Honda, Herta Dominate Qualifying for Inaugural Music City Grand Prix
Colton Herta dominated NTT INDYCAR SERIES qualifying today on the downtown Nashville temporary street circuit that will be the site of Sunday’s inaugural Big Machine Music City Grand Prix, scoring his sixth career pole and second of the season in his Andretti Autosport Honda.
Herta’s qualifying edge of just over a half second in his Andretti Autosport Honda was huge by INDYCAR standards, and came after he also led the opening round for Firestone “knockout” qualifying. Herta’s other pole this season came on the St. Petersburg, Florida, street circuit and his run today was the sixth pole of the season for a Honda driver.
Fellow Honda driver Scott Dixon will start on the outside of the front row, second, in his best qualifying effort since he qualified on the pole for the Indianapolis 500 in May, and is the third front-row start of the season for the six-time champion for Chip Ganassi Racing.
Dixon’s teammate, Alex Palou, qualified third fastest today. But the current championship points leader will start ninth after an issue in pre-race testing resulted in an “unapproved” engine change, resulting in a six-place grid penalty at the next event.
Alexander Rossi now will start third in his Andretti Autosport Honda; with fellow Honda drivers Romain Grosjean (Dale Coyne Racing with RWR) and Jack Harvey (Meyer Shank Racing) completing the top six on the grid. The 27-car field for Sunday’s 80-lap race is the largest of the season outside of the Indianapolis 500.