Ed Carpenter backed up what he did last year at his home track of Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday by winning the pole for the 98th running of the Indianapolis 500 during the Fast-Nine Shootout. Carpenter was the final car to take his four laps after being fastest on Saturday and used a four-lap average speed of 231.067 mph, which was the fastest all week, to edge out James Hinchcliffe for the pole.
Carpenter became just the tenth driver in Indy 500 history to win the pole in two consecutive seasons.
"I knew what the average was so i was just hanging on and giving it all I had and it was enough for today," Carpenter said on ABC. "So it is awesome to do this two years in a row."
Carpenter in his own Ed Carpenter Racing No. 20 Fuzzy's sponsored car said this season he is focused on the race where he was disappointed with a tenth place finish last season.
JR Hildebrand, driving a second Ed Carpenter Racing car, was the first car to take the track in the Fast-Nine Shootout and slowed down from Saturday which put some doubt into whether Carpenter would be able to grab the pole. Hildebrand will start from ninth place.
James Hinchcliffe of Andretti Autosport was fourth fastest Saturday but took the provisional pole position when he turned in an average of 230.839 mph aided by what was the fastest lap of the week at 231.618 mph. Team Penske's Helio Castroneves was the next driver out and ended up setting the fastest single lap at 231.671 mph but his run fell off and Castroneves will start from row two in fourth place next Sunday.
Will Power of Team Penske turned in an average of 230.697 mph to earn a front row start in third place.
Earlier on Sunday the drivers that timed in from tenth to 33rd yesterday qualified again and Juan Pablo Montoya turned in an amazing four laps with an average speed of 231.007 mph which was only bettered by Carpenter. Montoya will start from the tenth position. Scott Dixon was also very fast in earning the 11th starting spot when he turned in a 230.928 mph average which was only behind Carpenter and Montoya on Sunday. Kurt Busch, who will pull the double next Sunday, earned the 12th starting spot by turning in the fifth fastest average of the week at 230.782 mph.
Carpenter earned nine Verizon IndyCar Series championship points by earning the pole and the other drivers in the fast nine earned eight down to one point for their Sunday efforts. By earning seven points Will Power now has a total of 185 on the season to remain the points leader. Simon Pagenaud moved into second place by earning five points today and now has 175 points. Ryan Hunter-Reay could not earn points today and dropped to third with 171 points.
The complete starting lineup for the 98th running of the Indianapolis 500 is as follows. Ed Carpenter on the pole and he will be joined on row one by James Hinchcliffe and Will Power. Starting fourth will be Helio Castroneves, with Simon Pagenaud fifth, Marco Andretti sixth, Carlos Munoz seventh, Josef Newgarden eighth, and JR Hildebrand ninth. Juan Pablo Montoya will start from tenth, Scott Dixon 11th, Kurt Busch 12th, Jack Hawksworth 13th, Justin Wilson 14th, Mikhail Aleshin 15th, Tony Kanaan 16th, Sebastien Bourdais 17th, Oriol Servia 18th, Ryan Hunter-Reay 19th, and Graham Rahal 20th. Carlos Huertas will start 21st, Pippa Mann 22nd, Takuma Sato 23rd, Alex Tagliani 24th, Townsend Bell 25th, Charlie Kimball 26th, Jacques Villeneuve 27th, James Davison 28th, Martin Plowman 29th, Ryan Briscoe 30th, Sage Karam 31st, Sebastian Saavedra 32nd, and Buddy Lazier 33rd.
The Indianapolis 500 can be seen with coverage starting on Sunday, May 25 at 11 a.m. ET on ABC.Tags: Alex Tagliani, ed carpenter, Ed Carpenter Racing, Helio Castroneves, indianapolis 500, indianapolis motor speedway, indy 500, IndyCar Series, James Hinchcliffe, Juan Pablo Montoya, Kurt Busch, Motorsports, Scott Dixon, Simon Pagenaud, Will Power
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