WATCH: Josef Newgarden Crashes Out of IndyCar Qualifying as Romain Grosjean Secures P5 in Nashville

Published 08/08/2021, 4:50 AM EDT
KANNAPOLIS, NC – SEPTEMBER 29: Romain Grosjean of France speaks during a press conference as Haas F1 Team announces Grosjean as their driver for the upcoming 2016 Formula 1 season on September 29, 2015 in Kannapolis, North Carolina. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Stewart-Haas Racing via Getty Images)


The 2021 season of IndyCar recently flagged off its first round since the summer break in Nashville. And it wasn’t an impressive start for the Mid-Ohio race winner, Josef Newgarden, who ended up shunting his car while battling for the fast six in qualifying. Meanwhile, Romain Grosjean picked up the scraps.

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Newgarden was on course to fight for his 4th pole of the season, only to be denied by a crash during round 2 of qualifying. With just 40 seconds left on the clock, the American was looking set to join the fast six.

However, a crash around turn 11 wrecked the Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet. Replays suggested that his car had significant damages to the right-front and right-rear along with a completely shattered front wing.

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Hence, the fact that his car was undrivable forced Newgarden to park it on the run-off area near turn 12. The 2-time series winner did make it into fast six initially.

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However, considering he caused disruptions by bringing out the yellow flags during the latter stages of the second segment meant that he lost his quickest lap. Hence, Newgarden dropped down to a disappointing P12 and will start the race from the same position.

Romain Grosjean gains from Newgarden’s misery

One driver that embraced Newgarden’s turn 11 incident was Former F1 driver, Grosjean. The Frenchman eased his way through the first segment of qualifying. However, with the clock ticking away in segment 2, it looked like Grosjean might miss out on the top-6.

And indeed, he was in P7. But, Newgarden’s lap deletion subsequently promoted Grosjean up to P6, gifting the Dale Coyne Racing with RWR driver a spot in the final segment.

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Despite desperate efforts, Grosjean couldn’t get anywhere near the pole-sitter, Colton Herta. The Frenchman’s lap time was around 1.714s slower than the Andretti driver. Nevertheless, with Alex Palou set for a 6-place grid penalty, Grosjean will further be promoted up to P5 on the grid on Sunday.

And P5 is a commendable position to start from, and Grosjean will yet again be eyeing at least a podium at the Big Machine Music City Grand Prix.

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Hence, will the number 51 driver bring his Dale Coyne into the top 3 and secure handy points that could boost him up in the Championship table? Well, we’ll know soon enough.

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Rohit Kumar

1142 articles

Rohit Kumar is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been an ardent follower of the racing series since 2007, with his love for the sport coinciding with his love for Kimi Raikkonen. He is also an ardent follower of Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin Racing.

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