Justin happy with 15th in Indy 500 qualifying Justin qualified 15th for this year's Indianapolis 500, going one better than his rookie effort of 16th a year ago. The ...
Justin happy with 15th in Indy 500 qualifying
Justin qualified 15th for this year's Indianapolis 500, going one better than his rookie effort of 16th a year ago. The #18 Z-Line Designs car will line up on the outside of Row 5 on the 33-car grid. Helio Castroneves took pole position for Team Penske and his team-mate Ryan Briscoe and Dario Franchitti (Chip Ganassi Racing) complete the front row.
The first 11 spots on the grid were secured on Saturday while Sunday's 6 hour qualifying window set positions 12 to 22. Having missed out on 11th spot by 0.2 mph on the very last qualifying run on Saturday, Justin's four-lap average qualifying speed of 222.903 mph set early on Sunday afternoon was good enough to hold on to 12th spot for much of Sunday afternoon. As the wind died down, three other cars jumped ahead, pushing Justin back to P15. Towards the end of the day the team contemplated withdrawing his earlier qualifying time and going out for another run, but in the end they decided against risking a guaranteed position to jump up one row.
"I really enjoyed being out there," said Justin. "The Z-Line Designs car was working well, and Dale Coyne Racing had the car to where it was comfortable and fun to drive. Each time we went out this weekend we were quicker. The run was fairly straightforward and things really worked out. I noticed straight away that I had more push than I was expecting, but I kept playing with the roll bars and weight jacker to cancel out the understeer. It usually gets worse lap after lap, but I was able to cancel it out with my adjustments. The more laps in the car, the more I enjoy this place and appreciate what it's about. Every time I came out of the corners, I had a big grin on my face!"
The Dale Coyne Racing team will now concentrate on setting up the car in race mode. "I think qualifying on the first weekend was a big advantage for us," said Justin. "We're comfortably in the race and can now start concentrating on working on simulated race runs."
"I'm very proud of Justin and the team's performance today," said team owner Dale Coyne. "Every adjustment we made to prepare for qualifying went in the right direction and we were rewarded today with an excellent starting position for Justin."
All sorts of activity will carry on at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway between now and the race on 24 May, including next Saturday's third day of qualifying and Sunday's "Bump Day" when the remaining hopefuls will compete for the final 11 spots on the grid.