Justin qualified 21st (Row 7) for next Sunday’s Indianapolis 500, posting a four-lap average speed of 222.929mph in the #18 Sonny’s Bar-B-Q Honda during his one and only Pole Day qualifying run. Dale Coyne Racing was successful in getting both of its entries into the race on Pole Day; Justin’s team-mate James Jakes will start from 17th (Row 6) in the #19 Boy Scouts of America Honda. Following his first run (222.338mph), James was bumped out of the 24 positions available on Pole Day, but after some tweaks to the car he improved his four-lap average speed to 223.482mph.
Ryan Briscoe took pole position for Team Penske (226.484mph) by a whisker from Andretti Autosport's James Hinchcliffe (226.481mph), whose team-mate Ryan Hunter-Reay (226.240mph) also lines up on the front row. The 0.0023s margin between the top two qualifiers is the closest in Indianapolis 500 history.
“It was great to get the No. 18 Sonny’s Bar-B-Q Honda locked into the field on the first day. Congratulations to James as well - it’s been a great effort by the whole Dale Coyne Racing team this week,” said Justin. “It’s not the starting position we would have liked, but I’m happy to be in the show. I was running mid 223mph speeds for the first couple of laps, but then the car got sideways in Turn 2 on my third lap and we lost some momentum for the rest of the run. I’m sure there was some more time in the car, but when you know you've qualified you don’t want to do anything too risky for the sake of one or two rows on the grid. At the end of the day we feel we have a pretty well balanced race car. That’s what really matters here and I think we can find even more speed before race day.”