Josef Newgarden wins in thrilling finish at Texas

By: Spencer Neff
March 20, 2022

2022 XPEL 375 Results

In what has become somewhat of a norm at Texas Motor Speedway, the race was decided by a narrow margin. Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden earned his 21st career IndyCar victory in the XPEL 375, passing teammate Scott McLaughlin for the win on the final corner.

At the line, the margin of victory was a scant .0669 of a second, the 22nd time in 35 races at TMS a race was decided by less than a second. Newgarden earned his first victory since last year at World Wide Technology Raceway and his second at the 1.44-mile oval (2019).

On a day that McLaughlin finished second despite leading 186 of 248 laps, Team Penske earned their 600th victory across motorsports with Newgarden taking the checkered flag.

Race Recap

After a practice crash on Saturday, Jack Harvey crashed during the final practice. Following a sunday morning consult with the INDYCAR Medical team, he was not cleared to drive.

The start of the XPEL 375 (INDYCAR)

With Harvey unable to participate, Santino Ferrucci was pressed into action. Ferrucci contested five races with RLLR in the No. 45 entry during the 2021 season.

McLaughlin piped pole sitter Felix Rosenqvist on Lap 1 and sped past for the early lead of the race.

Following a review from Race Control, Alexander Rossi was determined to have jumped the start of the race, moving out of position prior to the green flag.

Soon after, the Andretti Autosport driver slowed on the apron, NBC had reported electrical issues for the No. 27 car and the first caution of the afternoon was thrown for his tow-in.

After the restart, Kyle Kirkwood powered his way through the field, as the A.J. Foyt Racing rookie was able to lead his first laps during the first pit stop sequence.

On Lap 99, Sato and Devlin DeFrancesco made contact in Turn 2, forcing Sato into the outside wall. Although he made light contact, the caution flag was out for the second time on the day.

During the yellow flag stops, the issues for Arrow McLaren SP entries mounted. Pato O’Ward hit his left-front tire changer, while Rosenqvist had issues with his right-rear tire change, leaving them 16th and 17th on the restart.

Making his super speedway debut, Andretti Autosport’s Romain Grosjean saw a Lap 112 exit following engine issues. On the Lap 114 restart, Kirkwood’s oval debut ended abruptly as he spun in Turn and made heavy contact with the wall but walked away.

Ferrucci, now a Dallas resident, was pressed into action Sunday morning with RLLR (INDYCAR)

The olds adage of “cautions breed cautions” proved correct as DeFrancesco and Graham Rahal made contact in Turn 3, with Helio Castroneves being collected as well. While pitting under yellow, Rosenqvist pitted and was knocked out of the race with a broken half-shaft.

The race would restart with 99 laps to go. Mclaughlin and teammate Newgarden swapped the lead over the next two laps, with Rinus VeeKay making his presence felt as he moved to second. With 89 to go, the ECR driver found his way to the front.

Five laps later, Power moved from third to first and got the lead of the race. As Fuel mileage came into play, Ericsson and McLaughlin would get past Power for the first and second spots with 65 laps remaining. With 62 laps remaining, the final cycle of green flag stops began. On Lap 207, McLaughlin was back out front.

McLaughlin’s dominant performance was under fire late in the race as lapped traffic played a factor. In Turns 3 and 4, Newgarden passed on the outside in what proved to be the winning move.

Newgarden celebrates his first win of the season (INDYCAR)

Chip Ganassi Racing’s Marcus Ericsson rounded out the podium, with Power making it three Penske cars in the Top Four.

Ericsson’s CGR teammates Scott Dixon, Jimmie Johnson and Alex Palou followed as Johnson earned by far his career-best result.

Meyer Shank Racing’s Simon Pagenaud would end the day in eighth. Santino Ferrucci’s last-minute appearence yielded a ninth-place result.

Dale Coyne Racing with HMD Motorsports’ David Malukas would come home as the highest-finishing rookie of the day in 11th.

Up Next

Immediately following another two weeks off, the NTT INDYCAR SERIES returns to action.

First Practice for the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach will be at 6:15 p.m. Eastern on April 8. The 85-lap race is set for April 10, with a 3:45 p.m. green flag.

Continue with IndyCar1909 and all our platforms for the latest on the NTT INDYCAR SERIES>

Header Image By Joe Skibinski/INDYCAR

Josef Newgarden leads Final Practice

By: Spencer Neff
March 19, 2022

Practice 2 Results Combined Practice Results

The last pre-race track time began with a 30-minute “special session”. The added practice was completed with seven drivers to help add grip to the second groove.

Once that was completed, a 60-minute session began for the 27-car field to dial everything in before tomorrow’s race.

Midway through the practice, Jack Harvey brushed the outside wall in Turn 2 before making heavy contact with the infield wall on the back straightaway. The Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing driver walked away on his own from his battered race car.

RLLR did report to Peacock TV that they did have a backup tub, with the team expected to utilize that tub and the necessary spare parts to get the No. 45 ready for Sunday’s race. Harvey was cleared and released from the infield care center shortly after the incident following his mandatory post-accident visit.

Due to a lengthy cleanup from the crash, INDYCAR added 10 minutes to the session running time.

Up Next

At-track schedule (All times local/Central Time):

Sunday, March 20

11:30 a.m. NBC on air
11:40 a.m. “Drivers, start your engines”
11:45 a.m. XPEL 375 (248 laps / 372 miles), NBC (Live)

Continue with IndyCar1909 and all our platforms for the latest on the XPEL 375

Header Image By Joe Skibinski/INDYCAR

Felix Rosenqvist wins pole at Texas Motor Speedway

By: Spencer Neff
March 19, 2022

Arrow McLaren SP’s Felix Rosenqvist exercised some demons from past runs at TMS and a frustrating 2021 debut with the team on Saturday. With a two-lap average of 221.110 mph (46.8906 two-lap time), the Varmao, Sweden native earned the pole for Sunday’s XPEL 375.

It is Rosenqvist’s second career pole (Indianapolis Road Course-2019) and his first on an oval. Previously, his best qualifying effort on an oval was seventh (Iowa Race 1-2020). That year he qualified ninth at Texas, his previous best start. In four prior starts, his best finish was 12th in 2019,

The No. 7 entry will lead the 27-car field to the green flag alongside Scott McLaughlin of Team Penske, who will look to start off 2022 with a second consecutive win. Dale Coyne Racing with Rick Ware Racing’s Takuma Sato was the quickest of the Honda-powered entries in third behind the two Chevrolets.

Andretti Autosport’s Romain Grosjean (13th) was first among the seven drivers making there debut at the speedway this weekend. His teammate Devlin DeFrancesco (17th) was best among the drivers eligible for Rookie of the Year honors.

This morning’s leader in practice, Simon Pagenaud, will roll off the grid 15th for Meyer Shank Racing. With qualifying complete, here is a look at the remaining weekend schedule.

Up Next

At-track schedule (All times local/Central Time):

Saturday, March 19

4-4:30 Special Practice 

4:45-5:45 p.m. NTT INDYCAR SERIES final practice, Peacock Premium

Sunday, March 20

11:30 a.m. NBC on air
11:40 a.m. “Drivers, start your engines”
11:45 a.m. XPEL 375 (248 laps / 372 miles), NBC (Live)

Continue with IndyCar1909 and all our platforms for the latest on the XPEL 375

Header Image By Joe Skibinski/INDYCAR 

Simon Pagenaud tops opening practice at Texas

By: Spencer Neff
March 19, 2022

Practice 1 Results

During the first 60-minute session in preparation for Sunday’s XPEL 375, Meyer Shank Racing’s Simon Pagenaud led the way. Making his oval debut with the team, the 2016 INDYCAR Champion posted a best lap of 223.087 mph (23.2376 seconds) on the 1.44-mile Texas Motor Speedway.

With TMS opting for resin instead of the PJ1 during last year’s NASCAR race, the foundation began for a second racing grove. During the past two years, drivers had struggled with grip on the outside lanes in the corners.

Prior to Saturday afternoon’s final session, seven drivers will take to the outside lane with added downforce and will be given an extra set of tires in a 30-minute “special session”.

Those participating include Ed Carpenter (Ed Carpenter Racing), Helio Castroneves(Meyer Shank Racing), Pato O’Ward and Felix Rosenqvist (Arrow McLaren SP), Will Power (Team Penske), Graham Rahal(Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing) and Takuma Sato (Dale Coyne Racing with Rick Ware Racing)

Up Next

At-track schedule (All times local/Central Time):

Saturday, March 19

10-11 a.m. NTT INDYCAR SERIES practice, Peacock Premium

1 p.m. Qualifying for the NTT P1 Award (Single car, cumulative time of two laps), Peacock Premium (Live) (Qualifying Order)

4-4:30 Special Practice

4:45-5:45 p.m. NTT INDYCAR SERIES final practice, Peacock Premium

Sunday, March 20

11:30 a.m. NBC on air
11:40 a.m. “Drivers, start your engines”
11:45 a.m. XPEL 375 (248 laps / 372 miles), NBC (Live)

Continue with IndyCar1909 and all our platforms for the latest on the XPEL 375

Header Image By Joe Skibinski/INDYCAR

XPEL 375: Weekend Preview

By: Spencer Neff
March 18, 2022

The NTT INDYCAR SERIES returns after two weekends off for their second race of the season, the XPEL 375. On Sunday, 27 drivers will contest the first oval event of the season on the 1.44-mile Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth.


Following his first career pole and race win, Team Penske’s Scott McLaughlin returns to the site of his previous best finish. In his first INDYCAR start on an oval, the New Zealander finished second to countryman Scott Dixon of Chip Ganassi Racing.

During the second race of the 2021 doubleheader, Arrow McLaren SP’s Pato O’Ward earned his first career victory. This weekend, six drivers will look for similar success on their first INDYCAR oval.

In addition to the five rookies in this year’s class, Chip Ganassi Racing’s Jimmie Johnson makes his oval debut after contesting only road and street courses in 2021. Johnson has won seven times at TMS in the NASCAR Cup Series.

Romain Grosjean (shown during March 2 testing), makes his super speedway debut this weekend. Last year, he started finished 14th at World Wide Technology Raceway in his oval debut. (Joe Skibinski/INDYCAR)

Making their 2022 debuts will be JR Hildebrand (A.J. Foyt Racing), who will run the ovals while rookie Tatiana Calderón contests the road and street courses

Owner/Driver Ed Carpenter joins Hildebrand in making his first start of 2022. After Conor Daly took over the No. 20 on a full-time basis the 2014 Texas winner will enter the No. 33 for the oval races, similar to his schedule dating back to 2014.

“I am excited to get back to Texas! It’s always fun going to a track you’ve won at before and a place you’ve been successful, hopefully we can repeat that this year,” Carpenter exclaimed.

One factor that will be on everyone’s mind is how the track’s recent issues with the PJ1 traction compound in the corners will be remedied.

Since 2020, the surface has been rendered nearly undrivable for IndyCar. Recent solutions proposed have ranged from extra practice time with more downforce and tires to a chemical wash.

The upper groves of all four corners (picture taken during March 2 testing with David Malukas of Dale Coyne Racing with HMD Motorsports) have seen a lack of grip during the last two years at TMS (Joe Skibinski/INDYCAR)

The complexion of Sunday’s race will hinge significantly on how the series resolves this issue. Now, here are some key facts for this weekend’s race.

XPEL 375 Fast Facts

Pit Assignments

Spotter Guide

Race weekend: Saturday, March 19 and Sunday, March 20 Track: Texas Motor Speedway, a 1.5-mile oval

Race distance: 248 laps/372 miles
Firestone tire allotment: Eleven sets primary to be used during practice, qualifying and the race.

Twitter: @TXMotorSpeedway @INDYCAR, #XPEL375, #INDYCAR

Event website:

INDYCAR website:

2021 race winners: Race 1: Scott Dixon, 1:45:51.3417, 173.036 mph (212 laps/318 miles); Race 2: Pato O’Ward, 2:06:31.1155, 169.360 mph (248 laps/372 miles)

2021 NTT P1 Award winner: Race 1: Alex Palou (Points); Race 2: Scott Dixon (Points)

Qualifying record (based on track distance of 1.44 miles)
One lap:
Charlie Kimball, 23.2730, 222.747 mph, June 9, 2017

Two laps: Charlie Kimball, 46.5861, 222.556 mph, June 9, 2017

NBC Sports race telecast: 12:30 p.m. (ET) Sunday, NBC (live). Leigh Diffey is the play-by-play announcer for NBC’s coverage of the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, alongside analysts Townsend Bell and James Hinchcliffe. Marty Snider and Kevin Lee are the pit reporters.

Peacock Premium Live Streaming: All NTT INDYCAR SERIES practice sessions and qualifying will stream live on Peacock Premium, NBC’s direct-to-consumer livestreaming product. NBC’s XPEL 375 race telecast will be simulcast on the streaming service, while Peacock Premium’s exclusive post-race show – featuring driver interviews, podium ceremonies and post- race analysis – will debut following the race.

INDYCAR Radio Network broadcasts: Mark Jaynes is the chief announcer alongside analyst Davey Hamilton and turn announcer Nick Yeoman. Jake Query and Michael Young are the pit reporters. The XPEL 375 race and all NTT INDYCAR SERIES practices and qualifying sessions air live on network affiliates, SiriusXM 160, and the INDYCAR App powered by NTT DATA.

At-track schedule (All times local/Central Time):

Saturday, March 19

9:45-9:55 a.m. NTT INDYCAR SERIES two-stage pit speed limiter practice

10-11 a.m. NTT INDYCAR SERIES practice, Peacock Premium

1 p.m. Qualifying for the NTT P1 Award (Single car, cumulative time of two laps), Peacock Premium (Live)

4-5 p.m. NTT INDYCAR SERIES final practice, Peacock Premium

Sunday, March 20

11:30 a.m. NBC on air
11:40 a.m. “Drivers, start your engines”
11:45 a.m. XPEL 375 (248 laps / 372 miles), NBC (Live)

Header Image By Joe Skibinski

Rewind: 2003 Bombardier 500

By: Spencer Neff
March 17, 2022

Sunday marks the first oval race of the 2022 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season, the XPEL 375 at Texas Motor Speedway. The 248-lap race on the 1.44-mile track in Fort Worth will be the second event of the season and the 35th contested at TMS.

For this week’s edition of Rewind, IndyCar1909 looks back at the 2003 June race, the Bombardier 500.

Race Recap

Two weeks after a thrilling Indianapolis 500, Team Penske’s Gil de Ferran and the IRL INDYCAR SERIES made the first of two scheduled trips to Texas Motor Speedway.

With de Ferran still nursing a back injury from a March crash in Phoenix, the week off was welcome amongst the traditional post-race obligations of the Indianapolis 500 winner.

Scheckter celebrates after winning the pole (INDYCAR)

After leading the most laps but falling short of victory at Indy for the second time in as many years, Target Chip Ganassi Racing’s Tomas Scheckter earned the pole. Teammate Scott Dixon lined up on the outside of the front row.

From the drop of the green flag, Scheckter and Dixon held steady up front, as de Ferran and others experienced issues.

On Lap 42, A.J. Foyt IV tagged the wall in Turn 2, prompting the first caution of the evening. Scheckter continued to lead as the race got restarted on Lap 48. By the second caution on Lap 87, the No. 10 had been up front for nearly half of the scheduled 200 laps.

After eight laps under the yellow for debris, Kelley Racing’s Al Unser Jr. was first off pit road and up front, the first driver aside from Scheckter to lead. Unser Jr. had been battling fiercely before the debris caution.

Soon after the green flag, Scheckter took back the top spot and held the point for another 54 laps. With 50 laps to go, Scheckter made his final pit stop of the night.

Unfortunately, a fire broke out after he left, leaving his crew scrambling to dilute the methanol. Scheckter would be given a drive-through penalty for leaving pit road with equipment.

With 26 laps to go, his luck ran out as the G-Force/Toyota made heavy contact with the outside wall in Turn 2. The race would restart with 15 laps to go but the run would be short-lived.

With 10 to go, Tora Takagi collided with Scott Sharp, which pushed Sharp and Felipe Giaffone into the Turn 3 wall. A fourth caution of the evening. Another quick clean-up set the stage for a two-lap battle for the win.

Unser Jr.’s Dallara-Toyota hangs on for the victory (INDYCAR)

Unser Jr. would hold off Kanaan by .081 of a second to snap a 20-race winless streak dating back to Gateway in 2001.


Despite falling short of victory, Kanaan extended his points lead to 36, with Unser Jr. slotting in behind him. Unser Jr.’s 34th career win left him one short of his Uncle Bobby. Following the season, he moved to a part-time role and ultimately competed for the last time at Indianapolis in 2007.

Unser Jr. celebrates what would be his final INDYCAR win (INDYCAR)

In October, de Ferran earned the victory at Texas in the season finale, his 12th and final win. Scott Dixon would earn his first championship.

On Sunday, the six-time NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion goes for his sixth win at Texas and third in the last four races.

Header Image By INDYCAR

J.R. Hildebrand to contest oval slate with Foyt

By: Spencer Neff
March 11, 2022

A.J. Foyt Racing announced that 2011 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year J.R. Hildebrand will return to the team for the oval portion of the NTT INDYCAR SERIES schedule in 2022.

Hildebrand ran last year’s Indianapolis 500 with the team, where he started 22nd and finished 15th, best of all three cars in the race.

The Sausalito, California native will contest the XPEL 375 at Texas Motor Speedway next Sunday (March 20), as well as the 106th Indianapolis 500 (May 29), the Iowa Speedway doubleheader weekend (July 23-24) and the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 at at World Wide Technology Raceway (August 21).

With Tatiana Calderón slated to run only the road and street courses, the No. 11 was opened for the five oval events. Foyt will have three full-time cars with Kyle Kirkwood (No. 14) and Dalton Kellett (No. 4) also running.

“I’m excited to have this opportunity to get back in the car, do a little more racing, and work with the AJ Foyt Racing squad again,” said Hildebrand in Friday’s announcement.

Hildebrand in Foyt’s 1961 Indianapolis 500-winning race car. Hildebrand’s livery for the 2021 paid tribute to the 60th anniversary of A.J.’s first of a record-setting four wins (Chris Owens/INDYCAR)

“Although the results may not have looked special on paper, I was really impressed by what we accomplished last year at the 500 and look forward to attacking these other ovals on the IndyCar schedule alongside Kyle and Dalton.”

A champion of the Indy Lights series in 2009, Hildebrand’s career has consisted of 66 INDYCAR starts since his 2010 debut at Mid-Ohio with Dreyer and Reinbold (started 18th and finished 16th).

In 2011, he crashed in Turn 4 on the final lap of the Indianapolis 500 while leading, allowing Dan Wheldon to pass for the win.

Driving for Panther Racing, Hildebrand finished second and earned Rookie of the Year honors. In 2017, he started second (his only front row start to date) and equaled that career-best finish at Iowa while driving full-time with Ed Carpenter Racing.

From 2018 to 2020, he ran a one-off entry with Dreyer and Reinbold Racing at the Indianapolis 500.

“We had a great experience working with J.R. last year, and there is no doubt he is very competitive at Indianapolis,” said Team President Larry Foyt.

“He is still very motivated to drive Indy cars and is a setup-savvy, technical driver who will be a strong addition at our oval races this year.”

Next Sunday, Hildebrand will make his first start outside of the Indianapolis 500 since the 2017 finale at Sonoma Raceway.

Header Image By James Black/INDYCAR

Scott McLaughlin grabs first INDYCAR victoy to start 2022

By: Spencer Neff
February 27, 2022

2022 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg Results

After dominating second practice and qualifying, Scott McLaughlin continued on Sunday and won the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg,

McLaughlin started on the pole and led 49 of 100 laps, including the final 21 laps on the 1.8-mile, 14-turn temporary street circuit. After winning Rookie of the Year at the Indianapolis 500 and in the series for 2021, McLaughlin topped his best finish of his first season (2nd at Texas).

He joins a list that includes Mark Donohue, Paul Tracy, Tom Sneva, Helio Castroneves and Rick Mears as drivers who earned their first career win at Team Penske. After Palou’s 2021, triumph, first-time winners have now begun the season for two straight years.

McLaughlin’s lead dwindled in the final laps but lapped traffic wasn’t enough for Palou to catch him. (Chris Owens/INDYCAR)

In his 18th NTT INDYCAR SERIES start, the Christchurch, New Zealand native took home the win, finishing .5095 of a second ahead of defending series champion Alex Palou of Chip Ganassi Racing.

Will Power made it two Penske drivers on the podium in third. The race was slowed by just one caution, lowest of 19 races at St. Petersburg. The eight caution laps are tied with 2017’s race for the fewest in the event. Run at an average speed of 96.899 miles per hour, it eclipsed last year’s race as the fastest in its history.


The green flag waves on the 2022 season (Chris Jones/INDYCAR)

On the start, Colton Herta and Rinus VeeKay went past Power for second and third as McLaughlin kept up his pace from Saturday. He would stay up from for the opening laps. On Lap 26, the caution flag was brought out for the first time.

Dale Coyne Racing with HMD Motorsports’ David Malukas tagged the inside and outside walls in Turn 3.

After coming to a stop, the INDYCAR rookie’s first start would end abruptly. Following a lengthy caution to repair the retaining wall, the green flag was back out on Lap 34. On the restart, Alexander Rossi was able to maintain the lead as he stretched his opening stint all the way until a Lap 38 pit stop for the Andretti Autosport entry.

Continuing to play a three-stop strategy versus the two-stop plan of drivers like Rossi and McLaughlin, Dixon found his way back to the front, as did VeeKay, McLaughlin and Palou during the final cycle of pit stops.

Dixon made his final pit stop on Lap 80, handing the lead back to his countryman McLaughlin. Although there were questions about fuel regarding some of the leaders, McLaughlin was able to hold off the field and win.

McLaughlin celebrates with Palou and Power on the podium (Chris Jones/INDYCAR)

Up Next

The NTT INDYCAR SERIES takes a two-week break ahead of their first oval race of the season. Opening practice for the XPEL 375 at Texas Motor Speedway will be at 11:00 a.m. Eastern on March 19. Qualifying will be at 2:00 with final practice at 5:00.

Preface coverage for the race will begin at 12:00 p.m. Eastern with a scheduled 12:45 p.m. IndyCar1909 will have continued updates on the series through our site and various platforms.

Header Image By Chris Jones/INDYCAR

Herta leads morning warmup

By: Spencer Neff
February 27, 2022

Results Combined Practice Results

Looking to continue where he left off in 2021, Colton Herta topped the speed chart during Sunday morning’s warmup for the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

The Andretti Autosport driver posted a best lap of 1m00.3283 (107.412 mph) on the 1.8-mile, 14-turn street circuit in St. Petersburg, Florida. In this afternoon’s race, he will start third.

Herta will try to repeat his win from last year and continue a winning streak that dates back to the final two races of last year at Laguna Seca and Long Beach.

Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden finished in second as the top Chevrolet entry behind the Honda entry, .2688 of a second back. Defending series champion Alex Palou finished third with Juncos Holinger Racing’s Callum Ilott the highest-placing rookie in fourth.

With about nine minutes left, Jimmie Johnson locked up his brakes and spun on the entrance to Turn 10.

The Chip Ganassi Racing driver did not sustain any damage to his No. 48 entry but the red flag was brought out on the session. After a brief stoppage, the session continued unabated before Helio Castroneves spun in Turn 6 with less than two minutes to run.

Castroneves was able to continue on without further issue but the session would soon be over.

Up Next

Tire Strategies

Sunday, Feb. 27

Noon – NBC Sports on air

12:23 p.m. – “Drivers, start your engines”

12:30 p.m. – Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg presented by RP Funding (100 laps / 181 miles), NBC, Telemundo and Peacock Premium (Live)

Header Image and Schedule By INDYCAR

Continue with IndyCar1909 and all our platforms for the latest on the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

Header Image By Chris Jones/INDYCAR

Scott McLaughlin takes first career pole

By: Spencer Neff
February 26, 2022

After a first start in the 2020 finale and a 2021 appearance here at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, Scott McLaughlin proved the proverbial third time is the charm.

Qualifying Results

On Saturday afternoon, the Team Penske driver earned his first career pole position in his 18th NTT INDYCAR SERIES start as he begins his second full-time season. He will lead the field to the green flag for Sunday afternoon’s 100-lap race on the 1.8-mile, 14-turn temporary street circuit in St. Petersburg, Florida.

McLaughlin earned his second Fast Six appearance (Indianapolis 1-2021) and made the most of it. After leading the morning practice, he topped his teammate Will Power with a best lap of 59.4821 seconds (108.940 mph).

The Christchurch, New Zealand driver was .1237 of a second ahead of the field. In a record-breaking qualifying, here’s how the rest of the day played out.

Round 1

Colton Herta was second-fastest in both pre-qualifying practice sessions (Chris Owens/INDYCAR)

Group 1: Results

The track record previously set by Jordan King and Ed Carpenter Racing in 2018 was broken by eight of 13 drivers in the first group of qualifiers. Herta topped the 10-minute session with a best lap of 59.4662 seconds (108.969 mph).

Following Herta into Round 2 would be Graham Rahal, Rinus VeeKay, Scott Dixon, Kyle Kirkwood and Josef Newgarden. Despite posting times that bested the 1m00.0476 track record, Andretti Autosport’s Alexander Rossi and Rahal Letterman Lanigan’s Christian Lundgaard did not advance.

Also not advancing out of the opening group were Helio Castroneves, Callum Illott, Felix Rosenqvist, Jack Harvey and Tatiana Calderón. All seven drivers who did not advance will line up on the outside of Rows 7-13 on Sunday.

Group 2: Results

In the second group, Power topped Herta’s track record with a best lap of 59.3929 (109.104). Seven of the 13 drivers ran a best lap under a minute, with eight in total besting the track record.

Joining Power in the Fast 12 were teammate Scott McLaughlin, Romain Grosjean, Simon Pagenaud, Marcus Ericsson and Alex Palou.

A.J. Foyt Racing’s Dalton Kellett and Arrow McLaren SP’s Pato O’Ward were the first drivers unable to advance. They, along with Devlin DeFrancesco, Conor Daly, Takuma Sato, David Malukas and Jimmie Johnson will be on the outside of the final seven rows on the grid.

Round 2-Fast 12

Power was at the top of the leaderboard with a track record in each of his first two sessions in qualifying (Image By James Black/INDTCAR)


With a best lap of 59.3466, Power bested his own track record as he continued on to the Fast Six. Advancing with him were Herta, McLaughlin, Grosjean, Pagenaud and VeeKay.

The dozen drivers were separated by just .915 of a second, as Scott Dixon, Marcus Ericsson, Josef Newgarden, Alex Palou, Graham Rahal and Kyle Kirkwood did not advance. They will line tip seventh through Twelfth on the grid. Kirkwood was the only rookie to advance to Round 2.

Round 3-Fast 6

McLaughlin ended Saturday by sweeping both on-track sessions (James Black?INDYCAR)


Despite topping the field in both of his previous sessions, Power fell short of his 10th pole at St. Petersburg and starts on the outside of the front row. Herta and VeeKay will occupy Row 2 with Grosjean and Pagenaud taking Row 3.

Up Next

With qualifying done, the focus turns to race day. Here is the on-track schedule for tomorrow.

Sunday, Feb. 27

8:45-9:15 a.m. – NTT INDYCAR SERIES warmup, Peacock Premium

Noon – NBC Sports on air

12:23 p.m. – “Drivers, start your engines”

12:30 p.m. – Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg presented by RP Funding (100 laps / 181 miles), NBC, Telemundo and Peacock Premium (Live)

Header Image and Schedule By INDYCAR

Continue with IndyCar1909 and all our platforms for the latest on the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

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