Indy 500: Carpenter beats Penskes, scores third Indy pole

Ed Carpenter drove his Ed Carpenter Racing-Chevrolet to pole position for the 102nd running of the Indianapolis 500, the third time he’s achieved the feat in six years, while teammate Danica Patrick outqualified Helio Castroneves and Scott Dixon.

Opening his four-lap run with the only 230mph lap of the qualifying session, Carpenter never dropped below 229mph, and set an average of 229.618mph. 

That was 0.857mph faster than his nearest opposition, the best of the Team Penske-Chevrolets, driven by Simon Pagenaud. Will Power will start from the outside of Row 1. The Aussie is the only driver to have reached the Fast Nine every year since it started in 2010.

Josef Newgarden will roll off fourth, alongside the quickest of the Hondas, that of Sebastien Bourdais of Dale Coyne Racing, who set an average of 228.676mph. On the outside of the second row on the 3x3 grid will be the second fastest Carpenter car, that of Spencer Pigot.

Danica Patrick will start her final ever race in seventh, the last of the entrants to have an average over 228mph. Helio Castroneves’ run tailed off badly – 228.992 down to 227.0, which is why he’s down in eighth, while Dixon was never really in the hunt.

In the session for positions 10-33 on the grid, there were many surprises. Least surprising was the fact that the AJ Foyt Racing-Chevrolets will start 10th and 11th, after a brilliantly smooth run from the 2013 Indy 500 winner Tony Kanaan, and a brilliantly wild run from Matheus Leist.

The only other driver in the session to set an average in the 227s was Marco Andretti, easily fastest of the Andretti Autosport-Hondas, precisely 0.5mph faster than Ryan Hunter-Reay. But it was one of their teammates, 2016 Indy winner Alexander Rossi, who had the wildest ride, clicking off a 227.454mph on his first lap but his loose #27 NAPA car trying to smack the wall so often that he tumbled to 224mph on Lap 3 and 221 on Lap 4. He will start from the middle of the back row, between Jack Harvey and Conor Daly.

Zachary Claman De Melo, the #19 Dale Coyne Racing driver subbing for the injured Pietro Fittipaldi, will start an excellent 13th after a very neat and tidy run, while another newcomer – the Carlin-Chevrolet team – can be proud of getting Charlie Kimball onto the outside of row five.

Other startling and sparkling performances came from rookie Kyle Kaiser in the Juncos Racing-Chevy, 17th, and James Davison 19th in the AJ Foyt Racing-Byrd/Hollinger/Belardi car he trashed two days ago!

Defending Indy 500 winner Takuma Sato was 16th, but his fulltime Rahal Letterman Lanigan teammate Graham Rahal will start only 30th, beaten by their part-time teammate, Oriol Servia, who struggled to Bump his way into the field of 33 yesterday.

The other driver who must have expected more from his day is Chip Ganassi Racing’s Ed Jones. A major bobble on his third lap saw him drop in a 223mph effort, dropping his average to 225.362mph. He will start 29th.

Indy 500 Fast nine qualifying results

ClaDriverLapsTimeGapIntervalMph
1 20 united_states  Ed Carpenter  4 2'36.7818     229.618
2 22 france  Simon Pagenaud  4 2'37.3696 0.5878 0.5878 228.761
3 12 australia  Will Power  4 2'37.4757 0.6939 0.1061 228.607
4 1 united_states  Josef Newgarden  4 2'37.6151 0.8333 0.1394 228.405
5 18 france  Sébastien Bourdais  4 2'37.7965 1.0147 0.1814 228.142
6 21 united_states  Spencer Pigot  4 2'37.8208 1.0390 0.0243 228.107
7 13 united_states  Danica Patrick  4 2'37.8326 1.0508 0.0118 228.090
8 3 brazil  Helio Castroneves  4 2'37.9924 1.2106 0.1598 227.859
9 9 new_zealand  Scott Dixon  4 2'38.4076 1.6258 0.4152 227.262

Indy 500, Group 1, P10-33

ClaDriverLapsTimeGapIntervalMph
10 14 brazil  Tony Kanaan  4 2'38.1278     227.664
11 4 brazil  Matheus Leist  4 2'38.1922 0.0644 0.0644 227.571
12 98 united_states  Marco Andretti  4 2'38.3894 0.2616 0.1972 227.288
13 19 canada  Zachary Claman De Melo  4 2'38.5908 0.4630 0.2014 226.999
14 28 united_states  Ryan Hunter-Reay  4 2'38.7389 0.6111 0.1481 226.788
15 23 united_states  Charlie Kimball  4 2'38.8304 0.7026 0.0915 226.657
16 30 japan  Takuma Sato  4 2'38.9003 0.7725 0.0699 226.557
17 32 united_states  Kyle Kaiser  4 2'39.0119 0.8841 0.1116 226.398
18 6 canada  Robert Wickens  4 2'39.0835 0.9557 0.0716 226.296
19 33 australia  James Davison  4 2'39.1128 0.9850 0.0293 226.255
20 59 united_kingdom  Max Chilton  4 2'39.1430 1.0152 0.0302 226.212
21 29 colombia  Carlos Munoz  4 2'39.2585 1.1307 0.1155 226.048
22 88 colombia  Gabby Chaves  4 2'39.2874 1.1596 0.0289 226.007
23 25 united_kingdom  Stefan Wilson  4 2'39.3889 1.2611 0.1015 225.863
24 24 united_states  Sage Karam  4 2'39.4171 1.2893 0.0282 225.823
25 26 united_states  Zach Veach  4 2'39.4696 1.3418 0.0525 225.748
26 64 spain  Oriol Servia  4 2'39.5044 1.3766 0.0348 225.699
27 66 united_states  J.R. Hildebrand  4 2'39.7032 1.5754 0.1988 225.418
28 7 united_kingdom  Jay Howard  4 2'39.7245 1.5967 0.0213 225.388
29 10 united_arab_emirates  Ed Jones  4 2'39.7433 1.6155 0.0188 225.362
30 15 united_states  Graham Rahal  4 2'39.7679 1.6401 0.0246 225.327
31 60 united_kingdom  Jack Harvey  4 2'39.8193 1.6915 0.0514 225.254
32 27 united_states  Alexander Rossi  4 2'40.0462 1.9184 0.2269 224.935
33 17 united_states  Conor Daly  4 2'40.4073 2.2795 0.3611 224.429
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About this article
Series IndyCar
Event Indy 500
Track Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Article type Qualifying report