James Hinchcliffe on the Pole for the 100th Indy 500

James Hinchcliffe on the Pole for the 100th Indy 500

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…

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



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