Indy 500 qualifying: Penske fastest, Hinchcliffe bumped from field

Penske and Ed Carpenter Racing led a Chevrolet-dominated 'Fast Nine' Indianapolis 500 qualifying, while 2016 polesitter James Hinchcliffe was a high-profile victim of bumping and will not start the race

Indy 500 qualifying: Penske fastest, Hinchcliffe bumped from field

A disrupted morning of testing thanks to two rain delays put pressure on the IndyCar field, but it produced a relatively settled Fast Nine compared to the bumping at the other end of the field.

Penske's Helio Castroneves was able to set his benchmark average speed of 228.919mph early in the session before rain and an increase in humidity slowed the track down.

His lap speed was not threatened until the final driver, Ed Carpenter, headed out for his opening four-lap qualifying run.

The Ed Carpenter Racing boss looked set to take the fastest time after a first lap of 229.266mph, but fell away and ended up second with a 228.692mph average.

That meant he split the leading Penske drivers, who backed up the underlying pace the team showed in this week's practice.

Simon Pagenaud was third with the benefit of being the last driver to run before the first rain delay.

That meant Will Power, who had continually been the fastest driver without a tow this week, could only go fourth.

Dale Coyne Racing's Sebastien Bourdais was one of only two Honda-powered drivers to make the Fast Nine in fifth, with Chip Ganassi Racing's Scott Dixon eighth.

Reigning champion Josef Newgarden was the final Penske runner in seventh.

Danica Patrick was the last driver to secure a place in the Fast Nine ahead of the final race of her career.

She had to survive an attempt from Andretti's Alexander Rossi in the final moments, but his final lap left him less than a tenth of a mile an hour short of making the cut.

There was similar and more intense drama at the other end of the field to make the 33-car cut, as Dale Coyne Racing's duo Pippa Mann and Conor Daly traded laps with Oriol Servia.

That dragged Schmidt Peterson Motorsports driver Hinchcliffe (pictured above) into the fray, Hinchcliffe having been the first competitor to run after the second rain delay.

Servia's first attempt was botched when rain arrived, and he visibly battled with the balance of his car on his second run.

But his third attempt was enough to elevate him to 31st and out of trouble, while Daly's third run elevated him to 32nd after struggling throughout the week following a late build of his car.

That left AJ Foyt Racing's James Davison on the bubble in 33rd, but repeated attempts from Mann never put her in contention to make the race.

Hinchcliffe's agonising fate was sealed when his second run was ruined by a vibration that forced him to abort that attempt.

He then became stuck waiting for Mann's third run to end, and the clock ticked down before he could take to the track - eliminating him from qualifying.

The grid positions for the 102nd Indy 500 will be set in Sunday's second qualifying session.

Saturday qualifying times

Pos Driver Team Car Speed Gap
1 Helio Castroneves Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet 228.919 2m37.2607s
2 Ed Carpenter Ed Carpenter Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 228.692 0.1560s
3 Simon Pagenaud Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet 228.304 0.4238s
4 Will Power Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet 228.194 0.4997s
5 Sebastien Bourdais Dale Coyne Racing Dallara/Honda 228.090 0.5715s
6 Spencer Pigot Ed Carpenter Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 228.052 0.5981s
7 Josef Newgarden Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet 228.049 0.6001s
8 Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Honda 227.782 0.7850s
9 Danica Patrick Ed Carpenter Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 227.610 0.9047s
10 Alexander Rossi Andretti Autosport Dallara/Honda 227.561 0.9389s
11 Tony Kanaan AJ Foyt Enterprises Dallara/Chevrolet 227.508 0.9756s
12 Matheus Leist AJ Foyt Enterprises Dallara/Chevrolet 227.441 1.0219s
13 Ed Jones Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Honda 226.995 1.3334s
14 Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport Dallara/Honda 226.952 1.3631s
15 Carlos Munoz Andretti Autosport Dallara/Honda 226.600 1.6095s
16 J.R. Hildebrand Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 226.499 1.6802s
17 Marco Andretti Andretti Herta Dallara/Honda 226.154 1.9230s
18 Jay Howard Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Dallara/Honda 226.098 1.9626s
19 Sage Karam Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 226.065 1.9852s
20 Robert Wickens Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Dallara/Honda 225.955 2.0634s
21 Kyle Kaiser Juncos Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 225.934 2.0781s
22 Stefan Wilson Andretti Autosport Dallara/Honda 225.909 2.0954s
23 Gabby Chaves Harding Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 225.808 2.1666s
24 Zach Veach Andretti Autosport Dallara/Honda 225.805 2.1691s
25 Charlie Kimball Carlin Dallara/Chevrolet 225.752 2.2066s
26 Zachary Claman Dale Coyne Racing Dallara/Honda 225.722 2.2274s
27 Jack Harvey Michael Shank Racing Dallara/Honda 225.720 2.2287s
28 Max Chilton Carlin Dallara/Chevrolet 225.666 2.2668s
29 Takuma Sato Rahal Letterman Lanigan Dallara/Honda 225.513 2.3755s
30 Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Dallara/Honda 225.407 2.4507s
31 Oriol Servia Scuderia Corsa Dallara/Honda 225.007 2.7346s
32 Conor Daly Dale Coyne Racing Dallara/Honda 224.874 2.8290s
33 James Davison AJ Foyt Enterprises Dallara/Chevrolet 224.798 2.8832s
34 James Hinchcliffe Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Dallara/Honda 224.784 2.8934s
35 Pippa Mann Dale Coyne Racing Dallara/Honda 224.360 3.1958s


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Series IndyCar
Drivers James Hinchcliffe
Teams Team Penske
Author Tom Errington
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