He did it again. Ed Carpenter, the hometown favorite, captured his second straight Indianapolis 500 pole today, barely edging out Andretti Autosport driver James Hinchcliffe on the final qualifying run of the day. Carpenter becomes just the 11th driver in the history of the Greatest Spectacle in Racing to win the pole two years in a row. The four-lap average for Ed’s run in the Fast Nine Shootout was 231.067 mph. Team Penske driver Will Power qualified third, and will join Carpenter and Hinchcliffe on the front row for the 98th running of the Indianapolis 500.
Before the Pole was decided, positions 10-33 had to be set. The three fastest drivers during that qualifying session (Juan Montoya, Scott Dixon, Kurt Busch) will make up Row 4 in next Sunday’s race. Busch is the highest starting Rookie in the field this year. Defending Indy 500 Champion Tony Kanaan will start in 16th position, on the inside of Row 6.
Six of the 24 qualifiers for positions 10-33 had four-lap averages over 230 mph. Row 11 has both the oldest (Lazier, 46) and youngest (Karam, 19) drivers in the field. The difference between the first and last starting positions is just 2.1509 seconds, which is the closest gap in the history of the Indianapolis 500.
With the field of 33 cars set for the race, teams and drivers will have one more full day of practice before Carb Day. The scheduled practice will run from Noon until 6 PM tomorrow.
Below you can watch highlights from Pole Day, courtesy of IndyCar.