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||Ed Carpenter Racing||228.762mph|
|2.||Carlos Muñoz||Andretti Autosport||228.342mph|
|3.||Marco Andretti||Andretti Autosport||228.261mph|
|4.||E.J. Viso||Team Venzuela / Andretti||228.150mph|
|5.||A.J. Allmendinger||Team Penske||228.099mph|
|6.||Will Power||Team Penske||228.087mph|
|7.||Ryan Hunter-Reay||Andretti Autosport||227.904mph|
|8.||Hélio Castroneves||Team Penske||227.762mph|
|9.||James Hinchcliffe||Andretti Autosport||227.070mph|
|10.||JR Hildebrand||Panther Racing||227.441mph|
|11.||Alex Tagliani||Barracuda Racing||227.386mph|
|12.||Tony Kanaan||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||Chip Ganassi Racing||226.159mph|
|17.||Dario Franchitti||Chip Ganassi Racing||226.069mph|
|18.||Takuma Sato||AJ Foyt Enterprises||226.892mph|
|19.||Charlie Kimball||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||Panther Racing||225.643mph|
|23.||Ryan Briscoe||Chip Ganassi Racing||225.265mph|
|24.||Simona de Silvestro||KV Racing Technology||225.226mph|
|DNQ.||Josef Newgarden||Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing||225.210mph|
|DNQ.||Ana Beatriz||Dale Coyne Racing||225.117mph|
|DNQ.||Graham Rahal||Rahal Letterman Lanigan||224.950mph|
|DNQ.||Sebastián Saavedra||Dragon Racing||224.656mph|
|DNQ.||Tristan Vautier||Schmidt Peterson Hamilton Racing||224.156mph|
|DNQ.||Buddy Lazier||Lazier Partners Racing||223.073mph|
|DNQ.||Michel Jourdain Jr||Rahal Letterman Lanigan||218.329mph|
|DNQ.||Conor Daly||AJ Foyt Enterprises||Waved Off|
|DNQ.||Pippa Mann||Dale Coyne Racing||No Attempt|
|DNQ.||Katherine Legge||Schmidt Peterson Hamilton||No Attempt|