Qualifying Report: Big Machine Music City Grand Prix
NASHVILLE (Aug. 6, 2022) -- Making music in the Music City. Dalton Kellett posted his career best qualifying run in the No. 4 K-Line Insulators USA Chevrolet in the final street course event of the season.
Starting 12th in tomorrow's Big Machine Music City Grand Prix, Kellett topped his performance in the season opener in St. Petersburg when he qualified 14th. Kellett used two sets of the green-rimmed alternate compound tires to advance out of the first round of qualifying. He was sixth fastest of the 13 qualifiers on track.
In the Fast 12, Kellett was at a disadvantage as he had only two used sets of alternate compound tires available while most of his competitors had a new set to utilize. However, that fact did not dampen the elated feelings of the team or the driver.
Kellett gets a hug from his fiancée Nicole Westra.
"We just posted our best qualifying of the 2022 season so far and it feels really great just to get that No. 4 K-Line Chevy into the Firestone Fast 12 on a great weekend here in Nashville," said the 28-year-old Canadian. "Lots of interesting stuff going on, we had the Firestone guayule green alternate tires on which were coming up to temp really quick. It was kind of a parallel to the St. Pete qualifying where we did quite well. It seems like when we can get the tires to activate quickly and really just make it happen on that first lap, we seem to have an advantage there. We really press that advantage by just making sure we got ahead of the order of things as far as greens coming out to transfer so that's something to look at. Very proud of this team overall for the result that we got here today."
Kellett with his parents Cinde and Mark after posting his best qualifying run to date.
Kyle Kirkwood had high hopes going into qualifying after being fifth quickest in the No. 14 Sexton Properties Chevrolet in this morning's practice. However, he did not advance out of the first round of qualifying. He will start 16th.
"I have to say we don't really have the pace that everyone else gets out of their cars on the green tires for whatever reason," Kirkwood said after climbing out of his car. "Fortunately, we assume it's going to be a primary race tomorrow with the primary black tires, which we've been very quick on. Very quick on them in practice one, and we're super quick on them practice two. We’ve got the car in a good place. So tomorrow if it's black race, a primary race and everything stays dry, we’re going to be quick."
Team President Larry Foyt congratulated Kellett on his run and said afterwards, "Really happy for Dalton and the 4 team. It was great to see that K-Line Chevy advance to the top 12 in qualifying. So really hoping we have a great day tomorrow. The 14 car is starting 16th, not where we want to start, but the car has been good all weekend. Hopefully we'll have two good finishes and get out of Nashville with some good points."
Scott McLaughlin won the NTT P1 Award with his time of 1 minute, 14.55 seconds on the 2.1-mile street course. Rounding out the Firestone Fast Six were Romain Grosjean, Christian Lundgaard, Alex Palou, Pato O'Ward and Josef Newgarden.
The Big Machine Music City Grand Prix will be broadcast live on NBC and streamed on Peacock Premium tomorrow starting at 3 p.m. ET.