Indy 500: Ed Carpenter claims surprise pole
|By Mark Glendenning||Saturday, May 18th 2013, 23:31 GMT|
Ed Carpenter emerged as the surprise winner in the battle for pole position for next weekend's Indianapolis 500.
IndyCar's only full-time owner/driver had ended the initial qualifying session with the fifth-fastest time, and strung together a sequence of four laps at 229.347mph, 228.976mph, 228.774mph and 227.955mph laps to finish up with an average of 228.762mph."I wasn't sure we'd be able to do a 229, and we did two of them, and that was the key in the shootout," said Carpenter, whose only other career pole was at Kentucky in 2010.
"I knew we had a shot at it, but the field is so tight that I wouldn't have been surprised if we were outside the top 10, too.
"This is a good start. I want to make sure we keep the team focused. I hope this is part one of a really magical month, and we're here for race day.
"This is awesome and it's bigger than our wins and it's huge for the team. It's definitely a landmark day, but I don't want to get overly focused on this because we have a lot of work to do yet."
The upsets continued when Andretti Autosport rookie Carlos Munoz secured second on the grid with a 228.342mph average, with team-mate Marco Andretti completing the front row courtesy of his 228.261mph effort.
"I don't have too many words to describe how happy I am," said Munoz, who will do double-duty in the Indy Lights race.
"[I'm] just a rookie; to be in the front row [is] just a dream. I was happy with the car in the first qualifying, but we did a couple of changes and it worked out."
All of the favourites struggled in the final shootout.
Will Power, who had topped opening qualifying, started strongly with a 229.119mph opening lap, but fell away over the remainder of his run and was left on the outside of the second row in sixth with an average of 228.087mph.
Reigning series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay dropped from second-fastest in opening qualifying to seventh, leaving him just ahead of Helio Castroneves, who will start from eighth.
Pos Driver Team/Car Speed 1. Ed Carpenter Carpenter/Chevy 228.762 2. Carlos Munoz Andretti/Chevy 228.342 3. Marco Andretti Andretti/Chevy 228.261 4. EJ Viso Andretti/Chevy 228.150 5. AJ Allmendinger Penske/Chevy 228.099 6. Will Power Penske/Chevy 228.087 7. Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti/Chevy 227.904 8. Helio Castroneves Penske/Chevy 227.762 9. James Hinchcliffe Andretti/Chevy 227.070 10. JR Hildebrand Panther/Chevy 227.441 11. Alex Tagliani Herta/Honda 227.386 12. Tony Kanaan KV/Chevy 226.949 13. Oriol Servia Panther DRR/Chevy 226.814 14. Justin Wilson Coyne/Honda 226.370 15. Sebastien Bourdais Dragon/Chevy 226.196 16. Scott Dixon Ganassi/Honda 226.158 17. Dario Franchitti Ganassi/Honda 226.069 18. Takuma Sato Foyt/Honda 225.892 19. Charlie Kimball Ganassi/Honda 225.880 20. James Jakes Rahal/Honda 225.809 21. Simon Pagenaud Schmidt/Honda 225.674 22. Townsend Bell Panther/Chevy 225.643 23. Ryan Briscoe Ganassi/Honda 225.265 24. Simona de Silvestro KV/Chevy 225.226 Positions 1-9 set in Fast Nine Positions 10-24 set earlier on Pole Day Positions 25-33 to be decided on Bump Day