VeeKay takes Alabama Grand Prix pole at Barber


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Rinus VeeKay took pole position for the Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park, as Josef Newgarden, the current IndyCar championship leader, missed the final stage of qualifying and will start seventh.

VeeKay started the day off with the fastest time in the second practice session. After advancing through rounds one and two, VeeKay leapt over defending race winner Álex Palou to claim his first pole in over a year, setting a fastest lap of 1’06.251 around the 3.8 kilometre circuit.

Despite a small mistake at the start of his final flying lap, McLaren SP driver Pato O’Ward still went quick enough to qualify second, sharing the front row with VeeKay. Palou will start third as he looks for his first win of the year – from the same position that he won from last year at this venue, no less – next to St. Petersburg GP winner Scott McLaughlin in fourth.

Alexander Rossi was unsure if he’d even be able to run in qualifying after a crash in second practice, but he made it all the way into Fast Six qualifying and will start fifth, next to Felix Rosenqvist in sixth.

Newgarden, the points leader and a three-time winner at Barber Motorsports Park, will start seventh next to Romain Grosjean in eighth, Graham Rahal in ninth, and Colton Herta – the fastest driver in Friday’s first practice session – in tenth.

Callum Ilott and Juncos Hollinger Racing advanced to the second round of qualifying for the first time; Ilott will start eleventh as the top rookie, ahead of Marcus Ericsson, who spun off into the gravel at turn nine at the end of round two qualifying, and brought out a red flag as the timer hit zero, resulting in the deletion of his fastest lap.

Further back in the field, Scott Dixon will start 13th as he vies for his first win at the circuit, and Will Power, a four-time pole winner at Barber, starts down in 19th place.

Sunday’s Grand Prix of Alabama will run over 90 laps. The green flag will fly at 6.15pm UK time.

Grand Prix of Alabama qualifying results:

121Rinus VeeKayCarpenterChevrolet
25Pato O’WardMcLaren SPChevrolet
310Alex PalouGanassiHonda
43Scott McLaughlinPenskeChevrolet
527Alexander RossiAndrettiHonda
67Felix RosenqvistMcLaren SPChevrolet
72Josef NewgardenPenskeChevrolet
828Romain GrosjeanAndrettiHonda
915Graham RahalRLLHonda
1026Colton HertaAndrettiHonda
1177Callum IlottJuncos HollingerChevrolet
128Marcus EricssonGanassiHonda
139Scott DixonGanassiHonda
1430Christian LundgaardRLLHonda
1545Jack HarveyRLLHonda
166Helio CastronevesMeyer ShankHonda
1751Takuma SatoCoyne/RWRHonda
1818David MalukasCoyne/HMDHonda
1912Will PowerPenskeChevrolet
2029Devlin DeFrancescoAndretti SteinbrennerHonda
2114Kyle KirkwoodFoytChevrolet
2220Conor DalyCarpenterChevrolet
234Dalton KellettFoytChevrolet
2460Simon PagenaudMeyer ShankHonda
2511Tatiana CalderonFoytChevrolet
2648Jimmie JohnsonGanassiHonda

Author information

RJ O'Connell
Motorsport has been a lifelong interest for RJ, both virtual and ‘in the carbon’, since childhood. RJ picked up motorsports writing as a hobby...

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4 comments on “VeeKay takes Alabama Grand Prix pole at Barber”

  1. Probably been said already by others, but what a great circuit. Fast, sweeping and undulating. Doesn’t have all the glitzy advertising manicuring you see at F1 venues, but as a driving experience, it looks top notch.

    1. It’s an amazing track indeed! One can only dream of F1 racing on such.
      Another one like it is Sonoma that IndyCar took off the calendar this year unfortunately.

  2. Veekay did a great job, at a very challenging track. Well done. Looking forward to tomorrows race.

  3. Jason Lashua
    1st May 2022, 14:12

    I would love to have watched this but evidently you can only watch it on Peacock, as if NBC has something better to show on a Saturday since basically indycar is their only sport (and NBC Sports is gone)

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