James Hinchcliffe on the Pole for the 100th Indy 500
Sunday, James Hinchcliffe out in a pole-winning performance at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, a 4-lap qualifying average of 230.760 mph.
The Indy 500 pole was Mr. Hinchcliffe’s 1st in the IndyCar Series.
His run was just enough to beat Josef Newgarden, whose average was 230.700 mph.
Ryan Hunter-Reay secured the # 3 grid spot for the 100th 500, and he ran 230.648 mph.
Mr. Hinchcliffe gave Schmidt Peterson Motorsports its 2nd pole since Y 2011, but it was the ultimate comeback for the Canadian driver, who a year ago needed emergency surgery to stop the massive blood loss in his upper left thigh. A suspension piece pierced him in a Turn 3 crash. It might have killed him.
This year there will not be a Team Penske on the front row for the 1st time in 3 years. Will Power, Helio Castroneves and Simon Pagenaud were all in the Fast Nine, but each failed to match the speed they posted in the Saturday qualifiers.
The defending Indy 500 champion, Juan Pablo Montoya, nearly had to start the race from the last row after the front of his car struck a piece trash at the north end of the track. Mr. Montoya said the debris was in the infield grass on his 1st two laps before floating on to the race course.
Hitting it with the front wing nearly caused Montoya to crash. “It scared the hell out of me,” he said. IndyCar officials took responsibility for the debris on the track and permitted him a second attempt.
Then Mr. Montoya delivered a 4-lap average of 227.684 mph, which settled him in the 17th position on the grid, 2 places ahead of where he started last year.
Alex Tagliani’s 1st qualifying lap ended with a slide 1st to the outside wall, then down the front straightaway. The Y 2011 pole winner might have escaped without contact, but the antenuator at pit entry caught the nose of the AJ Foyt Racing racer, sending it a rapid spin. Mr. Tagliani was not injured.
Oriol Servia had the fastest run of the 1st round, earning him the 10th starting position. He will be joined on that row by the highest-qualifying rookie, Alexander Rossi of Andretti Autosport.
Scott Dixon, the Y 2008 race winner and last year’s pole sitter, will start 13th because his crew delivered a magnificent job of changing a Chevrolet engine in not much more than an hour, 50% of the normal time. Mr. Dixon’s car lost an engine late in the practice leaving the team little time to present the car for technical inspection. The Chip Ganassi Racing crew made it by less than 1 min.
The back row will include Jack Hawksworth, the Y 1996 Indy 500 winner Buddy Lazier, Mr. Lazier’s last 4 starts in this race have come from the 32nd, 32nd, 33rd and 32nd positions. But he is back, maybe this time he will make the podium.
The line up for the Indy 500 race. Stay tuned…
|1||5||JAMES HINCHCLIFFE||HONDA||SCHMIDT PETERSON MOTORSPORTS||230.76|
|2||21||Josef Newgaraden||Chevrolet||Ed Carpenter Racing||230.7|
|3||28||Ryan Hunter-Reay||Honda||Andretti Autosport||230.648|
|4||29||Townsend Bell||Honda||Andretti Autosport||230.481|
|5||26||Carlos Munoz||Honda||Andretti Autosport||230.287|
|6||12||Will Power||Chevrolet||Team Penske||229.669|
|7||7||Mikhail Aleshin||Honda||Schmidt Peterson Motorsports||229.562|
|8||22||Simon Pagenaud||Chevrolet||Team Penske||229.139|
|9||3||Helio Castroneves||Chevrolet||Team Penske||229.115|
|10||77||Oriol Servia||Honda||Schmidt Peterson Motorsports||229.06|
|11||98||Alexander Rossi||Honda||Andretti Autosport||228.473|
|12||14||Takuma Sato||Honda||A.J. Foyt Enterprises||228.029|
|13||9||Scott Dixon||Chevrolet||Chip Ganassi Racing||227.991|
|14||27||Marco Andretti||Honda||Andretti Autosport||227.969|
|15||6||JR Hildebrand||Chevrolet||Ed Carpenter Racing||227.876|
|16||42||Charlie Kimball||Chevrolet||Chip Ganassi Racing||227.822|
|17||2||Juan Pablo Montoya||Chevrolet||Team Penske||227.684|
|18||10||Tony Kanaan||Chevrolet||Chip Ganassi Racing||227.43|
|19||11||Sebastien Bourdais||Chevrolet||KVSH Racing||227.428|
|20||20||Ed Carpenter||Chevrolet||Ed Carpenter Racing||227.226|
|21||19||Gabby Chaves||Honda||Dale Coyne Racing||227.192|
|22||8||Max Chilton||Chevrolet||Chip Ganassi Racing||226.686|
|23||24||Sage Karam||Chevrolet||DFR-Kingdom Racing||226.436|
|24||18||Conor Daly||Honda||Dale Coyne Racing||226.312|
|25||63||Pippa Mann||Honda||Dale Coyne Racing||226.006|
|26||15||Graham Rahal||Honda||Rahal Letterman Lanigan||225.847|
|27||61||Matt Brabham||Chevrolet||PIRTEK Team Murray||225.727|
|28||88||Bryan Clauson||Honda||Dale Coyne/Jonathan Byrd||225.266|
|29||16||Spencer Pigot||Honda||Rahal Letterman Lanigan||224.847|
|30||25||Stefan Wilson||Chevrolet||KV Racing Technology||224.602|
|31||41||Jack Hawksworth||Honda||A.J. Foyt Enterprises||224.596|
|32||4||Buddy Lazier||Chevrolet||Lazier/Burns Racing||222.154|
|33||35||Alex Tagliani||Honda||A.J. Foyt Enterprises||No speed|