Carpenter wins Historic Pole for Freedom 100 INDIANAPOLIS, Friday, May 16, 2003 -- Ed Carpenter won the pole for the inaugural Freedom 100 on May 16 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, driving a car owned by four-time Indianapolis 500 winner A.J.
Carpenter wins Historic Pole for Freedom 100
INDIANAPOLIS, Friday, May 16, 2003 -- Ed Carpenter won the pole for the inaugural Freedom 100 on May 16 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, driving a car owned by four-time Indianapolis 500 winner A.J. Foyt.
Carpenter's two-lap average speed was 188.490 mph in the No. 14 Futaba/Delphi/A.J. Foyt Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone. It was the first career Infiniti Pro Series pole for USAC short-track standout Carpenter, 22, from Indianapolis. Foyt won the pole for the Indianapolis 500 in 1965, 1969, 1974 and 1975.
"I'm just really happy," Carpenter said. "A.J. Foyt had a great car, and (chief mechanic) Jack Starne has worked his butt off to get this car ready for this track. It was our goal to start here on the pole and ultimately, to win this race. We're off to a perfect start right now. Hopefully, we can just keep it going.
"It's nice coming to your home track. It just makes you feel a lot better. I'm really looking forward to tomorrow. This place means so much to me. I've been coming here since I was 8. I've been waiting and dreaming for the day that I get to turn laps here."
The Freedom 100 starts at 3 p.m. (EDT) Saturday and will be televised live on ESPN2.
Series point leader Mark Taylor will start on the outside of the front row, qualifying second at 188.062 in the No. 4 Fulmar Panther Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone. Taylor, a rookie from London, has qualified for the front row in all three Infiniti Pro Series races in 2003.
"The car's working well," Taylor said. "(The speed was) quicker than we ran this morning, so you're always happy about that. I think if we'd run again, we would change a few things to go a little bit quicker, but that's life." Rookie Jeff Simmons rounded out the top three at 187.459 in the No. 20 Western Union Speed Team/Duesenberg Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone.
"I think we could have gone a little quicker," Simmons said. "I hit the rev limiter as I hit the start/finish line here. We just didn't have enough gear today. But tomorrow we know what we have to do to run for the race, so I think we'll be right up there."
Matt Beardsley qualified fourth at 186.450 in the No. 12 Alpine Bank/Old Republic Land Title Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone.
Arie Luyendyk Jr., son of two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Arie Luyendyk, qualified fifth in the No. 5 Grill 2 Go/Smith & Wesson Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone.
"I'm a little disappointed," Luyendyk said. "I thought we had another mile an hour in there, but the crew did a great job in getting the car ready. We had a problem in practice this morning, so I'm happy that we could get out there and post a speed."
Indianapolis 500 veterans Cory Witherill, Billy Roe and Scott Harrington qualified seventh, 14th and 17th, respectively.
World of Outlaws sprint car star Craig Dollansky qualified 15th at 182.216 in the No. 33 VMAC/Karavan Trailers/FattFro Motorsports Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone. He will make his first start on pavement in the Freedom 100.
Tickets for the inaugural Freedom 100 are $5, which is the normal Month of May practice day ticket price. The tickets can be purchased at the gate, and the day will include the final IndyCar Series practice leading up to Bump Day, the final day of qualifying for the 87th Indianapolis 500. For more information, call the ticket office at (317) 492-6700.
A limited number of reserved-seat Race Day tickets for the Indianapolis 500 remain available. General admission and reserved tickets for practice, qualifications and Race Day can be purchased on the World Wide Web via www.imstix.com or by calling the IMS Ticket Office at (800) 822-INDY or (317) 492-6700.