whisker of his first career pole. Power nipped him on the final lap as time ran out. The result was Harvey’s second consecutive GMR Grand Prix Fast Six. In 2019 he started third and finished third.
Will Power 1:10.177
Jack Harvey 1:10.365
If you were keeping score, half of each of the last two rounds had drivers with less than three years experience. Oliver Askew in his first road course qualifying led two rounds of qualifying and had the fastest lap of 1:09.878 in the second round.
Conor Daly got a rare second round spot for Ed Carpenter Racing and will start 8th tomorrow.
Colton Herta showed last year that he will be a perennial contender.
Jack Harvey loves this track. if he can transfer his success at IMS to the rest of the series, he will be someone fun to watch.
Max Chilton advancing to the second round was nice to see.
Felix rosenqvist had an off day today, but could be a factor tomorrow.
We are witnessing a very quick generational change. These younger drivers are the sport’s future. The current stars have at most three years left. The series will be in very good hands when they leave. We could see a few more surprises this season. The kids are alright.