Surging Abel Sweeps Poles for Doubleheader at IMS

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Jacob Abel

Jacob Abel swept qualifying Friday for the Indianapolis Grand Prix, earning poles for both races of the INDY NXT by Firestone doubleheader this weekend on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.

Abel, tied for the series lead with Nolan Siegel, earned his third consecutive pole of the season and fourth career pole. He also grabbed the top spot for the Grand Prix of Alabama, a race he won April 28 for his first career victory in the INDYCAR development series.

SEE: Race 1 Qualifying Results | Race 2 Qualifying Results

“We're going to enjoy this one for about two hours,” Abel said. “I didn't feel as though I was driving my best this morning and the car needed a bit of work, as well, so I just focused on how to make the car better through that session. The team worked hard between sessions to put me into a position to feel good going into qualifying, and obviously they did a great job of that.

“The car was so strong. I was able to set fast laps right out of the box. But we know that it's a lot harder to win from pole here than it is at Barber, so we're definitely going to have to work for it a little bit more. But I'm looking forward to it.”

The qualifying session was split into two groups on the 14-turn, 2.439-mile IMS road course, with each driver’s quickest time used to set the grid for Race 1 later today and their second-quickest lap establishing the field for Race 2 on Saturday.

Abel’s best lap was 1 minute, 14.9358 seconds in the No. 51 Abel Construction entry fielded by his family-owned Abel Motorsports. His second-quickest lap was 1:15.0528.

Rookie Caio Collet will start second in both races in the No. 18 HMD Motorsports car with his best laps of 1:15.1126 and 1:15.1403. James Roe will start third in both races after his top laps of 1:15.0384 and 1:15.1371 in the No. 29 Topcon car of Andretti Global.

Louis Foster qualified fourth for both races at 1:15.1458 and 1:15.1725 in the No. 26 Copart/Novara Technologies entry of Andretti Global.

Up next is the first 35-lap race of the doubleheader at 6:20 p.m. ET today, with live coverage on Peacock, INDYCAR LIVE and the INDYCAR Radio Network.