Scott Dixon will lead the nine-car field in tomorrow’s pole position shootout for the Indy 500 after setting the quickest lap in today’s qualifying session.
The Kiwi edged Colton Herta to the top spot in his first run, posting an electric 231.828mph four-lap average in the morning.
“It was a fairly smooth run,” Dixon said. “I made a mistake on lap two, which probably cost us a tenth or two from the average.”
Once everyone of the 35 cars had set their first runs, there were three hours of running for drivers to try and improve positions.
However, the warm conditions of the afternoon were a vast contrast to the cool temperatures of the morning, and there was little improvement among the field.
Joining Dixon in the Fast Nine were Chip Ganassi Racing stablemates Tony Kanaan, Marcus Ericsson and Alex Palou.
Palau suffered a hefty crash at turn two on his second run in search of improvement and the team are now racing the clock to have him ready for tomorrow’s shootout.
“I was pushing trying to be faster and lost the rear on entry,” Palou said.
“It’s going to be a long night. Really sorry for the team, and I lost it.”
Honda were again the dominant force of the day, with only two Chevrolet-driven cars in the top nine.
Those cars were Ed Carpenter Racing duo Ed Carpenter and Rinus Veekay.
- 1 Dixon
- 2 Herta
- 3 Kanaan
- 4 Carpenter
- 5 VeeKay
- 6 Castroneves
- 7 Palou
- 8 Ryan Hunter-Reay
- 9 Marcus Ericsson
While the first three rows remain provisional, the session did set the order for starting places 10 through to 30.
Alexander Rossi narrowly missed out on the top nine will start 10th, ahead of late improver Ed Jones.
Scott McLaughlin will start his debut Indy 500 from 17th, with the New Zealander running as high as 12th after his initial four-lap run.
McLaughlin ended up as the highest-ranked Penske machine as the powerhouse team battled to land a competitive starting position.
The team’s woes are highlighted by Will Power remaining unqualified and will have to battle it out in tomorrow’s bump-day to secure a spot in the 33-car grid.
Power looked to be en route to secure a spot in the lower eaches of the grid on his final run, but a lacklustre final lap meant his four-lap average was not enough and he ended up 32nd.
Simona De Silvestro’s return to the Indy 500 is also in jeopardy of not happening with the former Supercars driver another one in the bottom five cars that will do battle in tomorrow’s Last Chance session.
- De Silvestro
|24||Juan Pablo Montoya|
|34||Simona De Silvestro|