New Zealand's Scott McLaughlin produced a blistering qualifying session to grab pole position for next week's Indianapolis 500 in a Team Penske front row sweep.

McLaughlin, last out in the "Fast Six" final qualifying, stormed to pole with an average four-lap speed of 234.220 miles per hour (376.94 Km/h) -- a record average speed in qualifying at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Teammates Will Power (234.220 mph) and defending champion Josef Newgarden (233.808 mph) will start second and third on the grid at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

It is just the second time in the history of the race that a team has produced a front row sweep -- Penske first achieved that feat in 1988.

It was the first time that McLaughlin has grabbed pole at Indianapolis but a record-extending 19th pole for Team Penske.

"So much pride in being able to do it, this is the first step and very proud to do it for all these guys and girls on the team," said McLaughlin, who switched to Indycar racing in 2020 after a successful career in the Supercars Championship.

"It's a lot of hard work, a lot of visualizing, mental game, trying to figure out what the best execution looks like," he added.

American Newgarden will attempt to become the first driver to win back-to-back Indy 500's in 22 years and had mixed feelings with his third place.

"It's bittersweet. I mean, this is an amazing job by Team Penske, to have all three cars in the front row is a testament to the team," he said.

"That is what Indianapolis rewards, the effort from every individual that we have in this group, it takes an entire year to get to this point, we don't find this over a week or two.

"So I'm thrilled for the team (but) I'm bummed. I wish the two car could have been up there but we are there, all three of us are, so it is a great day for Team Penske," he said.

Alexander Rossi of Arrow McLaren will start fourth while Kyle Larson of Hendrick Motorsports, will be fifth on the grid.

Larson left the track by helicopter to head to North Carolina where he will drive in the NASCAR All Star Race later on Sunday.

Next week Larson plans to compete at Indy and then NASCAR's Coca-Cola 600 in Charlotte on the same day.

Santino Ferrucci of A.J. Foyt Racing was sixth-fastest on Sunday.

British drive Katherine Legge of Dale Coyne Racing and  Sweden's Marcus Ericsson of Andretti, the 2022 winner both made it through in Last Chance Qualifying.

Graham Rahal of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing also grabbed one of the three spots still available on Sunday on the last row of the grid, but 19-year-old rookie Nolan Siegel missed out after losing control after clipping the wall in his Dale Coyne Racing Honda on the final attempt of the session.


2024-05-19T23:06:17Z dg43tfdfdgfd