After everyone but Stefan Wilson and Colton Herta completed their first run – both requiring engine changes – Grosjean sat ninth and was therefore able to promote to the Fast 12 segment of qualifying tomorrow.
“I think we expected more wind like this morning [in practice] and the wind didn’t pick up so the conditions were very good,” said Grosjean. “We played it too safe for our first run but it’s okay because if the conditions are similar or the same we should have a good run tomorrow.”
Alexander Rossi however was 15th, rookie Devlin DeFrancesco was 21st and Marco Andretti only 29th. The latter is preparing for his 17e Indy 500 and 250e IndyCar start had suffered when his engine briefly failed on his second lap.
But even when he went for the second time in the afternoon, he could only improve to 24enot helped by the track temperature reaching 107degF.
“It didn’t help with the engine stalling!” Andretti told NBC. “From the test I am not surprised. I know we’ve had issues with the speed of the car, which is a bit of a shame.
“I’m very happy with the race balance, so it’s a shame we have to come back from so far. But it’s 500 miles, we’re ready to fight.”
So were the track conditions for Herta’s first run, averaging 230.235 mph, which put him just 25 . lefte†
“I hope [the engine] still needs to be broken in,” laughed Herta. “It sucks that we are 25”e“I’m not going to lie, but I’m happy with the effort my boys have put in to get me out of it. That was the most important thing, because we would 33 . to startrd if it wasn’t for them.
“We’re not as fast as we thought we were, so that’s a bit surprising.”
When their teammate Rossi, who had been bumped to 17e due to improvements from the Dale Coyne Racing duo, it went to the Priority Lane, Lane 1, only to cross it a second time. The downside to using the Priority Lane is that it requires the driver to clear his previous speed, and this would bite Rossi as he was only 21 on his second run.st†
“I said we should be brave and just go to Lane 1 – in my mind it was worth the risk,” said the 2016 Indy winner. “So proud of the guys but it didn’t quite pay off. Somehow we missed the balance for the first attempt this morning, which was very frustrating because I feel like the car is good. So there we have it.
“The second and third runs are always hard to find the speed, so it is what it is at this point. Let’s go 21st and try to do what we did in 2018 [when he climbed from the back row to finish fifth]†
Rossi is actually going 20 now. starteand Andretti now 23rdwhile Scott McLaughlin’s part of the Penske team is the series sophomore 15 . saw pulle-fastest time and he dropped to 26e on its second run.