McLaughlin Secures Dominant Pole Position at Nashville IndyCar Race

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Navigating the 2.1-mile, 11-corner temporary street course, McLaughlin accomplished his fastest lap at 1 minute 14.6099 seconds, ensuring his lead position ahead of Pato O’Ward from Arrow McLaren and Colton Herta from Andretti.

The qualifying was deferred for over three and a half hours due to poor track conditions after torrential rain resulted in waterlogging. However, the qualifying session eventually took place in dry and sunny weather conditions.

Fast Six Qualification

O’Ward initially set a competitive pace with a time of 1 minute 15.3506 seconds before Alex Palou from Chip Ganassi Racing, who chose new harder primary tires instead of used alternates, snatched the first position with 1 minute 15.2462 seconds.

Herta, however, outdid both with a time of 1 minute 15.2416 seconds, but McLaughlin stormed past all competition with an impressive 1 minute 14.6099 seconds in the final minute, securing the pole.

Though O’Ward managed to surpass Herta for the second position, he lagged 0.3296 seconds behind McLaughlin. The top three will line up ahead of Palou, David Malukas from Dale Coyne Racing, and Romain Grosjean from Andretti.

Herta expressed his displeasure with Grosjean’s sister team, accusing them of sending their car just ahead of him, thus impacting his bid for the front row.

Top 12 Qualification

In the second round, O’Ward achieved the fastest time at 1 minute 14.5944 seconds, followed by Herta, Palou, McLaughlin, Grosjean, and Malukas.

Unfortunately, Will Power from Penske, Kyle Kirkwood from Andretti, local favorite and title contender Josef Newgarden from Penske, Alexander Rossi from McLaren, debutant Linus Lundqvist from Meyer Shank Racing, and Scott Dixon from Ganassi, who experienced a harsh crash at Turn 11, failed to progress and Dixon will start 12th.

Group Stage Qualification

In Group 1, McLaughlin was quickest with a time of 1 minute 15.1629 seconds, a clear half-second ahead of Dixon, Malukas, Rossi, Newgarden, and Lundqvist.

Meanwhile, Toronto winner Christian Lundgaard from Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, Graham Rahal, Helio Castroneves from Meyer Shank Racing, Rinus VeeKay from Ed Carpenter Racing, Santino Ferrucci from AJ Foyt Racing, Agustin Canapino from Juncos Hollinger Racing, and Benjamin Pedersen from Foyt failed to progress, with the latter stalling after overshooting Turn 11.

In Group 2, Herta set the fastest lap at 1 minute 15.0030 seconds, just 0.05 seconds ahead of Kirkwood, Palou, O’Ward, Grosjean, and Power, who brushed the wall but continued.

Not advancing further were Felix Rosenqvist from McLaren, Marcus Armstrong from CGR, Callum Ilott from JHR, inaugural winner Marcus Ericsson from CGR, Jack Harvey from Rahal, Sting Ray Robb from Coyne, Devlin DeFrancesco from Andretti, and Ryan Hunter-Reay from ECR.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about IndyCar Nashville

Who took the pole position at the IndyCar Nashville race?

Scott McLaughlin from Team Penske secured the pole position with his best lap at 1 minute 14.6099 seconds.

Which drivers were in the top three in the qualifying?

The top three drivers in the qualifying were Scott McLaughlin from Team Penske, Pato O’Ward from Arrow McLaren, and Colton Herta from Andretti.

What caused the delay in the qualifying session?

The qualifying session was delayed due to heavy rain that resulted in poor track conditions with standing water. The session eventually took place in dry and sunny weather.

Who set the early pace during the Fast Six qualifying?

Pato O’Ward from Arrow McLaren set the early pace in the Fast Six qualifying with a lap time of 1 minute 15.3506 seconds.

Were there any notable incidents during the qualifying rounds?

Yes, there were a few incidents. Scott Dixon from Ganassi crashed hard at Turn 11 during the second round of qualifying and Benjamin Pedersen from Foyt stalled after overshooting Turn 11 in Group 1 of the Group Stage qualifying.

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NeedForSpeed August 6, 2023 - 1:45 am

omg did you guys see Dixon’s crash?! that was nuts, hope hes okay.

CheckeredFlag August 6, 2023 - 3:07 am

that track after the rain must’ve been so tricky! can’t wait for the actual race! these guys are the best.

IndyChamp22 August 6, 2023 - 4:38 am

Such an intense qualifying session… McLaughlin sure does know how to handle a wet track, doesn’t he?

RubberBurner August 6, 2023 - 5:59 am

cant believe o’ward set the pace early and still came in second! that’s racing i guess.

TurnLeftLover August 6, 2023 - 9:21 am

Woah, didn’t expect Herta to be up there, he’s a great young talent. McLaughlin still dominated tho, mad props!


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