Home Sports Scott McLaughlin leads Penske front row sweep for Indianapolis 500; Kyle Larson to start 5th

Scott McLaughlin leads Penske front row sweep for Indianapolis 500; Kyle Larson to start 5th

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INDIANAPOLIS, IN – MAY 19: Scott Mclaughlin of New Zealand (3) driving for Team Penske exits turn one during the practice session for the Fast Twelve prior to qualifying for the NTT IndyCar Series Indianapolis 500 on May 19, 2024 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, IN. (Photo by Jeffrey Brown/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Scott McLaughlin won the pole for the Indianapolis 500 and Team Penske swept the top three spots. (Photo by Jeffrey Brown/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Team Penske reinforced its qualifying pace from Saturday with a front-row victory on Sunday.

Scott McLaughlin started last Sunday and posted the fastest four-lap run of the weekend to earn the pole for the 2024 Indianapolis 500. His speed surpassed his Team Penske teammates Will Power and Josef Newgarden, the champion defender of the Indianapolis 500.

McLaughlin’s average speed of 234.220 MPH over his four laps is the fastest pole in Indianapolis 500 history. McLaughlin started last after posting the fastest speed earlier in the day and had the benefit of a little more shade on a track that was cooling as the shadows grew longer.

Kyle Larson qualified fifth for the 500 before having to head to North Carolina for the NASCAR Cup Series All-Star race later Sunday night. Larson will be the fifth driver to compete in both the Indianapolis 500 and the Coca-Cola 600 on the same day next weekend.

Larson had an early issue with his car during Saturday’s qualifying session, but was able to complete a stint that easily moved him into Sunday’s second round of qualifying. The top 12 drivers from Saturday’s qualifying session battled for pole position on Sunday.

All six cars seeking pole position Sunday afternoon were powered by Chevrolet engines and the Team Penske cars are clearly the fastest of the Chevy group.

The Indy 500 has always been the most important race for Roger Penske, and Team Penske’s front row sweep comes after a significant penalty to the team earlier this season. Newgarden and McLaughlin were disqualified from the season-opening race in St. Petersburg, while Power was penalized because the team had software in its engines that allowed drivers to use more boost to overtake than allowed.

The disqualifications led to suspensions of Penske staff from the 500 and much chatter among the series’ other competitors. Penske is the owner of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the IndyCar Series.

His team is clearly the one to beat in a week as he looks to build on his historic success at IMS. Newgarden’s 2023 victory was the 19th Indy 500 victory for Team Penske. No other team has more than six Indianapolis 500 wins.

Nolan Siegel pushed as hard as he could during his final run on Sunday and found he got too close to the edge.

Siegel found himself in 34th place out of 34 drivers after Marcus Ericsson made his way into the field with less than five minutes left in the qualifying session from the back row. Siegel’s first lap of his four-lap qualifying attempt wasn’t good enough to get into the field and he then hit the wall on his second lap before his car crashed.

It was the second fall of the week for the 19-year-old after he rolled over in practice earlier in the week.

Siegel’s DNQ means Graham Rahal earned the 33rd and final seed in the field. Rahal missed last year’s race but ended up driving the number 24 car during the 500 due to Stefan Wilson’s practice accident.

Ericsson also crashed during practice this week and failed to stay with the field during Saturday’s qualifying session that guaranteed starting spots for the 30 fastest drivers in the 33-car field.

Ericsson was quite fast on his first qualifying attempt, but fell back after his third lap due to an apparent miscommunication about the number of laps he had completed. If Ericsson had continued ahead on his fourth and final lap, he would not have needed a second qualifying round.

Instead, he had to go again and did just enough to get in. Ericsson’s second run took Siegel off the field.

1. Scott McLaughlin

2. Willpower

3. Josef Newgarden

4. Alejandro Rossi

5. Kyle Larson

6. Santino Ferrucci

7. Rinus VeeKay

8. Duck O’Ward

9. Felix Rosenqvist

10. Takuma Sato

11. Kyle Kirkwood

12. Ryan Hunter-Reay

13. Colton Herta

14. Alex Palou

15. Callum Ilott

16. Marco Armstrong

17. Ed Carpenter

18. Kyffin Simpson

19. Marco Andretti

20. Helio Castroneves

21. Scott Dixon

22. Agustín Canapino

23. Sting Ray Robb

24. Christian Rasmussen

25. Tom Blomqvist

26. Romain Grosjean

27. Linus Lundqvist

28. Christian Lundgaard

29. Conor Daly

30. Pietro Fittipaldi

31. Katherine Legge

32. Marco Ericsson

33. Graham Rahal

DNQ: Nolan Siegel

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