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IndyCar Nashville

Herta angry that team-mate Grosjean affected front-row hopes

Andretti Autosport’s Colton Herta confronted the pitbox of team-mate Romain Grosjean after qualifying for IndyCar’s Nashville street race, and believes they wrecked his chances of starting from the front row.

Colton Herta, Andretti Autosport w/ Curb-Agajanian Honda

Following the Fast Six session, that set the front three rows of the grid, NBC Peacock cameras caught the moment as Herta stomped to the #28 car’s pit and, with his hands on his hips, asked the sister team why Grosjean’s car was released directly in front of him.

Herta qualified third, while Grosjean – who was slowest in the session – pointed at his strategist and appeared to mouth “it was his fault”.

“Just wasn’t happy that… you know, there’s only six cars on track and they go out a second in front of me,” a clearly exasperated Herta said. “And they back up into me.

“It affects the car dramatically, aero-wise. I just wanted to know why and what happened. It sounds like it was a miscommunication, and if I finished that lap, who knows?

“It wasn’t stellar to start, but the car was still comin’ in. I wish we could’ve fought a bit harder, I mean P3 is not bad, and I’m not upset with that, but I think it’s unnecessary.”

Herta ended qualifying six tenths off polewinner Scott McLauglin of Team Penske, and three tenths away from Pato O’Ward (Arrow McLaren) in second.

Scott McLaughlin, Team Penske Chevrolet

Scott McLaughlin, Team Penske Chevrolet

Photo by: Gavin Baker / Motorsport Images

It was McLauglin’s second straight pole in Nashville, and he felt it was his best qualifying performance in the series so far.

“Really satisfying because it all started in Q1 for us,” he said. “Pumped a decent lap out there.

“We were able to do one lap on our greens [in Q2]. Bolted those on for Q3. I just had to make sure we got to the Fast Six, which we did.

“Every lap in quali, nailed it pretty good. A really satisfying qualifying session, probably the best of my IndyCar career, to be honest.”

O’Ward added: “I don't think I had three tenths in there to get a little closer. Maybe one. Pretty stellar lap.

“I was super happy with my car. I think we were really strong in Q2 [which he topped by a tenth from Herta]. I thought it would be a couple tenths slower in Q3 because it's not new alternate.

“I've never won from pole, so I'm not angry I'm starting second.”

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