Razia claims Freedom 100 Indy Lights pole

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Luiz Razia captured his first Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tire win two weeks ago in the second race of the Grand Prix of Indianapolis.

He’s carried the momentum nicely into the pole position for his first oval start in Indy Lights, Friday’s Freedom 100 (noon ET, NBCSN).

Razia, one of four drivers in the Schmidt Peterson Motorsports quartet, went out ninth of 11 drivers and posted a two-lap average of 187.710 mph to claim the pole in the No. 7 car.

Teammate Jack Harvey, who finished on the podium in both GP of Indy races, lines up second in the No. 42 car after his average was 186.573.

The Schmidt pair’s excellent GP of Indy weekend propelled them back into title contention against the dominant pair of Zach Veach and Gabby Chaves, who split the opening four races of the year two wins apiece.

Points leader Veach rolls off fourth, alongside teammate and GP of Indy Race 1 winner Matthew Brabham. Chaves makes it all five in the top five in points starting from the top five positions on Friday.

The remainder of the 11-car grid is Juan Pablo Garcia, Chase Austin, Juan Piedrahita, Alex Baron, Scott Anderson and Zack Meyer. A 12th car, which was set for Emerson Newton-John, was withdrawn at the last minute due to a sponsorship issue.

For Razia, Harvey and Brabham, this will be their first Freedom 100, while Chaves seeks to avenge a narrow runner-up finish in the four-wide affair last year. Veach finished fifth last year, behind the top four.

Entering the weekend, Veach leads the standings with 229 points, with Razia at 224, Chaves on 215, Harvey on 207, and Brabham with 192.

Kevin Lee, Anders Krohn, IndyCar driver Josef Newgarden and Jake Query will call the action on NBCSN tomorrow at noon ET.

Starting lineup grid for IMSA Petit Le Mans: Tom Blomqvist puts MSR on pole position

Petit Le Mans lineup
IMSA
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IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar championship contender Tom Blomqvist put the Meyer Shank Racing Acura at the front of the starting lineup for the Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Road Atlanta.

Blomqvist turned a 1-minute, 8.55-second lap on the 2.54-mile circuit Friday to capture his third pole position for MSR this season. Earl Bamber qualified second in the No. 02 Cadillac for Chip Ganassi Racing.

Ricky Taylor was third in the No. 10 Acura of Wayne Taylor Racing, which enters Saturday’s season finale with a 19-point lead over the No. 60 of Blomqvist and Oliver Jarvis (who will be joined by Helio Castroneves) for the 10-hour race.

PETIT LE MANS STARTING GRID: Click here for the starting lineup l Lineup by car number

PETIT LE MANS: Info on how to watch

With the pole, MSR sliced the deficit to 14 points behind WTR, which will field the trio of Taylor, Filipe Albuquerque and Brendon Hartley in Saturday’s race.

“We really needed to put the car in this kind of position,” Blomqvist said. “It makes our life a little less stressful tomorrow. It would have given the No. 10 a bit more breathing space. It’s going to be a proper dogfight tomorrow. The guys gave me such a great car. It’s been fantastic this week so far, and it really came alive. I’m hugely thankful to the boys and girls at MSR for giving me the wagon today to execute my job.

“That was a big effort from me. I knew how important it was. It’s just awesome for the guys to give them some sort of reward as well. It’s always nice to be quick. If you do the pole, you know you’ve got a quick car.”

Though WTR has a series-leading four victories with the No. 10, MSR won the Rolex 24 at Daytona and has five runner-up finishes along with its three poles.

The strong performances of the ARX-05s ensure that an Acura will win the final championship in IMSA’s premier Daytona Prototype international (DPi) division, which is being rebranded as Grand Touring Prototype in the move to LMDh cars next season.

Taylor qualified third despite sliding into the Turn 5 gravel during the closing minutes of qualifying while pushing to gain points.

“Qualifying was important for points,” Taylor said. “Going into it, if we outqualified the No. 60 Meyer Shank Acura, they had a lot to lose in terms of championship points. So, we were trying to increase the gap over 20 points which would’ve made a big difference for tomorrow. We would have loved to get the pole and qualify ahead of the No. 60, but in the scheme of the points, it didn’t change a whole lot. I’m feeling good since it’s such a long race, and the No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura team does such a good job strategizing and putting us in a good position.

“I’m very confident in our lineup and our team compared to them over the course of 10 hours. I’d put my two teammates up against those guys any day. I think we are all feeling optimistic and strong for tomorrow.”

In other divisions, PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports (LMP2), Riley Motorsports (LMP3), VasserSullivan (GTD Pro) and Paul Miller Racing (GTD) captured pole positions.

The broadcast of the 10-hour race will begin Saturday at 12:10-3 p.m. ET on NBC, moving at 7 p.m. to USA Network. Peacock will have flag-to-flag coverage.


QUALIFYING

Results

Results by class

Fastest lap by driver

Fastest lap by driver after qualifying

Fastest lap by driver and class after qualifying

Fastest lap sequence in qualifying

Best sector times in qualifying

Time cards in qualifying

PRACTICE RESULTS: Session I l Session II l Session III