The very short INDY NXT by Firetone qualifying session got started with the ambient at 80F and the track at 106.3F.
Driver’s get just 8 minutes of green flag running to post their best time, and after Lap #3, it was Jacob Abel leading at 1:15.8840.
Already under 4 minutes and we get the slot machine portion of the session as Rasmussen leads, then Josh Green, then Matteo Nannini is P1 at 1:15.3194.
Kyffin Simpson goes P2 with 2 minutes to run, but McElrea knocks him down a spot. It’s Nannino, McElrea, Simpson, Green, Rasmussen, Foster, Pierson, Roe, Abel and Lindh is 10th as we go under 1 minute to go, so 1 or 2 laps left depending on where a car is relative to the time line.
Time expires and Nannini’s 1:15.3194 is the pole time. Louis Foster had improved to 3rd, but his final lap isn’t any faster.
Only Rasmus Lindh did his fastest lap on his final lap, so even as short as the session was, tires did appear to peak before the clock ran out. The big question then to me from a qualifying strategy standpoint is can someone wait a couple minutes – a big risk – and hope to match peak tire to peak track surface. Nannini’s fastest lap was actually his 3rd of 6, so perhaps it’s possible, but trying to run just 3 laps late – that’s putting on the pressure for sure.
This Nannini’s first career INDY NXT Pole. He had started 9th and 12th at St. Petersburg and Barber Motorsports Park respectively.
We will have more on this interesting session at the end of the day.
UNOFFICIAL INDY NXT by Firestone Grand Prix Qualifying Results:
|Pos||Car #||Driver||Best Time||Diff||Gap||Laps||Best Lap||Gap||Team|
|1||75||Matteo Nannini||1:15.3194||1:15.3194||–.—-||6||3||–.—-||Juncos Hollinger Racing|
|2||27||Hunter McElrea||1:15.4467||0.1273||0.1273||6||5||0.1273||Andretti Autosport|
|3||26||Louis Foster||1:15.5070||0.1876||0.0603||6||5||0.0603||Andretti Autosport|
|4||21||Kyffin Simpson||1:15.5334||0.214||0.0264||6||4||0.0264||HMD Motorsports|
|5||3||Josh Green||1:15.6517||0.3323||0.1183||6||3||0.1183||HMD Motorsports|
|6||6||Christian Rasmussen||1:15.6814||0.362||0.0297||7||3||0.0297||HMD Motorsports|
|7||14||Josh Pierson||1:15.7763||0.4569||0.0949||6||4||0.0949||HMD Motorsports|
|8||29||James Roe||1:15.7949||0.4755||0.0186||6||3||0.0186||Andretti Autosport|
|9||51||Jacob Abel||1:15.8840||0.5646||0.0891||7||2||0.0891||Abel Motorsports|
|10||76||Rasmus Lindh||1:15.9196||0.6002||0.0356||6||6||0.0356||Juncos Hollinger Racing|
|11||47||Enaam Ahmed||1:15.9371||0.6177||0.0175||7||5||0.0175||Cape Motorsports|
|12||68||Danial Frost||1:15.9399||0.6205||0.0028||7||4||0.0028||HMD Motorsports|
|13||57||Colin Kaminsky||1:16.0357||0.7163||0.0958||7||5||0.0958||Abel Motorsports|
|14||28||Jamie Chadwick||1:16.0817||0.7623||0.046||6||4||0.046||Andretti Autosport|
|15||10||Reese Gold||1:16.0982||0.7788||0.0165||6||4||0.0165||HMD Motorsports|
|16||39||Nolan Siegel||1:16.2173||0.8979||0.1191||7||5||0.1191||HMD Motorsports|
|17||98||Jagger Jones||1:16.2753||0.9559||0.058||6||4||0.058||Cape Motorsports|
|18||7||Christian Bogle||1:16.4292||1.1098||0.1539||6||4||0.1539||HMD Motorsports|