IndyCar qualifying at NOLA washed out, Montoya awarded pole

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PHOTOS: IndyCar’s NOLA MotorSports Park Weekend

AVONDALE (SportsNetwork.com) – Severe weather conditions forced IndyCar Series officials to call off qualifying for the inaugural Grand Prix of Louisiana on Saturday at NOLA Motorsports Park.

Juan Pablo Montoya, the winner of the IndyCar season-opening race two weeks ago in St. Petersburg, Florida, will lead the 24-car field to the green flag for Sunday’s 75-lap event at this 2.74-mile road course, located roughly 15 miles southwest of downtown New Orleans.

With the starting grid set by entrant points, drivers will line up in the same order they finished in the season-opener at St. Petersburg.

Will Power, the defending IndyCar champion, will join his Team Penske teammate, Montoya, on the front row. Tony Kanaan will start third, followed by Helio Castroneves, Simon Pagenaud and Sebastien Bourdais.

Ryan Hunter-Reay, Jack Hawksworth, Luca Filippi and Marco Andretti will roll off seventh through 10th, respectively.

Scott Dixon posted the fastest lap in Saturday’s final practice, held shortly before the scheduled start of qualifying, but Dixon will start 15th since he finished in that position at St. Pete.

Qualifying had been underway in wet and rainy conditions before there was lightning near the track, which halted the session. With conditions worsening, officials eventually canceled it.

Kanaan had the quickest lap in the first group of the opening round of qualifying. He made a lap in 1 minute, 38.0125 seconds. Montoya, in group one, slid off course during his final lap and had failed to advance out of first round. The second group was four minutes into its 10-minute session when the red flag was displayed for lightning.

Due to lingering weather concerns, Sunday’s race is now slated for 1:45 p.m. CDT and the drivers will make 75 laps around the 2.74-mile, 13-turn course.

NBCSN will televise the race nationally. Tickets remain available for Sunday’s final day of the Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana, which will also feature four other undercard races and live entertainment in the Family Fun Zone.

The full starting lineup for Sunday’s race:

Indy GP of Louisiana Qual Results.xls

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