Indy 500 Qualifying: Andretti leads Fast Nine, bad day for Penske
Four Andretti Autosport-Hondas look set to battle Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon for pole position in the 104th running of the Indianapolis 500 tomorrow, but Team Penske was unable to improve its earlier qualifying times, so its three Indy winners will start outside the Top 20.
Following the initial runs this morning, improvements were scarce through the heat of the afternoon, but Dixon was one of the exceptions.
On his second run, he failed to better his original speed, but on his third run, he proved that someone other than Marco Andretti – current pacesetter – could land a 232mph lap.
His four-lap run was slightly hurt by a slide going through Turn 3 so he only improved by one grid spot, but at the very end of the session he ran three laps (including another Lap 1 of over 232mph, the fastest lap of the day) that would have seen him possibly displace Andretti.
However, with tomorrow’s Fast Nine runners due to run in reverse order – slowest to fastest – Dixon did not want to risk dealing with greater track heat, so abandoned his latest run after the third lap and headed to the pits, content with P5.
Colton Herta twice tried to jump into the Fast Nine and displace Takuma Sato, but instead he was just happy to reclaim 10th after Marcus Ericsson in another Ganassi car temporarily displaced him.
Ed Carpenter moved himself up five places, but was later demoted one spot by Patricio O’Ward in the #5 Arrow McLaren SP-Chevy.
Graham Rahal had a vicious slide at Turn 3 trying to improve on his eighth spot and abandoned his attempt.
Fernando Alonso will start 26th after a disappointing run. His crash on Thursday appeared to have impacted his qualifying-spec speed, and he could only manage a 228.7mph average, and will start one spot behind 2019 winner Simon Pagenaud.
Ben Hanley managed to bump his average up by 2mph in the DragonSpeed car, but Helio Castroneves, Pagenaud, Charlie Kimball, James Davison and Will Power (twice) all quit mid-run, unhappy with the handling of their cars or showing no sign of improved speed.
Carlin-Chevrolet’s Max Chilton did get better, however, his 1.5mph jump allowing him to vault both Dreyer & Reinbold Racing cars to land 30th.
Tomorrow’s action will see the Fast Nine get a 30min practice session from 11.00-11.30am (local) ET, while the shootout – just one run each – will be 1.15-2.15pm.
All 33 cars will then get a practice session, 3.30pm-6.00pm with engines returned to 1.3-bar boost and cars running raceday setups.
Drivers eligible for Fast Nine shootout
|P||Driver||Car||Engine||Lap 1||Lap 2||Lap 3||Lap 4||Average|
|1.||Marco Andretti||Andretti Herta Autosport||Honda||232.177||231.559||230.968||230.705||231.351|
|2.||Ryan Hunter-Reay||Andretti Autosport||Honda||231.653||231.506||231.219||230.944||231.330|
|3.||Alexander Rossi||Andretti Autosport||Honda||231.886||231.497||230.879||230.812||231.268|
|4.||James Hinchcliffe||Andretti Autosport||Honda||231.790||231.393||231.048||230.553||231.195|
|5.||Scott Dixon||Chip Ganassi Racing||Honda||232.183||231.326||230.795||230.325||231.155|
|6.||Rinus VeeKay||Ed Carpenter Racing||Chevrolet||231.789||231.029||230.888||230.753||231.114|
|7.||Alex Palou||Dale Coyne Racing w/ Team Goh||Honda||231.552||231.211||230.808||230.566||231.034|
|8.||Graham Rahal||Rahal Letterman Lanigan||Honda||231.102||230.876||230.740||230.572||230.822|
|9.||Takuma Sato||Rahal Letterman Lanigan||Honda||231.244||230.763||230.710||230.454||230.792|
Grid slots locked in
|P||Driver||Car||Engine||Lap 1||Lap 2||Lap 3||Lap 4||Average|
|10.||Colton Herta||Andretti Harding Steinbrenner Autosport||Honda||231.735||230.790||230.438||230.143||230.775|
|11.||Marcus Ericsson||Chip Ganassi Racing||Honda||231.277||230.503||230.470-||230.018||230.566|
|12.||Spencer Pigot||Citrone/Buhl Autosport with RLL||Honda||231.325||230.850||230.261||229.727||230.539|
|13.||Josef Newgarden||Team Penske||Chevrolet||230.431||230.408||230.316||230.031||230.296|
|14.||Felix Rosenqvist||Chip Ganassi Racing||Honda||230.639||230.205||230.153||230.021||230.254|
|15.||Pato O'Ward||Arrow McLaren SP||Chevrolet||230.809||230.247||230.040||229.758||230.213|
|16.||Ed Carpenter||Ed Carpenter Racing||Chevrolet||230.734||230.300||230.233||229.582||230.211|
|17.||Zach Veach||Andretti Autosport||Honda||230.644||230.071||229.685||229.447||229.961|
|18.||Conor Daly||Ed Carpenter Racing||Chevrolet||230.981||229.892||229.608||229.345||229.955|
|19.||Santino Ferrucci||Dale Coyne Racing w/ Vasser-Sullivan||Honda||230.455||230.075||229.588||229.578||229.924|
|20.||Jack Harvey||Meyer Shank Racing||Honda||229.111||229.041||228.841||228.526||229.861|
|21.||Oliver Askew||Arrow McLaren SP||Chevrolet||230.304||229.855||229.517||229.367||229.760|
|22.||Will Power||Team Penske||Chevrolet||230.343||229.769||229.472||229.225||229.701|
|23.||Tony Kanaan||A.J. Foyt Racing||Chevrolet||229.920||229.342||228.860||228.501||229.154|
|24.||Dalton Kellett||A.J. Foyt Racing||Chevrolet||229.111||229.041||228.841||228.526||228.880|
|25.||Simon Pagenaud||Team Penske||Chevrolet||229.529||229.229||229.032||227.563||228.836|
|26.||Fernando Alonso||Ruoff Arrow McLaren SP||Chevrolet||229.418||228.846||228.520||228.291||228.768|
|27.||James Davison||Dale Coyne Racing w/ RWR/Byrd/Belardi||Honda||230.957||230.267||227.771||226.061||228.747|
|28.||Helio Castroneves||Team Penske||Chevrolet||229.679||228.341||227.964||227.520||228.373|
|29.||Charlie Kimball||A.J. Foyt Racing||Chevrolet||229.677||229.399||228.980||223.108||227.758|
|31.||Sage Karam||Dreyer & Reinbold Racing||Chevrolet||227.609||227.267||226.940||226.583||227.009|
|32.||J.R. Hildebrand||Dreyer & Reinbold Racing||Chevrolet||228.594||225.328||225.980||225.494||226.341|
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