RINUS VEEKAY PUTS CHEVROLET ON POLE IN ALABAMA
PATO O’WARD QUALIFIES SECOND TO MAKE ALL-CHEVY POWER FRONT ROW
BIRMINGHAM – After setting the fastest lap through the first two practice sessions, Rinus VeeKay backed up that effort with the fastest time of the 26-car field to win the NTT INDYCAR Series P1 award.
VeeKay’s No. 21 Sonax Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet-powered team made all the right choices for Qualifying Session One (Q1).
The young driver from the Netherlands transferred to Qualifying Session Two – trimmed to the 12-fastest cars (Fast 12) – and again, with the right decisions from his team, he moved to Qualifying Session Three – The Firestone Fast Six, and waited until the last lap of of the session as the clock ran out to lay down a pole-winning run of one-minute 6.2507 seconds on the heals of a drive-through penalty for pit lane violation.
This is the second NTT P1 Award of VeeKay’s career and the third for Chevrolet in the 2022 NTT INDYCAR Series season.
Chevrolet has won the pole at Barber Motorsports Park nine of the 10 races since returning to INDYCAR competition in 2012 with the 2.2 liter twin turbo charges direct injected V6 purpose-built engine.
Last season’s pole sitter, Pato O’Ward, No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet, qualified second to give Team Chevy the front row for the start of the Honda Grand Prix of Alabama.
Giving Chevrolet four of the top-six starters in tomorrow’s 90-lap race on the 2.3-mile, 17-turn circuit just outside Birmingham, Alabama, are Scott McLaughlin, No. 3 Sonsio Team Penske Chevrolet, qualified fourth and Felix Rosenqvist, No. 7 VUSE Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet, qualifying for the sixth starting position.
Three-time Barber Motorsport Part winner, Josef Newgarden, No. 2 PPG Team Penske Chevrolet, qualified seventh to give Bowtie Brand five of top-seven qualifiers.
Chevrolet and the NTT INDYCAR Series continue with round four of the 2022 season at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday, May 1 from Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala. The race will air live on NBC, the Peacock streaming service and SiriusXM IndyCar Nation (Channel 160). Live timing and scoring will be available at racecontrol.indycar.com.
RINUS VEEKAY, NO. 21 SONAX ED CARPENTER RACING CHEVROLET, POLE WINNER:
“Very good qualifying! We put the SONAX Chevrolet on pole, the Ed Carpenter Racing team did a great job. “We had potential and we knew we were in a good position, but to actually put it on pole was an accomplishment. I think the whole team maximized everything. We made the right decisions with tires, setup, everything. Confidence is high. I think from here we can have a great race and fight for the win, definitely.”
PATO O’WARD, NO. 5 ARROW MCLAREN SP CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 2ND:
“It was a solid day for Arrow McLaren SP. We had a strong qualifying and we can do a lot from there. We are starting second tomorrow and the car has felt good and comfortable. We will have to see what the best strategy is going to be in the race; I think the weather is going to have a lot to say about that. We are looking forward to having a good race tomorrow.”
SCOTT MCLAUGHLIN, NO. 3 SONSIO TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 4TH:
FELIX ROSENQVIST, NO. 7 VUSE ARROW MCLAREN SP CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED SIXTH:
“Another good qualifying and Firestone Fast Six appearance for the No. 7 Vuse Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet. We have been on a roll in qualifying. Obviously you want to be better than sixth when you make the Fast Six but we will definitely take that position after what started as a tricky weekend. We got a pretty good read on both tires during the final practice so now we just need to execute tomorrow.”
JOSEF NEWGARDEN, NO. 2 PPG TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED SEVENTH:
CALLUM ILOTT, NO. 77 JUNCOS HOLLINGER RACING, QUALIFIED 11TH:
“Good result for us. P11 our first Fast 12. Good result but I think there was a little more in there. However, we got caught out by the red flag. P11 Amazing feeling. I think all the Juncos Hollinger guys are happy. Chevy is happy. We have a little bit of work to do overnight to see if we can make the car a little faster for the race. Excited to have Racing for Children on the car. Amazing organization and it really awesome to have all the kids have their hand prints on the car.”
WILL POWER, NO. 12 VERIZON 5G TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 19TH:
KYLE KIRKWOOD, NO. 14 ROKIT AJ FOYT RACING CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 21ST:
“We didn’t have the best of qualifying, we finished 11th in our group. Not sure what the issue was. Honestly the [car’s] balance felt pretty good, we’re just lacking speed there towards the end on red tires. I think our race pace is good. We’re going to find out here in warmup but tomorrow might rain so that could throw a curveball at everyone and that could potentially help us so we’ll see what happens.”
CONOR DALY, NO. 20 BITNILE ED CARPENTER RACING CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 22ND:
“We had sectors quick enough to transfer to the next group, but we ran into a lot of dirt because of another car that went off in front of us. Then there was a red flag, so we couldn’t get in any more laps. We had a great car, fast enough, obviously, since our teammate is on pole which is wonderful. I’m still excited for tomorrow, we know we are fast, we just got a bit unlucky today.”
DALTON KELLETT, NO. 4 K-LINE AJ FOYT RACING CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 23RD:
“Not the qualifying session we were looking for. It was the whole Foyt team really, we seemed to struggle out there. The car felt alright but the pace wasn’t there so that’s something to look at between the three cars and see what we can come up with for warmup. We’ll test a couple things for the race tomorrow. It probably looks like a two-stop race so we’ll be working on fuel mileage stuff and see what we can come up with from a setup standpoint.”
TATIANA CALDERON, NO. 11 ROKIT AJ FOYT RACING, QUALIFIED 25TH:
“I think we’ve been making steps forward. I’m more comfortable with the balance of the car. We still need to find a little bit more grip, particularly with the red tires so that’s something to work on towards the free practice three [final warmup] to prepare for the race. I think we’re making steps forward and that’s the most important thing. We’ll see what the weather does tomorrow. It should be an interesting race.”