Ed Carpenter has claimed a shock pole position for the Indianapolis 500

Ed Carpenter has caused a major upset by winning pole position for this year’s Indianapolis 500.

The field’s only owner/driver qualified fifth-quickest ahead of the ‘Fast 9’ shootout for pole, before putting together a four-lap average speed effort of 228.762mph to claim top spot and a cool $100,000 prize.

While it may have been a day of upset performances in ‘Pole Day’, it was no surprise that the Andretti Autosports squad got all five of its entries into the ‘Fast 9’, having been the pacesetters virtually all the way through the many days of practice at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

But the biggest shock was who emerged quickest of this quintet: rookie driver Carlos Munoz – making his IndyCar Series debut – was second-quickest overall, while the ever-improving Marco Andretti will start from the outside of the front row.

The ‘Fast 9’ session saw a few of the favourites struggle. Will Power, who was quickest in the provisional qualifying session, started his four-lap run strongly, only to fade over the next three laps and slip to sixth-quickest.

His Penske teammate and Indianapolis 500 rookie AJ Allmendinger managed a superb fifth-fastest in the team’s #2 Chevrolet-powered entry, one spot behind EJ Viso, who was fourth-fastest in his Andretti/HVM entry.

The third row of the grid will comprise reigning champion Ryan Hunter-Reay, the third Penske of Helio Castroneves and the final Andretti of James Hinchcliffe.

With ‘Pole Day’ determining the top-24 places on the 33-car grid, there were few great surprises, apart from the relatively uncompetitive showing from reigning racewinners, Chip Ganassi Racing, whose three full-time cars could manage no better than the sixth row of the grid.

Takuma Sato was another who failed to hit the qualifying heights that he has managed in recent rounds. The Japanese driver managed just the eighteenth-quickest time in his AJ Foyt Honda.

The Rahal Letterman Lanigan squad had a poor Saturday, only getting one of its three entries (that being James Jakes) into the ‘Pole Day’ reckoning, while Graham Rahal, Michel Jourdain Jr

IndyCar returnee Ryan Briscoe scraped into the top-24 on his one-off outing in a fourth Chip Ganassi entry, while series regulars Tristan Vautier (SPH Racing) and Sebastian Saavedra (Dragon Racing) failed to make the provisional qualifying cut and will have to rely on a solid performance on ‘Bump Day’ to make it onto the grid at all.

With the entry list confirmed at 34 cars following Katherine Legge’s announcement that she had secured a last-minute drive with SPH Racing, one of the ‘Bump Day’ drivers will find their 2013 Indianapolis 500 dreams over.

2013 IndyCar Series Indianapolis 500 ‘Pole Day’ Qualifying Results:

Driver   Entry / Team Result
1. Ed Carpenter USA Ed Carpenter Racing 228.762mph
2. Carlos Muñoz Andretti Autosport 228.342mph
3. Marco Andretti USA Andretti Autosport 228.261mph
4. E.J. Viso Team Venzuela / Andretti 228.150mph
5. A.J. Allmendinger USA Team Penske 228.099mph
6. Will Power AUS Team Penske 228.087mph
7. Ryan Hunter-Reay USA Andretti Autosport 227.904mph
8. Hélio Castroneves BRA Team Penske 227.762mph
9. James Hinchcliffe CAN Andretti Autosport 227.070mph
10. JR Hildebrand USA Panther Racing 227.441mph
11. Alex Tagliani CAN Barracuda Racing 227.386mph
12. Tony Kanaan BRA KV Racing Technology 226.949mph
13. Oriol Servià Panther / Dreyer & Reinbold 226.814mph
14. Justin Wilson Dale Coyne Racing 226.370mph
15. Sébastien Bourdais Dragon Racing 226.196mph
16. Scott Dixon NZL Chip Ganassi Racing 226.159mph
17. Dario Franchitti Chip Ganassi Racing 226.069mph
18. Takuma Sato AJ Foyt Enterprises 226.892mph
19. Charlie Kimball USA Chip Ganassi Racing 225.880mph
20. James Jakes Rahal Letterman Lanigan 225.809mph
21. Simon Pagenaud Schmidt Peterson Hamilton Racing 225.674mph
22. Townsend Bell USA Panther Racing 225.643mph
23. Ryan Briscoe AUS Chip Ganassi Racing 225.265mph
24. Simona de Silvestro KV Racing Technology 225.226mph
DNQ. Josef Newgarden USA Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing 225.210mph
DNQ. Ana Beatriz BRA Dale Coyne Racing 225.117mph
DNQ. Graham Rahal USA Rahal Letterman Lanigan 224.950mph
DNQ. Sebastián Saavedra Dragon Racing 224.656mph
DNQ. Tristan Vautier Schmidt Peterson Hamilton Racing 224.156mph
DNQ. Buddy Lazier USA Lazier Partners Racing 223.073mph
DNQ. Michel Jourdain Jr Rahal Letterman Lanigan 218.329mph
DNQ. Conor Daly USA AJ Foyt Enterprises Waved Off
DNQ. Pippa Mann Dale Coyne Racing No Attempt
DNQ. Katherine Legge Schmidt Peterson Hamilton No Attempt

Matthew Lennon
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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.