Indy 500 qualifying: Ed Carpenter beats Penske drivers to 2018 pole

Ed Carpenter seized pole position for the 2018 Indianapolis 500 as the only driver to hit the 230mph mark in qualifying, denying Penske a front row lockout

Indy 500 qualifying: Ed Carpenter beats Penske drivers to 2018 pole

ECR and Penske locked out seven of the 'Fast Nine' places, with Helio Castroneves and Carpenter having gone head-to-head on Saturday.

But in qualifying proper, no Penske driver could match Carpenter - whose first three laps on his four-lap run proved to be faster than any of second-placed qualifier Simon Pagenaud's.

Carpenter's 229.618mph average ended up almost 1mph faster than Pagenaud's 228.761mph benchmark as the ECR boss took his third Indy 500 pole.

Pagenaud headed his team-mates Will Power and Josef Newgarden.

Third-placed Power believed he added too much downforce to his car, having been consistently the fastest driver without a tow in the build-up to qualifying.

Sebastien Bourdais put his Dale Coyne Racing-run car fifth and the highest-placed Honda runner despite a costly lift into Turn 1.

ECR's Spencer Pigot was sixth ahead of team-mate Danica Patrick, who also made a slight error through Turn 1, while fourth Penske driver Helio Castroneves could only average 227.859mph after feeling his car was loose throughout his run.

That put him comfortably behind Patrick in eighth and ahead of Chip Ganassi Racing's Scott Dixon.

AJ Foyt Racing locked out two spots on the fourth row, with Tony Kanaan beating impressive rookie team-mate Matheus Leist to 10th in the earlier qualifying session. The team had been the fastest without a tow in the morning's practice session.

Honda outfit Andretti had looked close to the Chevrolet-powered Foyt outfit, with Marco Andretti qualifying 12th, but its six cars experienced varying fortunes in the session.

Alexander Rossi had been a match for team-mate Andretti after his first two laps, but a 2mph drop off on his last lap dropped him down to 32nd - just a day after he narrowly missed out on a Fast Nine spot.

That meant one-time Indy 500 winner Ryan Hunter-Reay was the second-best Andretti qualifier in 14th after an overly aggressive final lap cost him.

Carlos Munoz, Stefan Wilson and Zach Veach joined Rossi in qualifying outside the top 20.

Ganassi's Ed Jones almost crashed on his qualifying run, as balance struggles meant he was loose in corner entry and understeering on exit, and was limited to 29th.

Defending Indy 500 winner Takuma Sato was 16th, but Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing still struggled across its three cars as Graham Rahal - running exactly the same set-up as his team-mate - was only 30th and confused about why he was so much slower.

The third car of Oriol Servia, run through a partnership with IMSA SportsCar Championship team Scuderia Corsa, qualified 26th.

Schmidt Peterson Motorsports's Robert Wickens was baffled by a 2mph loss of pace between practice and qualifying as he secured 18th for the race.

Carlin's first Indy 500 will start with both cars in the top 20 as Charlie Kimball secured 15th and Max Chilton took 20th.

Qualifying result

Pos Driver Team Car Speed Gap
1 Ed Carpenter Ed Carpenter Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 229.618 2m36.7818s
2 Simon Pagenaud Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet 228.761 0.5878s
3 Will Power Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet 228.607 0.6939s
4 Josef Newgarden Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet 228.405 0.8333s
5 Sebastien Bourdais Dale Coyne Racing Dallara/Honda 228.142 1.0147s
6 Spencer Pigot Ed Carpenter Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 228.107 1.0390s
7 Danica Patrick Ed Carpenter Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 228.090 1.0508s
8 Helio Castroneves Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet 227.859 1.2106s
9 Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Honda 227.262 1.6258s
10 Tony Kanaan AJ Foyt Enterprises Dallara/Chevrolet 227.664 1.3460s
11 Matheus Leist AJ Foyt Enterprises Dallara/Chevrolet 227.571 1.4104s
12 Marco Andretti Andretti Herta Dallara/Honda 227.288 1.6076s
13 Zachary Claman Dale Coyne Racing Dallara/Honda 226.999 1.8090s
14 Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport Dallara/Honda 226.788 1.9571s
15 Charlie Kimball Carlin Dallara/Chevrolet 226.657 2.0486s
16 Takuma Sato Rahal Letterman Lanigan Dallara/Honda 226.557 2.1185s
17 Kyle Kaiser Juncos Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 226.398 2.2301s
18 Robert Wickens Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Dallara/Honda 226.296 2.3017s
19 James Davison AJ Foyt Enterprises Dallara/Chevrolet 226.255 2.3310s
20 Max Chilton Carlin Dallara/Chevrolet 226.212 2.3612s
21 Carlos Munoz Andretti Autosport Dallara/Honda 226.048 2.4767s
22 Gabby Chaves Harding Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 226.007 2.5056s
23 Stefan Wilson Andretti Autosport Dallara/Honda 225.863 2.6071s
24 Sage Karam Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 225.823 2.6353s
25 Zach Veach Andretti Autosport Dallara/Honda 225.748 2.6878s
26 Oriol Servia Scuderia Corsa Dallara/Honda 225.699 2.7226s
27 J.R. Hildebrand Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 225.418 2.9214s
28 Jay Howard Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Dallara/Honda 225.388 2.9427s
29 Ed Jones Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Honda 225.362 2.9615s
30 Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Dallara/Honda 225.327 2.9861s
31 Jack Harvey Michael Shank Racing Dallara/Honda 225.254 3.0375s
32 Alexander Rossi Andretti Autosport Dallara/Honda 224.935 3.2644s
33 Conor Daly Dale Coyne Racing Dallara/Honda 224.429 3.6255s


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