Harvest Grand Prix: Thursday Notebook

By: Spencer Neff
October 1, 2020

As the NTT IndyCar Series enters its last month of the 2020 season, the field returned to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course for the inaugural Harvest Grand Prix.

Thursday saw the lone practice session as well as qualifying for tomorrow’s 85-lap race. Here are some of the highlights.

Palou leads First Practice

Image By INDYCAR

Results: Practice 1

In one of the more competitive rookie battles, Dale Coyne Racing with Team Goh’s Alex Palou staked out an early advantage.

By logging a best lap of 1m10.177 (125.117 mph) on the 2.438-mile, 14-turn road course. Bookended by series points leader Scott Dixon of Chip Ganassi Racing, Honda-powered cars took the Top Four spots in the opening practice.

During the 90-minute session, only Marcus Ericsson’s spin halted the preceedings.

VeeKay nabs first Pole

VeeKay and ECR celebrate after winning the pole (Chris Jones/INDYCAR)

Qualifying Results Starting Grid

Like opening practice, a rookie led the way during the qualifying session. During Group 2, Ed Carpenter Racing’s Rinus VeeKay earned his first career pole with a best lap of 1m09.6903 (125.992 mph).

For the Hoofddorp, Netherlands driver, it is his first career pole in his 12th career start. Previously, his best qualifying effort was fourth at the Indianapolis 500 on August 23.

It is the fifth pole for the Ed Carpenter Racing team, their first since Carpenter did so at the Indianapolis 500 in 2018.

The only previous time a driver other than Carpenter won a pole with ECR was Josef Newgarden, who did so at Milwaukee in 2015. Tomorrow, Newgarden shares the front row with VeeKay. In Group 1, Newgarden posted the quickest time.

Up Next

Tomorrow, drivers will take the green flag for Race 1 at 4:00 pm Eastern, with the race being broadcast on the USA Network beginning at 3:30. Look for more coverage from IndyCar1909 throughout the weekend.

Header Image By Chris Jones/INDYCAR

Published by Spencer Neff

I am a lifelong auto racing fan. Through IndyCar1909, I look forward to sharing my passion for the series and its illustrious history with you.

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