By Steve Wittich
For the second straight day, Danial Frost utilized a last-second flyer to grab his second straight Road America Indy Lights pole. The repeat pole winner matches the top-level Road To Indy Presented by Cooper Tires series little brothers – Indy Pro 2000 and USF2000 – in offering up repeat pole winners.
Frost told Rob Howden from the INDYCAR Radio Network that they finally found the gap that he needed to put the “puzzle pieces” together and grab his second straight pole.
The pole win is the second in Indy Lights for Frost and his fourth across his Road To Indy career.
Frost’s pole is the fourth at the 4.014-mile, 14-turn natural terrain road course for Andretti Autosport, giving them the team lead at the iconic Badger state road course.
Road America is the home track for HMD Motorsports veteran David Malukas, and for the second straight session, he just missed out on grabbing what would be his fourth pole of the season.
Devlin DeFrancesco (Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport) and Kyle Kirkwood (Andretti Autosport) reversed positions from yesterday’s qualifying session but will start on the second row together again.
Points leader Linus Lundqvist, who starts fifth for today’s race, will have even more work on Sunday, after surprisingly only turning in the seventh quickest lap.
With cooler temperatures and cloudy skies, perfect conditions met the baker’s dozen Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires drivers for their second qualifying session.
With ten minutes gone in the half-hour session, Juncos Racing rookie Sting Ray Robb held the provisional pole with a lap of 115.9754 seconds. The Idahoan was followed by Kirkwood, Frost, Toby Sowery (Juncos Racing), and Alex Peroni (Carlin) in the top five.
Robb still held the provisional pole after 15-minutes of qualifying with the field on the long pit road for adjustments and fresh Cooper Tire slicks.
Just as the field started to get things wound up for their final runs at the pole, the red flag came out. The No. 7 Pelican Energy sponsored No. 7 Carlin IL-15 came to a stop on drivers left off the track in Turn 7. The AMR INDYCAR Safety Team was able to get him pointed in the correct direction, and the rookie was able to drive back to pit road.
When the green flag came back out, only four minutes were remaining in the qualifying session. That resulted in a dash to be the first to get back out on track to get two hot laps to try and steal the pole from Robb.
Malukas, on his first flying lap, knocked Robb from the provisional pole, Kirkwood also surpassing the reigning Indy Pro 2000 champion.
Malukas went quicker on his next lap, but similar to the other Road To Indy Presented by Cooper Tires qualifying sessions, the last guy across the timing line, Frost, was the quickest driver.
Cooper Tires Grand Prix Of Road America Powered By AER Qualifying #2 results
|RANK||CAR NO||DRIVER||TEAM||FAST LAP||DIFFERENCE|
|1||68||Danial Frost||Andretti Autosport||1:54.3044||——|
|2||79||David Malukas||HMD Motorsports||1:54.3999||0.0955|
|3||28||Kyle Kirkwood||Andretti Autosport||1:54.7010||0.3966|
|4||17||Devlin DeFrancesco||Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport||1:54.7574||0.4530|
|5||27||Robert Megennis||Andretti Autosport||1:54.9785||0.6741|
|7||26||Linus Lundqvist||Global Racing Group w/HMD Motorsports||1:55.2796||0.9752|
|8||51||Toby Sowery||Juncos Racing||1:55.4770||1.1726|
|9||24||Benjamin Pedersen||Global Racing Group wHMD Motorsports||1:55.4914||1.1870|
|10||2||Sting Ray Robb||Juncos Racing||1:55.5840||1.2796|
|11||59||Nikita Lastochkin||HMD Motorsports||1:56.3217||2.0173|
|12||11||Antonio Serravalle||Pserra Racing||1:56.4788||2.1744|
The first Indy Lights race of the weekend is set to roll off at 3:05 pm (central)