By Steve Wittich
It was unexpected returnee Danial Frost, who took the pole during the first Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires qualifying session of the 2020 season.
The disjointed qualifying session was interupted by three red flags, including one for Pabst Racing rookie Hunter McElrea, who sat on the provisional pole for a large portion of qualifying.
That red flag, with less than a minute in the session, caught out a number of drivers who were on last lap fliers.
Frost was scheduled to drive for Andretti Autosport in Indy Lights, but dropped back to Indy Pro 2000 with Turn 3 Motorsport when the Lights season was scrubbed.
The lap timed at 124.707 seconds earned the Singaporean driver his second career Road To Indy inside front row start. It’s the first pole start for the Peter Dempsey led Turn 3 Motorsport.
Frost will be joined on the front row by Andretti Steinbrenner Racing newcomer Devlin DeFrancesco.
The second row will be made up of reigning USF2000 champion Braden Eves (Exclusive Autosport) and Colin Kaminsky (Pabst Racing).
Staring on the third row will be DEForce Racing veterans Moisés de la Vara and Parker Thompson.
There are five teams represent in the first three rows.
The green flag on the lone Indy Pro 2000 qualifying session, got the green flag at 8:50 am (CDT), but it wasn’t long before the red came flag came out.
Veteran Bob Kaminsky, in the Slick Locks sponsored No. 57 from the Pabst Racing stable, got high-sided in Turn 8.
The green flag flew again on the front straight with just over 17 minutes remaining in qualifying, but it wasn’t for long.
As the drivers were on their second round of out laps, the No. 2 Firehouse/Goodheart Animal Health Centers sponsored No. 2 of Sting Ray Robb came to a stop on the track between Turn 5 and Turn 6.
The championship contender from Idaho was unable to turn a lap and start the race from the 16th spot.
At this point in the session, no driver had turned a flying lap.
The green flag was shown to the 16-car field with just over 15-minutes remaining. The first driver to cross the timing line with a lap at speed was Juncos Racing sophomore, Artem Petrov.
At this point in the session, the Pabst Racing duo of McElrea and Kaminsky were the only drivers on track with Cooper Tire slicks. That didn’t last for long, as the Giltrap Group / Miles Advisory Partners, Doric NZ, Bell sponsored No. 18 of McElrea, went to the top of the timing screen.
With eight minutes remaining, McElrea had a quick lap of 129.187 seconds. He was followed by Pabst Racing teammate Colin Kaminsky, de la Vara, Petrov, and Frost.
McElrea held the provisional pole the final three minutes of the session when Frost was able to bump him. The American born Kiwi fell another spot when DeFrancesco crossed the timing line.
With less than a minute remaining and 14 drivers on hot laps, the red flag came out for McElrea, who had an issue in Canada Corner.
The first race of the Indy Pro 2000 season is set to get the green flag at 12:15 pm (CDT) / 1:15 pm (EDT)
Indy Pro 2000 Grand Prix Of Road America Presented By Cooper Tires Honoring First Responders Qualifying Results (unofficial)
|RANK||CAR NO.||DRIVER||TEAM||FAST LAP||DIFFERENCE|
|1||68||Danial Frost||Turn 3 Motorsport||2:04.707||–.—-|
|2||17||Devlin DeFrancesco||Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport||2:05.020||0.3126|
|3||1||Braden Eves||Exclusive Autosport||2:06.374||1.6670|
|4||19||Colin Kaminsky||Pabst Racing||2:07.252||2.5446|
|5||6||Moises de la Vara||DEForce Racing||2:07.526||2.8192|
|6||9||Parker Thompson||DEForce Racing||2:07.694||2.9868|
|7||18||Hunter McElrea||Pabst Racing||2:08.179||3.4717|
|8||42||Artem Petrov||Juncos Racing||2:08.488||3.7809|
|9||8||Manuel Sulaiman||DEForce Racing||2:09.252||4.5447|
|10||3||Antoine Comeau||Turn 3 Motorsport||2:10.420||5.7124|
|11||36||Jacob Loomis||BN Racing with Team Benik||2:11.626||6.9183|
|12||69||Nate Aranda||Juncos Racing||2:14.793||10.0856|
|13||37||Sabre Cook||BN Racing with Team Benik||2:20.124||15.4171|
|14||57||Bob Kaminsky||Pabst Racing||2:33.363||28.6556|
|15||83||Charles Finelli||FatBoy Racing||2:40.472||35.7649|
|16||2||Sting Ray Robb||Juncos Racing||No Time||—|