Home Road to IndyIndy Pro 2000 McElrea takes Indy Pro 2000 pole as rain hits New Jersey

McElrea takes Indy Pro 2000 pole as rain hits New Jersey

by Peter Allen

Photo: Gavin Baker Photography / Road to Indy

Hunter McElrea won a duel with Artem Petrov for top spot after rain hit for the second Indy Pro 2000 qualifying session at New Jersey Motorsports Park.

Turn 5 proved especially slippery at the start of the session, with race one winner Reece Gold skating off on his lap out of the pits and triggering a red flag.

When it restarted, championship leader Christian Rasmussen also went off briefly at the same point, before McElrea went for a spin there with 12 minutes left on the clock.

At that point, Petrov was the driver to beat but times came down by around three seconds as conditions improved. Braden Eves and Jacob Abel both took turns at the top of the timing screens before Petrov went quickest again with three minutes to go.

McElrea recovered from his earlier spill however to go half a second faster, and then found a small improvement upon his own time going into the final minute.

Petrov went faster still on his final attempt after the chequered flag but McElrea responded with a 1m22.2095s lap, a tenth better than Petrov.

Eves took third ahead of Kyffin Simpson, with Gold recovering to take fifth.

Jack William Miller was another driver to go off but still beat Abel to sixth, while Rasmussen wound up ninth of the 10 drivers.

Qualifying results
Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 Hunter McElrea Pabst Racing 1m22.2095s 13
2 Artem Petrov Exclusive Autosport 1m22.3117s +0.1022s 13
3 Braden Eves Exclusive Autosport 1m22.6049s +0.3954s 12
4 Kyffin Simpson Juncos Racing 1m22.8505s +0.6410s 11
5 Reece Gold Juncos Racing 1m22.9617s +0.7522s 12
6 Jack William Miller Miller Vinatieri Motorsports 1m23.0468s +0.8373s 12
7 Jacob Abel Abel Motorsports 1m23.1190s +0.9095s 12
8 James Roe Turn 3 Motorsport 1m23.1613s +0.9518s 10
9 Christian Rasmussen Jay Howard Driver Development 1m24.0993s +1.8898s 13
10 Wyatt Brichacek Jay Howard Driver Development 1m24.9738s +2.7643s 13