Ed Carpenter has won back-to-back pole positions for next weekend’s Indianapolis 500 after triumphing in Sunday’s qualifying session. The American was the only driver to lap above 231mph over his four-lap average, clocking the fastest qualifying speed since the 2003 event.
Carpenter’s pole position earned him a $100,000 windfall and bragging rights as the first back-to-back Indy 500 pole-winner since Hélio Castroneves achieved the feat since 2009-10.
Carpenter’s superb performance was mirrored by James Hinchcliffe, who, in the week leading up to the event, looked unlikely to even participate after being forced to miss most of the lead-up practice sessions after being sidelined with concussion. The Andretti driver posted a 230.869mph four-lap average to out-pace Penske’s Will Power for second place.
Power’s teammate Castroneves was fourth-fastest, with Simon Pagenaud (sporting an Ayrton Senna tribute helmet) and Marco Andretti completing the second row of the grid.
Last year’s Indy 500 ‘Rookie of the Year’ Carlos Muñoz ensured three Andretti runners qualified in the ‘Fast Nine’ shootout and managed the seventh-fastest time. He will line up alongside Josef Newgarden and JR Hildebrand, who showed well in his one-off outing in a second entry fielded by Ed Carpenter’s team.
Juan Pablo Montoya will start from tenth on his Indy 500 return alongside former winner and reigning champion Scott Dixon, while NASCAR champion Kurt Busch qualified twelfth-fastest as he attempts an historic Indy/NASCAR double on the Memorial Day long weekend.
Jack Hawksworth was the fastest full-time rookie in thirteenth; he’ll line up two spots ahead of fellow rookie Mikhail Aleshin. Defending race-winner Tony Kanaan was sixteenth-fastest.
Former Indy 500 winner Jacques Villeneuve qualified 27th-fastest in his one-off IndyCar return in the third Sam Schmidt entry, while fellow former race-winner Buddy Lazier was the slowest qualifier in his privately-run entry. Lazier was a shade over 3mph slower than Carpenter’s pole-winning effort, marking the closest Indy 500 qualifying spread seen in over 60 years.
2014 IndyCar Series Indianapolis 500 – Final Qualifying:
|‘Fast Nine’ Session||Team / Entry||Avg. Speed|
|1.||Ed Carpenter||Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet||231.067mph|
|2.||James Hinchcliffe||Andretti Autosport Honda||230.869mph|
|3.||Will Power||Team Penske Chevrolet||230.697mph|
|4.||Hélio Castroneves||Team Penske Chevrolet||230.649mph|
|5.||Simon Pagenaud||Schmidt Peterson Hamilton Motorsports Honda||230.614mph|
|6.||Marco Andretti||Andretti Autosport Honda||230.544mph|
|7.||Carlos Muñoz||Andretti Autosport Honda||230.146mph|
|8.||Josef Newgarden||Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing Honda||229.893mph|
|9.||JR Hildebrand||Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet||228.726mph|
|‘Round 1’ Qualifying||Team / Entry||Time|
|10.||Juan Pablo Montoya||Team Penske Chevrolet||231.007mph|
|11.||Scott Dixon||Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet||230.928mph|
|12.||Kurt Busch||Andretti Autosport Honda||230.782mph|
|13.||Jack Hawksworth||Bryan Herta Autosport Honda||230.506mph|
|14.||Justin Wilson||Dale Coyne Racing Honda||230.256mph|
|15.||Mikhail Aleshin||Schmidt Peterson Hamilton Motorsports Honda||230.049mph|
|16.||Tony Kanaan||Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet||229.922mph|
|17.||Sébastien Bourdais||KV Racing Technology Honda||229.847mph|
|18.||Oriol Servià||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda||229.728mph|
|19.||Ryan Hunter-Reay||Andretti Autosport Honda||229.719mph|
|20.||Graham Rahal||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda||229.628mph|
|21.||Carlos Huertas||Dale Coyne Racing Honda||229.251mph|
|22.||Pippa Mann||Dale Coyne Racing Honda||229.223mph|
|23.||Takuma Sato||A.J. Foyt Enterprises Honda||229.201mph|
|24.||Alex Tagliani||Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing Honda||229.148mph|
|25.||Townsend Bell||KV Racing Technology Honda||229.009mph|
|26.||Charlie Kimball||Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet||228.953mph|
|27.||Jacques Villeneuve||Schmidt Peterson Hamilton Motorsports Honda||228.949mph|
|28.||James Davison||KV Racing Technology Honda||228.865mph|
|29.||Martin Plowman||A.J. Foyt Enterprises Honda||228.814mph|
|30.||Ryan Briscoe||Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet||228.713mph|
|31.||Sage Karam||Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet||228.436mph|
|32.||Sebastián Saavedra||KV Racing Technology / AFS Racing Honda||228.088mph|
|33.||Buddy Lazier||Lazier Partners Racing Chevrolet||227.920mph|
Images via IndyCar Series Media
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