Andretti beats Dixon to claim 2020 Indy 500 pole position

Marco Andretti denied Scott Dixon pole position for the 2020 Indianapolis 500 with the last run of Fast Nine qualifying - taking the squad's first pole for the race since 2005

Andretti beats Dixon to claim 2020 Indy 500 pole position

Andretti, who had finished the first day of qualifying on Saturday fastest, was the last driver in the Fast Nine to make his sole four-lap run around the 2.5-mile oval, needing to beat Dixon's 231.051mph average to take pole for next Sunday's race.

The #98 Honda powered machine matched Dixon, with the first two laps being in the 231mph range, but Dixon's third lap being slightly faster than Andretti's effort.

On the final lap of Andretti's run, he pulled out 0.195mph on Dixon to snatch pole by just 0.017mph and give the Andretti family its first since Marco's grandfather, 1969 winner Mario, took his third pole in 1987.

Dixon, whose #9 Chip Ganassi machine was significantly more trimmed out than his rivals, was the fifth driver to run and the only other driver besides Andretti to break the 231mph average over the four laps.

They will be joined on the outside of the front-row by 2017 race winner Takuma Sato - whose consistent run brought the Rahal Letterman Lanningan Racing ace an average of 230.725mph.

Rinus Veekay was the only Chevrolet driver to make it through to the Fast Nine and the rookie will start the 104th running of the race in fourth place - just narrowly failing to pip Sato's average.

The Ed Carpenter Racing driver clocked 230.704mph across his run - two-tenths of a mile an hour slower than former Formula 1 driver Sato.

The other Andretti Autosport drivers all struggled to match Andretti's blistering pace - Ryan Hunter-Reay placing the best of the other three drivers.

The 2014 winner said he, James Hinchcliffe and Alexander Rossi all went "too skimpy" on downforce and were "sliding all over the place" throughout their runs, although the 2012 series champion did salvage a place in the middle of the second row, with 2016 polesitter Hinchcliffe in sixth.

Ex-Formula 2 driver Alex Palou set the single fastest lap across the Fast Nine session with 231.901mph on his first lap, but struggled to maintain that pace throughout the remainder of his run to see the Dale Coyne Racing driver dropping off to claim seventh place.

Graham Rahal was unable to match the consistency of team-mate Sato and qualified in eighth place, ahead of 2016 winner Rossi, who could only put in a single lap above the 230mph barrier, handing him a berth on the outside of the third row.

2020 Indianapolis 500 - Fast Nine Qualifying

Pos Driver Team Speed
1 Marco Andretti Andretti Autosport 231.068
2 Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing 231.051
3 Takuma Sato Rahal Letterman Lanigan 230.725
4 Rinus Van Kalmthout Ed Carpenter Racing 230.704
5 Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport 230.648
6 James Hinchcliffe Andretti Autosport 229.870
7 Alex Palou Dale Coyne Racing 229.676
8 Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan 229.380
9 Alexander Rossi Andretti Autosport 229.234


shares
comments
Autosport 70: How an F1 champion conquered Indycar

Previous article

Autosport 70: How an F1 champion conquered Indycar

Next article

Indianapolis 500 polesitter Andretti holds top spot in Sunday practice

Indianapolis 500 polesitter Andretti holds top spot in Sunday practice
Load comments

About this article

Series IndyCar
Drivers Marco Andretti , Scott Dixon
Author Jake Nichol
How McLaren is striving towards IndyCar's elite Plus

How McLaren is striving towards IndyCar's elite

The second year of McLaren's full-time IndyCar return is looming, with Patricio O'Ward and Felix Rosenqvist leading its line-up. Strong team personnel and work behind the scenes means that 2021 could be the year it joins the established elite

IndyCar
Feb 21, 2021
The enigmatic legacy of a misunderstood Indy stalwart Plus

The enigmatic legacy of a misunderstood Indy stalwart

Flashes of brilliance amid spells of obscurity have been too common for Marco Andretti. While the third-generation racer has opted to bring his full-time IndyCar career to a close, his peaks and troughs have never been for want of trying

IndyCar
Jan 20, 2021
Why American racing's top dog is without equal Plus

Why American racing's top dog is without equal

A byword for success in business and in motorsport for over 50 years, Roger Penske's importance to the US scene cannot be understated. In an exclusive interview, the custodian of the IndyCar Series and Indianapolis Motor Speedway reflects on his journey

IndyCar
Jan 11, 2021
The McLaren that rendered its Indy rivals obsolete Plus

The McLaren that rendered its Indy rivals obsolete

When founder Bruce McLaren died in June 1970, his team could have folded. Instead, his loyal band rallied to produce a string of winners - including an Indycar game-changer that won its third Indianapolis 500 five years after its debut

IndyCar
Dec 22, 2020
Why Newgarden's best IndyCar season yet wasn't enough Plus

Why Newgarden's best IndyCar season yet wasn't enough

Josef Newgarden feels he didn't put a foot wrong in 2020, yet his finest season-long run of performances failed to yield a third series championship. But in a warning shot to Scott Dixon, Team Penske's team leader has vowed to redouble his efforts in 2021

IndyCar
Dec 21, 2020
How Dixon held on in IndyCar's most unpredictable season Plus

How Dixon held on in IndyCar's most unpredictable season

Three wins on the trot gave the Chip Ganassi Racing superstar the cushion he needed to hang on for a sixth title in the face of Josef Newgarden's late challenge. Here's the rundown of a typically frantic IndyCar campaign in an extraordinary year

IndyCar
Nov 28, 2020
The balancing act required for improving racing at Indy Plus

The balancing act required for improving racing at Indy

Calls for an improvement in the racing spectacle at the Indianapolis 500 have been met with small aerodynamic tweaks from IndyCar on superspeedways. But where such high speeds are involved, even minor adjustments require significant planning

IndyCar
Oct 31, 2020
The departing IndyCar hero who can't let go Plus

The departing IndyCar hero who can't let go

He's an IndyCar champion and an Indianapolis 500 winner, but there's more to Tony Kanaan's legacy than sheer numbers according some key rivals, team-mates and friends from his 20-year top-flight US open-wheel career

IndyCar
Oct 4, 2020