St Pete IndyCar qualifying results: McLaughlin takes shock pole – Motorsport.com

McLaughlin will start ahead of Power and Andretti Autosport’s Colton Herta after qualifying, which is split into four segments of knock-out qualifying which culminates in the Firestone Fast Six.
In the first of the split sessions of 13 cars, Herta set the pace by 0.3098s from Graham Rahal, Rinus Veekay, Scott Dixon, Kyle Kirkwood and Josef Newgarden.
Falling at the first hurdle were Alex Rossi, Christian Lundgaard, Helio Castroneves, Callum Ilott, Felix Rosenqvist, Jack Harvey and Tatiana Calderon.
In the second session, Power topped it by almost two tenths from McLaughlin, Romain Grosjean, Simon Pagenaud and Marcus Ericsson.
Knocked out at this point were Dalton Kellett, Pato O’Ward (who hit the wall on the exit of Turn 9), rookie Devlin DeFrancesco, Conor Daly, Takuma Sato, David Malukas and Jimmie Johnson.
In the 12-car session that followed, Power set the pace, 0.0585s ahead of Herta. McLaughlin was a tenth back in third, ahead of Grosjean, Pagenaud and Veekay.
Knocked out at this point were Dixon, Ericsson, Newgarden, Palou, Rahal and Kirkwood.
McLaughlin scored his first-ever IndyCar pole, his previous best start in the series being fifth, taking the top spot by 0.1237s from Power.
“Last year was P20,” reflected Power, who set a track record in Q2. “I was very happy until the last run, I was P1, P1… P2.”
Herta was third, two tenths off pole, ahead of Veekay, Grosjean and Pagenaud.
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