AUSTIN, Texas – Oliver Askew led an Andretti Autosport sweep of the top three spots in qualifying Friday for the opening race of the doubleheader round in Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires at Circuit of The Americas.
The 22-year-old Floridian, driving the No. 28 Index Invest Dallara IL-15, put down a monster lap at 1 minute, 55.545 seconds (106.244 mph) around the 20-turn, 3.41-mile circuit. The pole run was more than a half-second ahead of teammate Ryan Norman (No. 48 EVO Dallara IL-15).
"It's quite a bit less grip now than (during practice) this morning, but with the new tires, this track’s so long, so you get the peak out of the tires for like half the lap,” Askew said.
“You really have to manage that peak lap and try to get the most out of it. It's really easy to overdrive the car as well when the track is hot. I just had to stay calm, pretend it was a practice session. It was a pretty clean lap. We can always get a little bit more out of it if we went out again, but it is what it is.”
Championship leader Zachary Claman (No. 13 Zoological Wildlife Foundation/Abe & Mary’s/Paysafe/UPS Dallara IL-15 for Belardi Auto Racing) will start from the rear of the 10-car field after not recording a qualifying time.
Qualifying for Race 2 is set for 10:15 a.m. ET Saturday, with a livestream available at RaceControl.IndyCar.com. The first weekend race starts at 1:45 p.m. Saturday and the second race goes off at 10:10 a.m. Sunday. Both races stream live on INDYCAR Pass on NBC Sports Gold.