Sixteen years after their fathers last sat side-by-side on the front row of an open-wheel race, Marco Andretti and Graham Rahal matched the feat. It was July 1992 when Bobby Rahal beat out Michael Andretti for the pole at New Hampshire International Speedway.
The family order was reversed Saturday, with 21-year-old Marco Andretti knocking 19-year-old Graham Rahal off the pole in qualifying for today’s ABC Supply A.J. Foyt 225 at the Milwaukee Mile, in West Allis, Wis.
Rookie Rahal, driving in only the fourth oval event of his career, was a surprise, taking the top spot midway through the session with a four-lap qualifying average of 167.654 mph. That was good enough to remain on top of the grid until Andretti, 25th of the 26 drivers making qualifying attempts, turned a 168.079. Scott Dixon, coming off a victory last Sunday in the Indy 500, qualified third.
“I gave up a little on the first lap, hoping that it would hang very good for the next three laps, and it definitely was able to,” Andretti said. “But, having said that, it was very on the edge on the last lap. It was just right and you have to get it just right to beat these guys.”
Andretti, winning the first pole of his career, became the youngest IndyCar pole winner at 21 years, 79 days, breaking the record of 21 years, 260 days set by Tomas Scheckter in 2002 at Texas Motor Speedway.
-- The Associated Press