Ed Carpenter admitted he was surprised to end the first day of qualifying for the 101st Indianapolis 500 at the very top of the time sheets, with the popular American setting a four-lap average of 230.465mph.
The Ed Carpenter Racing driver had a favourable draw in qualifying, thanks to son Ryder, which meant he was one of the last drivers out, but the two-time pole winner at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway did not expect to run four laps all in excess of 230mph.
Carpenter will now go last during Sunday’s Fast Nine shootout for pole position, but he does not know how much more he would be able to give in his second qualifying effort.
“It kind of feels like 2013 right now because I wasn’t expecting that,” said Carpenter. “I thought I could maybe run a 230, but to run four of them, I’m really proud of the team.
“I’m thankful to Chevrolet for giving me a bullet and making the best aero kit out here still. I don’t know if we have much left. The two poles I won previous, I wasn’t the fastest car, but we had the best four laps.
“I think my little buddy Ryder (son) here got us in there. I asked him to draw six yesterday (in the qualifying draw), and he drew 60. I was like: ‘You were close. You got the first number right.’ As today turned out, I think he drew us a favourable number.
“The track temps were coming down. It was pretty ideal for us. But we’re running in the cool tomorrow night, too, so we’ll see what happens.”