IRL: Sharp leads 11 more to Indy 500 grid positions

After the second day of qualifying for the 91st running of the Indianapolis 500 the provisional starting grid now includes 22 drivers. Scott Sharp will start 12th after turning in the fastest qualifying effort of the day. "We're in pretty good,"...

After the second day of qualifying for the 91st running of the Indianapolis 500 the provisional starting grid now includes 22 drivers. Scott Sharp will start 12th after turning in the fastest qualifying effort of the day. "We're in pretty good," said Sharp, who qualified at 223.875 mph. Sharp made a 222.498 mph run on Saturday but it wasn't good enough to earn one of the first 11 starting positions. In addition to having to a perfect car today, Sharp said, "Conditions were much better, no doubt."

Sharp was the first driver to qualify today, turning in a speed that would have been good enough for ninth fastest yesterday.

Sharp's Rahal-Letterman Racing teammate Jeff Simmons was the second fastest qualifier and will start 13th. "We wanted to be quickest today, to get the little bonus that you get," he said. "But we are happy to get into the show."

Simmons agreed with Sharp's assessment of the track conditions, noting that "the wind is not as much as a factor today."

Ed Carpenter led the three Vision Racing cars that qualified today, setting the third fastest qualifying speed of the day. Carpenter qualified at 223.495 mph, while A.J. Foyt IV and Davey Hamilton qualified at 222.413 and 222.327 mph, respectively. Foyt will start 18th and Hamilton 20th. The fourth member of the Vision Racing squad, Tomas Scheckter qualified on Saturday and will start 10th.

While Carpenter had hoped to qualify further up in the field, Davey Hamilton was just happy to be back in a race car. "I think every time I've been out there I've been flat out," Hamilton said. "We've been working on race set up all week. The other guys had some things for qualifying but I really didn't need that. I didn't want it. I just wanted to get used to the race car and fine tune that thing."

Hamilton's best finish at the Indianapolis 500 was a fourth place in 1998.

Darren Manning put one of the A.J. Foyt Racing entries into the field, leaving his teammate Al Unser Jr. to qualify next weekend. Manning, fourth fastest on the day, is solidly in the field with a qualifying speed of 223.471 mph. "I just wish we had this car yesterday," said Manning. Manning's run on Saturday (222.656 mph) fell short of making the 11-car cut.

Both Dreyer & Reinbold entries made it into the field today. Buddy Rice and Sarah Fisher are slated to start 16th and 21st, respectively. Rice, who was bumped yesterday, shaved nearly eight tenths of a second from his previous qualifying effort.

Kosuke Matsuura and Vitor Meira can concentrate on race set up now that they have qualified for the race. Matsuura will start 17th (222.595 mph) after being bumped out of the field yesterday. Meira was 19th fastest today at 222.333 mph.

Fourteen drivers attempted to earn positions 12 through 22 today with Buddy Lazier ending the day on the bubble at 221.380 mph. Jaques Lazier made a last minute attempt to knock his older brother off the bubble but came up short, waving off his attempt after one lap.

Jon Herb, who bumped Al Unser Jr. on his second qualifying attempt, found himself on the bubble twice today. Herb was bumped out of the field when Buddy Lazier's second qualifying attempt was successful at 221.380 mph.

Qualifying continues next weekend when positions 23 through 33 are filled on Saturday. Bumping from the filed of 33 starters will take place on Sunday, May 20.

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Darren Manning , Sarah Fisher , Al Unser Jr. , Jon Herb , Buddy Lazier , Davey Hamilton , Scott Sharp , A.J. Foyt IV , Buddy Rice , Kosuke Matsuura , Jeff Simmons , A.J. Foyt , Ed Carpenter , Jaques Lazier , Vitor Meira