McLaughlin has fastest qualify for Sunday’s Bommarito Automotive Group 500 but starts tenth. – WTOP News


MADISON, Ill. (AP) — Scott McLaughlin earned his fifth career IndyCar pole ahead of Sunday’s Bommarito 500, but if he…

MADISON, Ill. (AP) — Scott McLaughlin earned his fifth career IndyCar pole ahead of Sunday’s Bommarito 500, but if he wants to earn his first career win on an oval, he will have to do so from the No. 10 starting position.

McLaughlin is one of six drivers who were assessed a nine-position grid penalty for unapproved use of a fifth engine this season.

“I just want an oval win so bad,” McLaughlin said. “I’ll do anything I can for an oval win right now. I’m really determined to get one. It’s the last thing on my checklist.”

McLaughlin completed his qualifying laps in 49.1936 seconds. Team Penske teammate Josef Newgarden will start in the top position after completing his qualifying laps in 49.3448 seconds.

McLaughlin can finish the season no higher than second place in the IndyCar driver standings, but Newgarden remains mathematically alive sitting four points behind of Scott Dixon and trailing leader Alex Palou by 105 points heading into the third-to-last race of the season.

“I think there’s disappointment that we’re not in a different position,” Newgarden said. “It doesn’t affect what we do today. If we win the race, Alex is going to land where he lands. We can’t control that. It’s either a good day, or we slip further out of the possibility of it.”

Newgarden is seeking his sixth consecutive win on an oval and fourth consecutive win at World Wide Technology Raceway outside of St. Louis. A.J. Foyt is the only other IndyCar driver to win seven straight races on ovals having accomplished the feat in 1964.

Qualifying was pushed back to Sunday morning after rain kept drivers off the track until 6 p.m. Saturday night.


Chip Ganassi Racing and points leader Palou was assessed a nine-position starting grid penalty for unapproved engine changes after Saturday’s practice. Teammates Dixon and Takuma Sato, McLaughlin, Andretti Autosport’s Kyle Kirkwood and Juncos Hollinger Racing’s Gustin Canapino were also penalized for unapproved changes after the Gallagher Grand Prix on Aug. 12.


Sunday’s race will be the first on an oval course to use the Firestone Firehawk alternate tires constructed with a softer compound to allow for more grip at the cost of quicker tire wear. All drivers will be required to start the race on the primary tires and run at least two laps on both sets of tires.


Conor Daly turned in the 15th best qualifying time of 50.0200 seconds in his first race for Rahal Letterman Lanigan racing. Daly replaces Jack Harvey who was released after the Gallagher Grand Prix. Daly started three races for Meyer Shank racing filling in for an injured Simon Pagenaud after being released by Ed Carpenter Racing after the Detroit Grand Prix.


AP auto racing:

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