Ed Carpenter takes second consecutive Indy 500 pole


John Cote

Indiana native Ed Carpenter has brought his home state crowds to their feet as he scored a second consecutive Indy 500 pole position at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Driving the #20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet, the team boss set a blazing average of 231.067mph to knock James Hinchcliffe  – who was cleared to drive during the week – off the top spot. He was the last of the Fast Nine to go out on his individual qualifying run, knowing the speed he would have to beat.

Taking account of Carpenter’s four laps, it is interesting to note that the oval specialist – sharing the car with Mike Conway – went faster on his fourth lap than his third lap, going against the trend of many of the other drivers who went slower on the fourth lap.

As mentioned, Hinchcliffe is in second with IndyCar points leader Will Power on the outside of the first row with a speed of 230.697mph.

In fourth place, and hoping to add to his collection of wins come Memorial Day next Sunday, is Helio Castroneves. The Team Penske driver will be hoping to add to team owner Roger Penske’s string of victories as well as his own string of three wins.

Decent results up the sharp end of the grid include rookie Carlos Munoz who will start in seventh ahead of JR Hildebrand, Juan Pablo Montoya and Scott Dixon.

Also hoping for at least a top ten finish before jetting off for the Coca Cola 600 at Charlotte, is Kurt Busch who will start 12th – ahead of rapid rookie Jack Hawksworth.

Propping up the field is a veteran of IndyCar and IRL, Buddy Lazier, in his second race since retiring in 2009 the driver recorded a speed of 227.920mph to end up 33rd in the expanded grid.