Series leader Christian Rasmussen will start from the pole for the INDY NXT by Firestone Music City Grand Prix after qualifying was canceled Saturday due to poor course conditions from steady rain in the Nashville area, with the starting grid set by entrant points.
It’s the second consecutive year rain has prevented drivers in the INDYCAR development series from qualifying on the 11-turn, 2.1-mile temporary circuit that includes two crossings of the Korean War Veterans Memorial Bridge per lap.
SEE: Qualifying Results
“Obviously, not the way you want to get pole, but at the end of the day, you’ve got to take what you can get,” Rasmussen said. “It just comes down to our performance all year that has put us in this position. My HMD crew has been amazing all year, and that’s really what we benefit from now.”
The 35-lap race is scheduled for 10:10 a.m. ET Sunday, with live coverage on Peacock and the INDYCAR Radio Network.
Danish driver Rasmussen benefited from the rainout, as he was sixth quickest in practice Friday and seventh during Saturday morning’s session in the No. 6 HMD Motorsports with DCR car, both taking place in mixed conditions. He will start from the top spot for the third time this season, as he won the pole at Barber Motorsports Park and Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
Rookie Nolan Siegel will join teammate Rasmussen in the front row in the No. 39 HMD Motorsports with DCR car. Siegel, who trails Rasmussen by 22 points, was fifth quickest this morning and eighth Friday.
Jacob Abel will start third in the No. 51 Abel Motorsports machine after leading both practices at this event.
“A little bit unfortunate to not qualify here in Nashville,” Abel said. “It’s pretty fun to put a lap together on this track. We’ve been really, really strong in practice, so starting third based on championship points, hopefully we can get around a couple of cars in front of us. We’ve been quicker than them most of the weekend, so full focus forward to the race in the morning.”
Hunter McElrea will join Abel in the second row, starting fourth in the No. 27 Smart Motors car fielded by Andretti Autosport.