ELKHART LAKE, Wisconsin – With an average age of 20.7 years old, the youngest front row in NTT INDYCAR SERIES history will take the green flag at noon (ET, NBC) today in the REV Group Grand Prix Race 2 at Road America, led by 21-year-old Pato O’Ward.
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O’Ward drove a best lap of 1 minute, 44.8971 seconds in his No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet to score the NTT P1 Award for winning his first career pole position. His previous best start was a fifth place starting position in his NTT INDYCAR SERIES debut in 2018 at Sonoma Raceway.
2018 Indy Lights champion O’Ward is joined on the front row by 20-year-old Colton Herta in the No. 88 Capstone Turbine Honda. Herta, who was looking to defend his pole position from last year’s race at Road America when he became the youngest pole winner in INDYCAR history at 19 years, 83 days, set a best lap of 1:44.9250 in Group 1 of qualifying. He was bested by his former Indy Lights teammate in Group 2.
O’Ward, who hails from Monterrey, Mexico, is the first Mexican pole-sitter in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES since Mario Dominguez started first at Houston in 2006. This morning’s fast lap also made him the third-youngest NTT INDYCAR SERIES pole winner in history at 21 years, 67 days. O’Ward’s mark comes after Herta and Graham Rahal, who started first in the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in 2009 at 20 years, 90 days.
Alex Palou, 23, will start exactly where he left off in yesterday’s REV Group Grand Prix Race 1 by qualifying third. His best lap of 1:44.9192 in his No. 55 Dale Coyne Racing with Team Goh Honda gave Palou his best career start. His previous best start was 14th last weekend in the GMR Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and yesterday for Race 1 at Road America.
Ryan Hunter-Reay will start fourth in his No. 28 DHL Honda with a best lap of 1:45.1534, and Graham Rahal rounds out the top five in his No. 15 Fifth Third Bank Honda with a best lap of 1:45.0324.
Yesterday’s REV Group Grand Prix Race 1 winner Scott Dixon will start sixth with a best lap of 1:45.2674 in his No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda.
O’Ward and Herta each earned a championship point toward the Astor Cup by setting the fastest lap in their respective sessions.