McLaughlin wins pole with strong final lap

by Gary Shelton on February 27, 2022

in general

McLaughlin wins first-ever pole.

Sunday, 4 a.m.

Scott McLaughlin captured his first Indy Car pole on Saturday afternoon, edging teammate Will Power by a tenth of a second.

McLaughlin, from New Zealand, had a strong final lap to win the prime position. Team Penske owned the front row as defending champion Colton Herta finished third.

The Grand Prix begins at noon today.

“I love qualifying, and you’ve got to put it all on the line,” McLaughlin said. “I’m working really well with Ben Bretzman. The DEX Imaging Chevy, the car is just phenomenal. I’m super proud of everyone. I just feel confident, and now I’m so happy.”

Power -- who has won the pole nine times for this event – qualified second losing the top spot on McLaughlin’s final trip around the 14-turn, 1.8-mile temporary street circuit.

Three-time Australian V8 Supercars champion McLaughlin will lead the field of 26 cars to the green flag for the first time in his open-wheel career. His best start in 2021 was fifth for the GMR Grand Prix on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, but that was his only single-digit qualifying performance on a street or road course all season.

“I’m a competitive bloke, so I hate starting at the back,” McLaughlin said. “At the end of the day, it’s a new thing for me, starting from the front and leading a group into the first corner. I’m used to braking with people in front of me, so I’m going to have to make sure I don’t overshoot it like an idiot. I can’t wait for tomorrow. It’s going to be big.”

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