By Steve Wittich
For the sixth straight Road To Indy qualifying session, a different driver turned the pole-winning lap.
On late Friday afternoon, David Malukas became the sixth different driver to lead a Friday qualifying session at Barber Motorsports Park.
After just missing out on the pole in the morning session, the HMD Motorsports sophomore could pip his teammate and race #1 pole winner Linus Lundqvist.
Starting behind Malukas and Lundqvist are Andretti Autosport/Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport teammates Robert Megennis and Devlin DeFrancesco, who were within two-tenths of a second of the front row pairing.
Mirroring the other Road To Indy sessions, the final Indy Lights qualifying opportunity had a tight field with the top nine turning in laps within six-tenths of a second of the pole sitter.
When the second Indy Lights and final Road To Indy qualifying session of a busy Friday got underway, the ambient temperature was 68F, and the track temperature was 97.5F.
At the one-third pole of the half-hour session, Malukas held the provisional pole, with the top eight covered by less than half a second.
Malukas lap of 72.1473 seconds held down the provisional pole at the halfway point of the 30-minutes of qualifying.
That lap was six-tenths off the pole lap from this morning, but two-tenths of a second quicker than Sowery in second. Robert Megennis, Linus Lundqvist, and Sting Ray Robb rounded out the top five.
With seven minutes left in the session, the aptly sponsored DirtFish No. 24 of Benjamin Pedersen sent some trackside turf flying as he pushed to improve on his lap times.
With four minutes left in the session, lap times started to drop as the driver’s new Cooper Tire slicks began to get up to temperature.
Megennis was the first driver to move to the top of the timing screen on fresh tires, but the Andretti Autosport veteran’s time up top didn’t last long.
In the last three minutes of qualifying, the provisional pole traded hands between Malukas and Lundqvist four times, with Malukas taking the prize this time.
Indy Lights Grand Prix Of Alabama Presented by Cooper Tires qualifying #2 results
|RANK||CAR NO.||DRIVER||TEAM||QUICK LAP||DIFFERENCE|
|1||79||David Malukas||HMD Motorsports||1:11.7021||0.000|
|2||26||Linus Lundqvist||Global Racing Group w/HMD Motorsports||1:11.7242||0.0221|
|3||27||Robert Megennis||Andretti Autosport||1:11.8120||0.1099|
|4||17||Devlin DeFrancesco||Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport||1:11.8932||0.1911|
|5||51||Toby Sowery||Juncos Racing||1:11.9482||0.2461|
|6||24||Benjamin Pedersen||Global Racing Group wHMD Motorsports||1:11.9896||0.2875|
|7||28||Kyle Kirkwood||Andretti Autosport||1:12.2122||0.5101|
|9||2||Sting Ray Robb||Juncos Racing||1:12.2781||0.5760|
|10||68||Danial Frost||Andretti Autosport||1:12.4838||0.7817|
|11||59||Nikita Lastochkin||HMD Motorsports||1:12.7257||1.0236|
|12||11||Antonio Serravalle||Pserra Racing||1:12.9669||1.2648|
Saturday’s Indy Lights Grand Prix is set to get the green flag at 12:15 pm (central).