Bump Day concludes Indianapolis 500 qualifying

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Allan Brewer, IndyCar Correspondent

Qualifying concluded for next Sunday's 96th running of the Indianapolis 500 with nine drivers rounding out the field of 33 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway today.

Sebastian Bourdais took the spot on the inside of the ninth row with a qualifying average speed of 223.760 mph.

AJ Foyt Racing's Wade Cunningham posted a 223.528 mph mark, which placed him in the middle of the ninth row alongside veteran driver Oriol Servia (222.393 mph) of Dreyer & Reinbold Racing.

Ed Carpenter recovered from Pole Day's crash to post a 222.324 mph qualifying effort, and will join Cunningham teammate Mike Conway and Katherine Legge on the tenth row.

You name it, I was mad at the whole situation.

Ed Carpenter

"I was mad at myself and anybody who came in contact with me and pretty much the whole situation," Carpenter said. "I was mad that the car got destroyed, mad that the setup wasn't better and mad that I was stubborn and insisted on keeping my foot in it when I knew it wasn't any good. You name it, I was mad at the whole situation."

The last row was filled by Sarah Fisher Hartmann Racing's Bryan Clauson (214.455 mph), another victim of a crash on Saturday, Lotus Racing's Simona de Silvestro (214.393 mph) and her rookie-at-Indy Formula 1 long-timer teammate Jean Alesi (210.094 mph)

"If we (crashed) again today, we were done," Clauson said afterwards. "We just had to go out there and put in a conservative run and get four laps down."

Bump Day produced an unusual surfeit of drama during the final minutes of the racing day, coming to an anticlimactic close when Carpenter pushed Alesi to the rear of the field.

"I was really expecting more speed from the car," Alesi said. "That was all we could get, so we took it."

Among cars already in the race, Justin Wilson of Dreyer & Reinbold was quickest on the day with a best practice lap of 220.495 mph.

Team Penske's Helio Castroneves sped to a lap of 220.217 mph while teammate Will Power posted a 220.195 mph circuit of the 2.5 mile oval.

Ganassi Racing's Charlie Kimball spun and badly damaged the left side and rear of his already-qualified car at approximately 3:30 PM. Kimball rolled into Turn 1 at speed and lost the rear of the car into the SAFER barrier, casting a long arc of black tire marks on the diamond-ground surface of the oval and the white wall. Kimball was unhurt in the incident.

Jean Alesi, FP Journe – Fan Force United Lotus
Jean Alesi, FP Journe – Fan Force United Lotus

Photo by: Eric Gilbert

The final 9 car/driver combinations were set today, with the remainder of the 33 spots being filled on Pole Day, on Saturday, May 19th.

Positions 25-33 were determined based on Bump Day's fastest four-lap average. Any qualifying attempt faster than an already-qualified entrant in the starting field was bumped out of the 33-car field, regardless of the day of qualification. The "bumping" entrant was placed at the rear of the field while the "bumped" entrant was removed from the field, but had the opportunity to bump its way back into the starting field until the 6 PM EDT final gun. Each car was allowed three attempts.

The Indianapolis 500 be televised by ABC at 11A.M. (EDT) and broadcast by the IMS Radio Network on SiriusXM (XM 94 and Sirius 212) on May 27th from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

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Series INDYCAR
Tags alesi, bourdais, brewer, carpenter, clauson, cunningham, de silvestro, featured, servia