Home Featured McElrea on pole for IP2000 title decider, Rasmussen doesn’t qualify

McElrea on pole for IP2000 title decider, Rasmussen doesn’t qualify

by Craig Woollard

Photo: Gavin Baker Photography/Road to Indy

Pabst Racing’s Hunter McElrea took pole for the Indy Pro 2000 finale by a second at a wet Mid-Ohio, as points leader Christian Rasmussen failed to qualify.

All Rasmussen has to do to become champion is take the green flag in the race, such is his points advantage. With rain and cold conditions hitting qualifying though, the Jay Howard Driver Development opted to not risk damaging his car and sat out.

Unlike the preceding USF2000 and Indy Lights qualifying session though, IP2000’s session went without major incident. Given the pace Rasmussen has shown this weekend, he should be allowed to race despite not setting a qualifying lap.

There were a few spins, but the drivers were able to keep it out of the barriers, and the laptimes picked up right at the end of the session.

Initially, it looked like returnee Enaam Ahmed was set to take a surprise pole for Juncos Hollinger Racing, but McElrea put in his best effort right at the end to go considerably quicker than anyone else.

Ahmed will make a welcome appearance on the front row, ahead of Exclusive Autosport trio Artem Petrov, Christian Brooks and Braden Eves, who is the only driver who can deny Rasmussen the title if he fails to start the finale.

Qualifying results
Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 Hunter McElrea Pabst Racing 1m45.1170s 10
2 Enaam Ahmed Juncos Hollinger Racing 1m45.1569s +1.0399s 10
3 Artem Petrov Exclusive Autosport 1m46.3180s +1.2010s 10
4 Christian Brooks Exclusive Autosport 1m45.5762s +1.4592s 10
5 Braden Eves Exclusive Autosport 1m48.0798s +2.9628s 10
6 James Roe Jr Turn 3 Motorsport 1m48.3317s +3.2147s 10
7 Reece Gold Juncos Hollinger Racing 1m48.3823s +3.2653s 10
8 Wyatt Brichacek JHDD 1m50.8038s +5.6868s 10
9 Jordan Missig Pabst Racing 1m53.3275s +8.2105s 9
10 Jacob Abel Abel Motorsports 1m56.3876s +11.2706s 9
11 Jack William Miller Miller Vinatieri Motorsports 1m56.9453s +11.8283s 9
12 Christian Rasmussen JHDD no time 0