Hunter McElrea and the Giltrap Group/Doric NZ/Miles Advisory Partners sponsored No. 18 Pabst Racing PM-18 on track at World Wide Technology Raceway At Gateway Photo credit: Gavin Baker Photography/Road to Indy

By Steve Wittich

Indy Pro 2000 warm-up got underway at 11:30 am. The sun was shining with an ambient temperature of an already steamy 84F, with a track temperature at 109F.

The 20-minute session was surprisingly busy, with the baker’s dozen drivers completing 335 laps.

Hunter McElrea (Pabst Racing) completed the practice sweep, turning the quickest lap in testing, practice, and warm-up. His lap speed in Saturday morning warm-up was 139.913 mph.

The entire session was ‘clean and green.’ Pole sitter James Roe (Turn 3 Motorsport) was the busiest driver, completing 30 laps of the 1.25-mile egg-shaped oval.

Indy Pro 2000 warm-up results

1 18 Hunter McElrea Pabst Racing 139.913 25
2 42 Artem Petrov Exclusive Autosport 139.468 26
3 1 Christian Rasmussen Jay Howard Driver Development 139.070 30
4 40 Jack William Miller Miller Vinatieri Motorsports 138.881 22
5 91 Braden Eves Exclusive Autosport 138.504 31
6 8 Nolan Siegel DEForce Racing 137.883 24
7 51 Jacob Abel Abel Motorsports 137.677 28
8 55 Reece Gold Juncos Hollinger Racing 137.607 21
9 5 Wyatt Brichacek Jay Howard Driver Development 137.283 31
10 7 Kory Enders DEForce Racing 136.981 23
11 22 Manuel Sulaiman Juncos Hollinger Racing 136.975 22
12 3 James Roe Turn 3 Motorsport 136.749 30
13 21 Kyffin Simpson Juncos Hollinger Racing 136.245 22

The 55 lap Cooper Tires Indy Pro 2000 Oval Challenge will get the green flag at 2:45 pm.

Qualifying notes

  • The fifth driver on track, James Roe, laid down an early two-lap average of 139.081 mph had to wait through eight drivers before celebrating his first career pole with Turn 3 Motorsport team owner Peter Dempsey.

James Roe and the Turn 3 Motorsport crew watch as the final driver – Christian Rasmussen – that could knock him off pole, turns his qualifying laps at World Wide Technology Raceway At Gateway (Photo Courtesy of TSO Ladder – Steve Wittch)

  • Frost’s previous best start – fifth – came at Lucas Oil Raceway Park, the other oval on the schedule.
  • The pole is the second in Indy Pro 2000 for Turn 3 Motorsport. The team’s first pole came with Danial Frost behind the wheel at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course last year.
  • Braden Eves will start the race outside the front row, the 2019 USF2000 champion’s sixth front row start of the season.
  • Championship points leader Christian Rasmussen will have some work to do, starting seventh. Unfortunately, that’s the worst starting spot for the reigning USF2000 driver, who started sixth in the first race at Barber Motorsports Park and sixth in the first race at Road America. The Jay Howard Driver Development pilot had his worst two finishes of the season, 13th and tenth in those two races.

Indy Pro 2000 Friday Qualifying results

1 3 James Roe Turn 3 Motorsport 139.081
2 91 Braden Eves Exclusive Autosport 138.852
3 55 Reece Gold Juncos Racing 138.103
4 42 Artem Petrov Exclusive Autosport 138.057
5 18 Hunter McElrea Pabst Racing 138.022
6 40 Jack William Miller Miller Vinatieri Motorsports 137.022
7 1 Christian Rasmussen Jay Howard Driver Development 137.562
8 8 Nolan Siegel DEForce Racing 137.024
9 22 Manuel Sulaiman Juncos Racing 136.409
10 51 Jacob Abel Abel Motorsports 136.312
11 7 Kory Enders DEForce Racing 136.090
12 21 Kyffin Simpson Juncos Racing 135.400
13 5 Wyatt Brichacek Jay Howard Driver Development 133.750