(Courtesy of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway)
INDIANAPOLIS – After a Indianapolis 500 pole day filled with drama for teams Ed Carpenter found himself celebrating with the Verizon P1 Award
The lone team owner/driver in the IZOD IndyCar Series recorded a blistering four-lap average speed of 228.762 mph (best lap of 229.347 mph; 39.2418 seconds) in the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka Chevrolet. The one-car team bested the best of Team Penske and Andretti Autosport in the shootout to claim a $100,000 bonus and 15 precious IZOD IndyCar Series championship points.
Carpenter’s previous best start at the Speedway was eighth in 2010 and ’11; his best finish is fifth after starting 10th in 2008. His pole speed was the fastest since Sam Hornish Jr. (228.985 mph) in 2006 for Team Penske. Hornish, the last American to win the Indianapolis 500 pole, went on to win the race.
Rookie Carlos Munoz earned a front-row start and $50,000 of the Verizon Front Row Awards for second (228.342) — .2892 of a second off Carpenter’s aggregate four-lap time — and Marco Andretti was awarded a $40,000 bonus for qualifying third (228.261). It’s Andretti’s best start in eight attempts at the Speedway.
Munoz, 21, is seeking to match Juan Pablo Montoya as an Indianapolis 500 winner from Colombia. Montoya also started second – as a rookie — in his 2000 victory. He was the last first-year front-row starter.
E.J. Viso (228.150), first-year Indy 500 competitor AJ Allmendinger (228.099) and Team Penske teammate Will Power (228.087) will start on Row 2 for the 200-lap race May 26. Reigning IZOD IndyCar Series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay (227.904) will join three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves (227.762) and James Hinchcliffe (227.070) on Row 3.
Positions 25-33 will be set through four-lap qualifications May 19 on Old National Armed Forces Bump Day.
There will be at least one bump in determining the 33-car field as Schmidt Peterson Pelfrey entered the No. 81 Angie’s List Honda-powered car to be driven by Katherine Legge. She’s expected to participate in the 9-10 a.m. (ET) practice session and make at least one qualifying attempt later in the day. Each entrant is allowed three qualifying attempts as time permits.
In addition to Legge, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing teammates Graham Rahal and Michel Jourdain Jr., rookies Tristan Vautier and Conor Daly, Ana Beatriz, Buddy Lazier, Pippa Mann, Josef Newgarden and Sebastian Saavedra will attempt to qualify.