Scott Dixon was in sublime form as he secured pole position for the 101st Indianapolis 500, with his four-lap average of 232.164mph denying Ed Carpenter by just half a mile per hour.
Three of Dixon’s four laps were above 232mph, and his fourth was just a little bit beneath that at 231.907mph, with the Chip Ganassi Racing driver taking his third pole position around the legendary 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Carpenter put his Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet into second place with a four-lap average of 231.664mph, which pushed 2016 winner Alexander Rossi to the outside of the front row, but it was still an impressive result of the Andretti Herta Autosport driver.
Takuma Sato was fourth fastest for Andretti Autosport, with the Japanese racer being one of only three drivers to set a lap above 232mph, but his final couple of laps dropped away in pace to fall behind Rossi.
Fernando Alonso will start his maiden Indianapolis 500 from the middle of the second row, with the Spaniard impressing with a four-lap average of 231.300mph for McLaren Honda Andretti, while JR Hildebrand will start on the outside of row two in the second of the two Ed Carpenter Racing machines with a four-lap average of 230.889mph.
Tony Kanaan was seventh fastest for Chip Ganassi Racing ahead of Marco Andretti of Andretti Autosport, while the leading Team Penske Chevrolet of Will Power qualified the slowest of those competing in the Fast Nine shootout.
Ryan Hunter-Reay showed what might have been by setting a four-lap average of 231.442mph to top the first stage of qualifying, which will see the Andretti Autosport start tenth on the grid, with Ed Jones continuing his impressive rookie run this week to qualify eleventh for Dale Coyne Racing.
Oriol Servia will start on the outside of row four for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, while Mikhail Aleshin was the best of the Schmidt Peterson Motorsport trio in thirteenth, and he will be joined on the fifth row by Graham Rahal of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing and Max Chilton of Chip Ganassi Racing.
Charlie Kimball survived a small brush against the wall to qualify sixteenth for Chip Ganassi Racing, and he will be joined on the sixth row by last year’s pole sitter James Hinchcliffe of Schmidt Peterson Motorsport and Team Penske’s Juan Pablo Montoya, the race winner in 2015.
Helio Castroneves will be disappointed to qualify only nineteenth in his Team Penske machine, with the Brazilian being joined on row seven by two one-off entries in the form of Schmidt Peterson Motorsport’s Jay Howard and Dreyer & Reinbold’s Sage Karam.
Two more Team Penske drivers will be disappointed to qualify only twenty-second and twenty-third, with Josef Newgarden ahead of reigning series champion Simon Pagenaud, with row eight being completed by the leading AJ Foyt Racing machine of Carlos Muñoz.
Row nine will see Gabby Chaves on the inside for Harding Racing, with Conor Daly alongside him for AJ Foyt Racing and Jack Harvey twenty-seventh for the Michael Shank Racing with Andretti Autosport team despite the latter brushing the wall and leaving a tyre mark against the barrier.
Pippa Mann qualified twenty-eighth for Dale Coyne Racing ahead of Juncos Racing’s Spencer Pigot, while Buddy Lazier managed to stay off the back row for his Lazier Partners Racing after both Sebastian Saavedra of Juncos Racing and Zach Veach of AJ Foyt Racing set slower times on their runs.
The only driver who didn’t take to the track was James Davison, with his #18 Dale Coyne Racing car not ready to run after the team were forced to build the spare car for the Australian after Sebastien Bourdais crashed the original car during Saturday’s session.
Indianapolis Motor Speedway Pole Day Qualifying Result
|1||9||Scott Dixon||NZL||Chip Ganassi Racing||232.164mph|
|2||20||Ed Carpenter||USA||Ed Carpenter Racing||231.664mph|
|3||98||Alexander Rossi||USA||Andretti Herta Autosport||231.475mph|
|4||26||Takuma Sato||JAP||Andretti Autosport||231.365mph|
|5||29||Fernando Alonso||ESP||McLaren Honda Andretti||231.300mph|
|6||21||JR Hildebrand||USA||Ed Carpenter Racing||230.889mph|
|7||10||Tony Kanaan||BRZ||Chip Ganassi Racing||230.828mph|
|8||27||Marco Andretti||USA||Andretti Autosport||230.474mph|
|9||12||Will Power||AUS||Team Penske||230.200mph|
|10||28||Ryan Hunter-Reay||USA||Andretti Autosport||231.442mph|
|11||19||Ed Jones||UAE||Dale Coyne Racing||230.578mph|
|12||16||Oriol Servia||ESP||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing||230.309mph|
|13||7||Mikhail Aleshin||RUS||Schmidt Peterson Motorsports||230.271mph|
|14||15||Graham Rahal||USA||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing||230.253mph|
|15||8||Max Chilton||GBR||Chip Ganassi Racing||230.068mph|
|16||83||Charlie Kimball||USA||Chip Ganassi Racing||229.956mph|
|17||5||James Hinchcliffe||CAN||Schmidt Peterson Motorsports||229.860mph|
|18||22||Juan Pablo Montoya||COL||Team Penske||229.565mph|
|19||3||Helio Castroneves||BRZ||Team Penske||229.515mph|
|20||77||Jay Howard||GBR||Schmidt Peterson Motorsports||229.414mph|
|21||24||Sage Karam||USA||Dreyer & Reinbold Racing||229.380mph|
|22||2||Josef Newgarden||USA||Team Penske||228.501mph|
|23||1||Simon Pagenaud||FRA||Team Penske||228.093mph|
|24||14||Carlos Munoz||COL||AJ Foyt Enterprises||227.921mph|
|25||88||Gabby Chaves||USA||Harding Racing||226.921mph|
|26||4||Conor Daly||USA||AJ Foyt Enterprises||226.439mph|
|27||50||Jack Harvey||GBR||Michael Shank Racing with Andretti Autosport||225.742mph|
|28||63||Pippa Mann||GBR||Dale Coyne Racing||225.008mph|
|29||11||Spencer Pigot||USA||Juncos Racing||224.052mph|
|30||44||Buddy Lazier||USA||Lazier Partners Racing||223.417mph|
|31||17||Sebastian Saavedra||COL||Juncos Racing||221.142mph|
|32||40||Zach Veach||USA||AJ Foyt Enterprises||221.081mph|
|-||18||James Davison||AUS||Dale Coyne Racing||No Time|