The drivers for the 102nd Indianapolis 500 is set after 7 hours of qualifying and dodging rain showers. Helio Castroneves had an early draw when it was cooler and ran a 4-lap average of 228.919 mph to take the provisional pole. The shocker of the day was former Indy 500 pole sitter James Hinchcliffe bumped OUT of the Indy 500 field. Indy native Ed Carpenter was the last car to run his qualification laps and Ed with track hot and the sun shining ran the fastest lap of the day over 229.226mph. Ed’s four-lap average wasn’t good enough today to knock off Helio (228.692 mph). Ed was safely in the field and ready for his shot Sunday in the Fast 9 qualification run.
Besides Helio, Team Penske ran very well today with Pagenaud (3rd), Power (4th), and Newgarden (7th). Danica Patrick finished 9th at 227.610 and will compete for the Pole tomorrow afternoon. As Danica completed her first lap at 227.610 mph, the fans in the grandstands roared just like they did in 2005 when Danica was out front in the race. 2016 Indianapolis 500 winner Alexander Rossi improved his time just before 6pm to 227.561 mph and 10th overall. The Top 9 will compete tomorrow afternoon for the Pole award. The ninth fastest will go first and work their way to Helio. They get one run, one shot…….for the Indy 500 pole.
There was This was the first year in a couple years where there were 35 cars competing for 33 spots. Bump Day which was a fixture during Indianapolis 500 qualifying has been away for some time but found it’s way back this year and the drama resumed during the final hour of qualifications on Saturday evening. James Hinchcliffe (former pole sitter) and Indy native Connor Daly and Pippa Mann battled to get into the Indy 500 field in the final hour of Bump Day. James Hinchcliffe went out with 12 minutes left in the day and during his out lap, he reported a vibration and brought it back down pit road. Indianapolis Motor Speedway and its fans got the drama they wanted with bump day with the James Hinchcliffe issues. The drama of Indianapolis showed it’s head again with James Hinchcliffe NOT qualifying for the race. Hinch will watch the race from home this year.
Sunday, All 33 cars that qualified today will qualify again to set the lineup. Spots 10-33 will run in reverse order to determine the lineup. Then at the end of the day…spots 1-9 will run in reverse order for the pole position.
Fast 9 to compete for Pole Sunday Afternoon:
(1) Castroneves (2) Carpenter (3) Pagenaud
(4) Power (5) Bourdais (6) Pigot
(7) Newgarden (8) Dixon (9) Patrick
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