Qualifying Report: Big Machine Music City Grand Prix

NASHVILLE (Aug. 5, 2023) — Guarded optimism was the feeling going into qualifying for the Big Machine Music City Grand Prix Saturday evening.

Benjamin Pedersen was 12th in the morning practice and Santino Ferrucci was 16th. The practice was delayed 40 minutes due to rain and standing water in several areas of the 2.1-mile street circuit.

The practice began with light rain still falling, and the cars used rain tires for the entire session. The rain increased in intensity which caused the qualifying session to be delayed over three and a half hours and forced cancellation of the final warmup.

When the cars rolled out at 5:24pm (CT), the track was dry and the temps hovered just below 90 degrees. Piloting the Sexton Properties Chevrolets, Benjamin Pedersen and Santino Ferrucci were both in Group 1 of Round 1 qualifying.

Pedersen had some brake issues on his out lap and he had to use the runoff in Turn 11. Unfortunately, the car stalled which brought out the red flag. The AMR INDYCAR Safety Team restarted the car but under INDYCAR rules, Pedersen could not rejoin the group because he brought out a red flag. He will start 25th tomorrow.

Ferrucci used two sets of the Firestone alternate compound tires but to no avail. Frustrated when he climbed out of the car, he complained that he could not get the power down. He will start 21st.

Scott McLaughlin won his first NTT P-1 Award of the season and fourth in his career. Rounding out the Firestone Fast Six were Pato O’Ward, Colton Herta, Alex Palou, David Malukas and Romain Grosjean.

The Big Machine Music City Grand Prix gets an early start with the NBC Broadcast starting at 12 noon ET and the green flag will wave at 12:30 p.m. ET.