BIRMINGHAM (April 29, 2023)–AJ Foyt Racing has its work cut out for them after today’s qualifying session for the Children’s of Alabama Indy Grand Prix under beautiful conditions at the pristine Barber Motorsports Park.
After a frustrating practice 1 on Friday, the team made some changes for practice 2 which the drivers felt were in a positive direction. Unfortunately, Santino Ferrucci experienced a problem towards the end of practice 2 this morning and another problem surfaced in qualifying preventing him from getting in a lap. He will start 27th in the No. 14 Sexton Properties Chevrolet.
“Yeah, a lot of positive changes today for free practice 2, then we had an issue with the clutch so we didn’t get to run our second set of new tires,” Ferrucci explained. “So, we made some blind changes going into qualifying to where we had a sensor fail. So, now we have a lot of tires. So should make for a fun race tomorrow.”
The team tries to diagnose the problem in Ferrucci’s car during the qualifying session but ran out of time. He never got a timed lap in.
Pedersen had an incident free qualifying run in his No. 55 Sexton Properties Chevrolet and felt there were some gains made from the morning practice.
“We’re just trying to figure out what is going to work the best for the race tomorrow,” said Pedersen, who will start 25th. “And I feel like we made a slight step in qualifying but we still have a pretty big step to make for the race tomorrow, but just staying focused and trying to figure out exactly what the car needs to go faster. I feel like we’re in a pretty good situation with tires for tomorrow. So hopefully we can try to gain a couple of positions if not more, being very smart with strategy and figuring out a way to move forward tomorrow.”
Romain Grosjean won the pole, his second NTT P1 Award of the season with a fast time of 1 minute, 5.8396 seconds, beating out Alex Palou in the final seconds of the Firestone Fast Six round. Third through sixth were Pato O’Ward, Scott McLaughlin, Scott Dixon and Christian Lundgaard.
Teams will have a 30-minute warm up at 1 p.m. ET to finetune their race setups for the 90-lap race which will be broadcast live on NBC starting at 3 p.m. ET.