INDIANAPOLIS – While mother nature didn’t initially want to cooperate with us on Sunday from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, we were still able to be treated with DRAMA this afternoon. Despite a 4 1/2 hour rain delay, both the Last Row Shootout as well as the Fast Nine Shootout were able to be run to completion.
Both were exhilarating sessions.
In terms of the pole, Simon Pagenaud moved to being P3 on Saturday to the top spot on Sunday as he earned the pole for next Sunday’s 103rd Running of the Indianapolis 500 (11 a.m. ET/NBC/INDYCAR Radio Network). Pagenaud, turned in a four lap average of 229.992 mph in his No. 22 Chevrolet to become the first Frenchman to start on the pole for the ‘500 since 1919.
Overall, it was Pagenaud’s 11th career pole and first since Toronto in July 2017. It was also Team Penske’s 18th career Indy 500 pole and first since 2012.
Pagenaud, has now started in the top 10 at Indy in five of his last six tries. He enters the race hot as he won the INDYCAR Grand Prix last Saturday as well.
Ed Carpenter will start second in his No. 20 Chevrolet. The Indiana native circled the famed 2.5-mile track with a four-lap average of 229.889 mph. Coincidentally enough, Carpenter and Pagenaud started in the top two last year just in the opposite order.
The fastest driver of the day on Saturday ended up P3 on Sunday with Spencer Pigot qualifying at 229.826 mph in his No. 21 Chevrolet. Pigot, was doing his best rain dance but mother nature won out. While he didn’t earn his first pole since 2015, he did earn his first career Indy Car Series pole.
Ed Jones will roll off fourth in his No. 63 Chevrolet. Jones, turned in a four lap average of 229.646 mph. Rookie Colton Herta (229.086 mph) will start fifth while Will Power dropped from second to sixth in turning in a four-lap average of 228.645 mph. While Power didn’t earn his fourth front row start in six years, he did earn his 11th straight top nine starting spot in this big event.
Sebastien Bourdais (228.621 mph), Josef Newgarden (228.396 mph) and Alexander Rossi (228.247 mph) rounded out the Fast Nine session. .
Out of the first 4 Rows for next Sunday’s race, Penske, ECR and Andretti have 11 of the top 12 starting spots. The only one not of those teams or to have an alliance with them is Bourdais.
103rd Running Of The Indianapolis 500 Starting Lineup
Row 1: Simon Pagenaud, Ed Carpenter, Spencer Pigot
Row 2: Ed Jones, Colton Herta R, Will Power
Row 3: Sebastien Bourdais, Josef Newgarden, Alexander Rossi
Row 4: Marco Andretti, Conor Daly, Helio Castroneves
Row 5: Marcus Ericsson R, Takuma Sato, James Davison
Row 6: Tony Kanaan, Graham Rahal, Scott Dixon
Row 7: Oriol Servia, Charlie Kimball, JR Hildebrand
Row 8: Ryan Hunter-Reay, Santino Ferrucci R, Matheus Leist
Row 9: Jack Harvey, Jordan King R, Ben Hanley R
Row 10: Zach Veach, Felix Rosenqvist R, Pippa Mann
Row 11: Sage Karam, James Hinchcliffe, Kyle Kaiser
Patricio O’Ward, Max Chilton, Sage Karam, James Hinchcliffe, Fernando Alonso, Kyle Kaise