Abel Continues Dominance by Winning Barber Pole

Jacob Abel’s magic carpet ride continued Saturday at Barber Motorsports Park, as he drove to the pole for the INDY NXT by Firestone Grand Prix of Alabama.

Abel, from Louisville, Kentucky, grabbed the top spot with a lap of 1 minute, 11.3507 seconds in the No. 51 Abel Construction car fielded by Abel Motorsports. It was the second career pole in the INDYCAR development series for Abel, whose first No. 1 qualifying position came in July 2023 at Iowa Speedway.

SEE: Qualifying Results

The pole continued a dominant weekend for Abel on the 17-turn, 2.3-mile natural road course. He has led every session, pacing practices Friday afternoon and Saturday morning.

“It was more of what’s been going on all weekend long,” Abel said. “The Abel Motorsports guys gave me a fantastic car today, so I just had to go and drive the thing. It felt pretty easy out there. It was awesome. I’ve just got to finish the job tomorrow now.”

The 35-lap race starts at 11:05 a.m. ET Sunday, with live coverage on Peacock and the INDYCAR Radio Network.

Abel’s cruise on Easy Street continued in qualifying, as he ended up .2239 of a second ahead of No. 2 qualifier and championship leader Nolan Siegel, who turned a top lap of 1:11.5746 in the No. 39 HMD Motorsports car. Abel was .5158 of a second ahead of the field in practice Friday, and he led practice Saturday morning by .2995 of a second.

James Roe qualified third at 1:11.5971 in the No. 29 TopCon entry of Andretti Global, joined in Row 2 by rookie Caio Collet after the Brazilian’s best lap of 1:11.7074 in the No. 18 HMD Motorsports entry.

Jamie Chadwick qualified a career-best fifth at 1:11.7240 in the No. 28 VEXT car of Andretti Global. Her previous best start was ninth in June 2023 at Road America. Rookie Michael d’Orlando also will start from Row 3, qualifying sixth at 1:11.9051 in the No. 3 Priority RSR Andretti Cape entry.

IndyCar PR