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Lundqvist Scores First IndyCar Pole at Road America, Heavy Shunt for Newgarden – Motorsports Tribune

Lundqvist Scores First IndyCar Pole at Road America, Heavy Shunt for Newgarden – Motorsports Tribune

By David Morgan, Associate Editor

ELKHART LAKE, Wis. – Linus Lundqvist will have the best seat in the house when the green flag waves on Sunday’s XPEL Grand Prix, winning his first career NTT IndyCar Series pole at Road America.

The Chip Ganassi Racing rookie methodically advanced through the first two rounds, but when the track finally dried out from the rain that has lingered over the 14-turn, 4.014-mile road course, it was go time and he delivered.

Sporting a fresh set of Firestone alternates, Lundqvist jumped to the top of the board as time expired with a lap of one minute, 45.1519 seconds to capture the pole.

“It was hectic. It was crazy. I say one of the craziest qualifying sessions I’ve had,” Lundqvist said. “This feels like an average British F3 qualifying back in the day type of style where started off torrential rain, then the last part it dried up, we threw on the slicks.

“It was kind of fun going back to that, a little bit back to my roots. Even growing up back in Sweden, half the races we did was in the rain. I’m pretty comfortable there.

“Obviously towards the end it was staying online, not touching the wet. That’s basically what I had in my mind. It happened to be good enough for pole.”

Despite some confusion about timing and scoring after qualifying, Colton Herta would clock in second fastest to join Lundqvist on the front row, maintaining the speed he has shown throughout the day with the dynamically changing track conditions.

“Very difficult. Probably one of the, if not the, most difficult qualifying session for me in INDYCAR so far,” Herta said afterwards. “Just a lot of unknowns. Unknowns of what to do with the tires, where to brake, what the line is, how many laps. So very difficult.”

Marcus Armstrong will start third, with Kyle Kirkwood rolling off from the outside of the second row, giving Ganassi and Andretti Global a stranglehold on the first four starting spots.

The final two drivers in the Fast Six – the Team Penske duo of Josef Newgarden and Will Power – would finish qualifying in fifth and sixth, respectively, but both had issues of their own during the session.

Power brought out the red flag early in the Fast Six when he spun after hitting a wet spot on the still drying track, looping his Chevrolet, but avoiding making impact with anything. He would have his fast time taken away for causing the red flag.

Newgarden, however, was not as…

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