Saturday, July 13, 2024

Rahal surges to first pole since 2017 at Indy Road Course

“I’ve seen plenty of the hate, plenty of the can’t do it, can’t compete with the kids, can’t whatever.”

That was one of the first sentences out of the mouth of Graham Rahal after he clinched the pole for Saturday’s Gallagher Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. His first since 2017 and the fourth of his career, this pole marks a big comeback for the Ohio native after he was the sole driver bumped during qualifying for the Indy 500 in May.

Backing up Rahal on the front row is RLL teammate Christian Lundgaard, down one spot from the GMR Grand Prix in May where he grabbed his first career pole. Fellow Rahal driver Jack Harvey completed an impressive outing for the Ohio-based outfit, missing out on the top five by just a few tenths by qualifying in eighth. Speaking on his team’s positive performance, Lundgaard said “Every time we come to this racetrack, we know we’ll be able to fight for a win. Now we’ve just given ourselves two chances.”

Graham Rahal turns around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course during qualifying for the 2023 Gallagher Grand Prix. (Joe Skibinski/Penske Entertainment/Courtesy of IndyCar)
Credit: Joe Skibinski/Penske Entertainment/Courtesy of IndyCar

Arrow McLaren and Andretti Autosport showed out during qualifying as well, with Alexander Rossi and Pato O’Ward putting their papaya orange cars in third and fourth for the McLaren outfit, and Devlin DeFrancesco flying to a career-best qualifying spot in fifth, followed by Andretti teammate Romain Grosjean.

Championship leader Alex Palou is set to roll off in ninth on Saturday afternoon, his third-lowest (or highest, whatever way you look at it) qualifying position of the season. His closest rival, Josef Newgarden had a rough practice in the morning and arguably a worse qualifying session, condemning the two-time series champion to 19th.

1 Graham Rahal 15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 1:10.1132
2 Christian Lundgaard 45 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 1:10.2286
3 Alexander Rossi 7 Arrow McLaren 1:10.2932
4 Pato O’Ward 5 Arrow McLaren 1:10.3453
5 Devlin DeFrancesco 29 Andretti Autosport 1:10.3938
6 Romain Grosjean 28 Andretti Autosport 1:10.4021
7 Marcus Armstrong 11 Chip Ganassi Racing 1:10.2106
8 Jack Harvey 30 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 1:10.2228
9 Alex Palou 10 Chip Ganassi Racing 1:10.2974
10 Felix Rosenqvist 6 Arrow McLaren 1:10.4389
11 Scott McLaughlin 3 Team Penske 1:10.4782
12 Helio Castroneves 06 Meyer Shank Racing 1:10.5207
13 Colton Herta 26 Andretti Autosport 1:10.4398
14 Linus Lundqvist 60 Meyer Shank Racing 1:10.4570
15 Kyle Kirkwood 27 Andretti Autosport 1:10.4869
16 Scott Dixon 9 Chip Ganassi Racing 1:10.5006
17 Will Power 12 Team Penske 1:10.5237
18 Marcus Ericsson 8 Chip Ganassi Racing 1:10.6348
19 Josef Newgarden 2 Team Penske 1:10.6150
20 Rinus VeeKay 21 Ed Carpenter Racing 1:10.7249
21 Santino Ferrucci 14 A.J. Foyt Racing 1:10.6461
22 Ryan Hunter-Reay 20 Ed Carpenter Racing 1:11.0083
23 David Malukas 18 Dale Coyne Racing 1:10.8867
24 Agustin Canapino 78 Juncos Hollinger Racing 1:11.0611
25 Sting Ray Robb 51 Dale Coyne Racing 1:11.5658
26 Callum Ilott 77 Juncos Hollinger Racing 1:11.1027
27 Benjamin Pedersen 55 A.J. Foyt Racing 1:11.2971
You can see the Gallagher Grand Prix live in USA at 2:00 p.m. EST/6:00 p.m. GMT, with the green flag coming at 2:30/6:30.