Takuma Sato qualified 18th for the 97th Indianapolis 500

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Sato was unable to reach his early morning's speed so his best lap in his qualifying run was his first -- 226.071 mph and he will start 18th in the 33-car field.

INDIANAPOLIS May 18, 2013—IZOD IndyCar Series point leader Takuma Sato qualified for his fourth Indianapolis 500 driving the AJ Foyt Racing/ABC Supply Honda-powered Indy car. Posting a four-lap average speed of 225.892 mph, Sato will start 18th in the 33-car field.

Morning rain showers delayed the start of time trials by nearly two and a half hours, but once the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway was dried, the first segment of qualifying was underway. It was extended to 6 p.m. to give the 34 drivers ample opportunity to make a qualifying attempt.

Takuma Sato, A.J. Foyt Enterprises Honda
Takuma Sato, A.J. Foyt Enterprises Honda

Photo by: Michael C. Johnson

Sato who posted a 226.6 mph lap earlier in morning practice (before the rains came), was unable to reach that speed again—his best lap in his qualifying run was his first -- 226.071 mph.

“I think we’ve done a solid job,” said Sato. “Personally I would love to be in the Firestone Fast Nine but now we’re focused on the race. We’ve got more work to do tomorrow and on Carb Day and I look forward to that.”

Unfortunately, 21-year-old rookie Conor Daly experienced heartache at the Speedway when he was unable to complete his qualifying run in the No. 41 because of a broken exhaust header. He brought the car to pit lane after just two laps. The car will be repaired in time for tomorrow’s qualifying.

“It was a short day,” Daly lamented. “I was so looking forward to getting out there and making at least one qualifying run. We weren’t able to do it which is unfortunate but it was out of our control so that’s not something we can be down about because it does happen. We’ll just put her back together and hope she’s singing all the right notes tomorrow.”

Takuma Sato, A.J. Foyt Enterprises Honda
Takuma Sato, A.J. Foyt Enterprises Honda

Photo by: XPB Images

There will be an hour-long practice from 9 – 10 am before time trails begin at noon to set the remainder of the field.

Ed Carpenter, of Indianapolis, won the pole for the 97th Running of the Indianapolis 500 with his four- lap average speed of 228.762 mph. It was Carpenter’s first pole at Indianapolis and third of his career. Carpenter became the first driver/owner to win the Indy pole since A.J. Foyt won it in 1975. It was also the 10th anniversary of when Carpenter won the inaugural Freedom 100 Indy Lights race at the Speedway –driving for Foyt.

Joining Carpenter on the front row are rookie Carlos Munoz and his teammate Marco Andretti. All of the Fast Nine qualifiers used Chevrolet power. The Indianapolis 500 will be run May 26th.

AJ Foyt Racing/ABC Supply

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Series INDYCAR
Article type Qualifying report
Tags 500, indianapolis, indy, indy 500, indycar, takuma sato