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Indy 500: Ed Carpenter claims surprise pole

Ed Carpenter takes 2013 Indianapolis 500 poleEd 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
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