Rinus VeeKay stormed to pole for the opening race of the Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires doubleheader season finale weekend at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.
The driver of the No. 21 Juncos Racing Dallara IL-15 put down a monster lap of 1 minute, 16.017 seconds (105.987 mph), which cleared second-best Toby Sowery (No. 2 HMD Motorsports/Team Pelfrey) by a staggering 0.628 of a second.
Championship leader Oliver Askew (No. 28 Andretti Autosport) qualified third and only needs to start both races to be officially clinch the title. All things considered, VeeKay, who sits second in the overall standings (41 points behind), is just focused on what he can control and getting the maximum out of this weekend.
“In my mind, I put the whole championship out of it,” VeeKay said. “I think it’s almost decided who is the champion, but I just did the best I can, and it went pretty well.”
The opening practice session was led by Askew, followed by teammates Robert Megennis (No. 27 Andretti Autosport) and Ryan Norman (No. 48 Andretti Autosport).
The first race for the top rung of the Road to Indy will begin at 3 p.m. PT and be live streamed on NBC Sports Gold.
Robb rockets to pole in Indy Pro 2000
Sting Ray Robb managed to capture the pole for the first race for dramatic doubleheader season finale in Indy Pro 2000 presented by Cooper Tires.
The pilot of the No. 2 Juncos Racing Tatuus PM-18 shot to the top of the charts with a flying lap at 1:20.165 (100.502 mph), bettering championship leader Kyle Kirkwood (No. 28 RP Motorsport USA) by 0.2807 of a second.
Rasmus Lindh (No. 10 Juncos Racing) qualified third, just ahead of Parker Thompson (No. 8 Abel Motorsports) in fourth. Thompson led the only practice session earlier in the day.
The title showdown is set to commence with only two races left as Kirkwood leads Lindh by a narrow 20 points (382-362).
The middle step on the Road to Indy ladder will waive the green flag for their first race at 4 p.m. PT and be streamed live at racecontrol.indycar.com.
Eves electrifies during pole run in USF2000
Braden Eves put in a clutch performance to grab the pole for the first race of the doubleheader weekend in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship.
Driving the No. 8 Cape Motorsports Tatuus USF-17, Eves navigated the tricky 11-turn, 2.238-mile permanent road course with a fastest lap of 1:24.9937 (94.793 mph), bettering Hunter McElrea (No. 22 Pabst Racing) by 0.5229 of a second.
Christian Rasmussen (No. 6 Jay Howard Driver Development) qualified third. After leading practice earlier in the day, Colin Kaminsky (No. 23 Pabst Racing) paced fourth-fastest in qualifying.
The performance was a significant boost for Eves, who currently sits second in the championship, just six points behind McElrea (316-310).
The bottom rung of the Road to Indy will start the opening race at 4:55 p.m. PT and stream live at racecontrol.indycar.com.