The view of Kyle Kirkwood’s Road To Indy/Cooper Tires/Construction Contractors Club/Dallara that the 2019 Indy Pro 2000 champion hopes the rest of the field will see Photo credit: Gavin Baker Photography/Road to Indy

For the third time this season and 14th time in his Road To Indy Presented by Cooper Tires career Kyle Kirkwood will start from the pole after turning the quickest lap at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

Qualifying for Cooper Tires Indy Lights Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio Race #1 got the green flag at 3:35 pm. The ambient temperature was 66F, and the track temperature was 90F. The sun was out, but large dark clouds still obscured it.

The Global Racing Group w/HMD crew repaired the orange and black No. 26, and freshman pilot Linus Lundqvist was able to take part in the half-hour session.

Kirkwood was the quickest driver early. The Floridian, who won the GTD pole for the Sahlen’s Six Hour Of The Glen in Lexus RC F GT3 last weekend, held the provisional pole after the field had finished four laps.

Lundqvist’s difficult day continued with an off-road excursion in Turn 10 during the first third of the session. However, the Dane continued, coming to his team’s attention on pit road, before continuing.

Drivers started to come to pit road for adjustments and fresh Cooper Tire slicks just before the halfway point of qualifying.

Kirkwood, with a lap of 72.2494 seconds, held the provisional pole after 15-minutes. Malukas, Lundqvist, Sowery, Pedersen, DeFrancesco, Frost, and Megennis were within a half-second of Kirkwood and the provisional pole.

With the track quiet, as crews made adjustments and bolted on new tires, race control reported moderate rain in Turn 1, Turn 5, and Turn 9.

Somewhat surprisingly, most of the field went out on track to see if they could improve their qualifying positioning. The first few laps at speed dried the track, and times started to approach the earlier times with five minutes remaining.

The first driver to improve and grab the provisional pole was Malukas. Just behind him, Kirkwood crossed the line, the first driver to break the 72-second barrier.

Malukas lowered the provisional pole on his next lap, with Frost and Lundqvist also going quicker than the Andretti Autosport rookie.

Kirkwood retook the provisional pole on his 14th lap.

With one minute remaining, Sowery’s No. 51 Juncos Racing IL-15 found the grass in The Carousel, continuing slowly down the front straight.

After the session, race control told the driver of the No. 28 that they needed to see the race director.

Cooper Tires Indy Lights Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio Race #1 qualifying results

1 28 Kyle Kirkwood Andretti Autosport 1:11.3535 ——
2 79 David Malukas HMD Motorsports 1:11.6354 0.2819
3 68 Danial Frost Andretti Autosport 1:11.6528 0.2993
4 26 Linus Lundqvist Global Racing Group w/HMD Motorsports 1:11.7295 0.3760
5 17 Devlin DeFrancesco Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport 1:12.0102 0.6567
6 24 Benjamin Pedersen Global Racing Group wHMD Motorsports 1:12.0922 0.7387
7 2 Sting Ray Robb Juncos Racing 1:12.2594 0.9059
8 27 Robert Megennis Andretti Autosport 1:12.2620 0.9085
9 51 Toby Sowery Juncos Racing 1:12.3214 0.9679
10 5 Alex Peroni Carlin 1:12.4817 1.1282
11 59 Nikita Lastochkin HMD Motorsports 1:12.7673 1.4138
12 7 Christian Bogle Carlin 1:12.8105 1.4570
13 11 Antonio Serravalle Pserra Racing 1:12.9248 1.5713

The baker’s dozen drivers are back on track at 10:05 am on Saturday for a second qualifying session; the first race of the weekend rolls off tomorrow at 4:30 pm.