Scott Dixon will has a busy race ahead of him if he hopes to claim a sixth IndyCar Series title in the opening race of this weekend’s Harvest Grand Prix at Indianapolis.
The Kiwi has qualified 12th for the opening race after a mixed session on track, despite having the pace to be fourth fastest in practice. Dixon was only quick enough to be sixth fastest in his qualifying group, resulting in the sixth-row starting spot.
The Kiwi’s main championship rival Josef Newgarden, meanwhile, was able to qualify an excellent second. The performance helps keep the Team Penske driver’s title hopes alive. If he wins the remaining three races of the season, Dixon needs to finish worse than seventh in each subsequent race to give up the title lead.
Rinus VeeKay took pole for the weekend opener via a 1:09.690. The series rookie outqualified Colton Herta by just 14 hundreths of a second in group two qualifying, helping land him and Ed Carpenter Motorsport a surprise pole.
“Once I got out of the pits and got temperature in my tires, I was like ‘Wow…this is the car I need!’” said VeeKay. “I drove a good lap and made no mistakes. I think there was more in it, to be honest. I just used all the grip I had. It had great balance. It was a lot different than this morning [practice], so I think the cold track suits us.
“We can go for the win tomorrow.”
Alongside Herta on the second row of the grid is Will Power. Marco Andretti, Jack Harvey, Felix Rosenqvist, Alexander Rossi, Max Chilton, and Patricio O’Ward round out the top 10.