Home Road to IndyIndy Pro 2000 Eves tops Indy Pro 2000 qualifying shortened by crash in St. Petersburg

Eves tops Indy Pro 2000 qualifying shortened by crash in St. Petersburg

by Craig Woollard

Photo: Gavin Baker Photography/Road to Indy

Exclusive Autosport’s Braden Eves took pole position for the first Indy Pro 2000 race of the weekend in St. Petersburg in a session split by a lengthy red flag stoppage.

Eves, who also topped free practice, set his fastest lap early in the 20-minute session and was the only driver to go below 1m09s.

Pabst Racing’s Hunter McElrea held second in that early period, some three tenths slower than Eves and a tenth ahead of Eves’ team-mate Artem Petrov.

Jay Howard Driver Development’s Christian Rasmussen was fourth fastest, ahead of Juncos Racing’s Reece Gold.

Like in the USF2000 session immediately before, there was a red flag as the session approached the halfway mark. A multi-car collision occurred between Hunter Yeany (Velocity Racing Development), who had just emerged from the pits, Enzo Fittipaldi (RP Motorsport/Andretti Autosport) and Jack William Miller (Miller Vinatieri Motorsports) at the fast turn 3.

This intermission was of such length, that there was not enough time to resume the session and for drivers to set a flying lap, but race control allowed the drivers to set one flying lap after the chequered flag as only 40 seconds remained when the session restarted.

However, with tyres and brakes not up to optimal temperature, only Miller managed to go quicker and that was after his early personal best had been deleted due to the crash.

Rounding out the unchanged top 10 behind Gold in fifth was Enaam Ahmed (RP), Manuel Sulaiman (Juncos), Wyatt Brichacek (JHDD), Colin Kaminsky (Pabst) and James Roe (Turn 3 Motorsport).

Miller and Fittipaldi fill the eighth row of the grid, while Yeany did not set a single lap.

Qualifying results

Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 Braden Eves Exclusive Autosport 1m08.9361s 7
2 Hunter McElrea Pabst Racing 1m09.2700s +0.3339s 6
3 Artem Petrov Exclusive Autosport 1m09.3397s +0.4036s 6
4 Christian Rasmussen JHDD 1m09.3640s +0.4279s 6
5 Reece Gold Juncos Racing 1m09.3726s +0.4365s 6
6 Enaam Ahmed RP Motorsport 1m09.3922s +0.4561s 6
7 Manuel Sulaiman Juncos Racing 1m09.4568s +0.5207s 6
8 Wyatt Brichacek JHDD 1m09.4920s +0.5559s 6
9 Colin Kaminsky Pabst Racing 1m09.6602s +0.7241s 6
10 James Roe Jr Turn 3 Motorsport 1m09.7184s +0.7823s 6
11 Jacob Abel Abel Motorsports 1m09.7348s +0.7987s 6
12 Cameron Shields DEForce Racing 1m09.8756s +0.9395s 6
13 Kyffin Simpson Juncos Racing 1m09.9584s +1.0223s 6
14 Flinn Lazier Legacy Autosport 1m10.1185s +1.1824s 6
15 Jack William Miller Miller Vinatieri Motorsports 1m10.1474s +1.2113s 4
16 Enzo Fittipaldi RP Motorsport/Andretti Autosport 1m12.2344s +3.2983s 3
17 Hunter Yeany Velocity Racing Development no time 0