A year ago today Hinchcliffe was in the hospital, today he won an emotional pole position for 100th Indianapolis 500

04CJ4810James Hinchcliffe after qualifying P1 for the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500. — Photo by: Chris Jones

INDIANAPOLIS (Sunday, May 22, 2016) – Drama, redemption, heartbreak, exuberance. Armed Forces Pole Day at Indianapolis Motor Speedway had it all as starting positions were set for the historic 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil.

James Hinchcliffe, who nearly lost his life at the same track a year ago in a crash during Indianapolis 500 practice, put together a scintillating four-lap run of 230.760 mph as the final driver of the day in the Fast Nine Shootout. It allowed the Canadian fan favorite to claim the Verizon P1 Award and $100,000 prize for earning the pole position and the right to lead the 33-car field to the green flag to start the epic race May 29.

Driving the No. 5 Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda, Hinchcliffe collected the first pole of his Verizon IndyCar Series career in what will be his 79th race, edging Josef Newgarden for the honor by a mere 0.0407 of a second over the 10-mile run.

“I came into this month hoping we’d have a new story to talk about after what happened last year and I think we did it,” an emotional Hinchcliffe said on pit lane. “I can’t believe it. I’m honestly at a loss for words, which everyone knows is rare for me.

04CJ0194James Hinchcliffe holding up the Verizon P1 award for the Indianapolis 500. — Photo by: Chris Jones

“The Arrow Electronics car was an absolute smoke show out there. It was right on the edge. (Lead engineer) Allen McDonald and all my engineers did such a great job, everybody at Schmidt Peterson Motorsports. Sam Schmidt and Ric Peterson put me in the car and gave me the car to do it. Three Schmidt Peterson cars (qualifying) in the top 10 is incredible.”

It is the first Indianapolis 500 pole position for manufacturer Honda in five years, also with Schmidt Peterson and then-driver Alex Tagliani, and first since Chevrolet re-entered the series as an engine manufacturer in 2012. It also ended Team Penske’s string of seven consecutive pole positions in all Verizon IndyCar Series races and is Honda’s first in series competition since the second race of the Houston doubleheader in June 2014, 31 races ago and again with Schmidt Peterson.

“It’s incredible. It’s five years to the day that we did this with Tagliani,” team co-owner Sam Schmidt said. “For the 100th running, we’ve put an effort into this since last September. It’s been an all-around team effort. Obviously, I can’t turn a wrench, but my god, the things that happened today!”

04CJ0218James Hinchcliffe holding up the Verizon Pole Award check. — Photo by: Chris Jones

Newgarden, in the No. 21 Preferred Freezer Chevrolet for Ed Carpenter Racing, was second with a run of 230.700 mph, with 2014 Indy 500 winner Ryan Hunter-Reay third at 230.648 in the No. 28 DHL Honda for Andretti Autosport.

“It was a tough pill to swallow,” Newgarden said. “I try to remind myself it’s not just about today’s battle, it’s about the war, and we’ve got to try and get that done next week in the 500. But it was still a lot of fun, just to be up there and have this opportunity to compete.”

The second row was filled by a pair of Andretti Autosport drivers, Townsend Bell (fourth) and Carlos Munoz (fifth), along with Team Penske’s Will Power (sixth). Qualifying in Row 3 were Hinchcliffe’s teammate Mikhail Aleshin (seventh) and a pair of Penske drivers, season points leader Simon Pagenaud (eighth) and three-time Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves (ninth).

In the qualifying session prior to the Fast Nine Shootout that set the 10th through 33rd starting positions, Oriol Servia rebounded from a disappointing effort Saturday to collect the fastest four-lap run of the group and earn the 10th spot with an average speed of 229.060 mph in the No. 77 Lucas Oil Special Honda for Schmidt Peterson with Marotti Racing.

Servia improved his lot 14 positions from first-day qualifications, but said it wasn’t easy.

“We struggled (Saturday). We have a very fast car, but we just couldn’t balance it for four laps,” said Servia, whose best finish in seven previous Indy 500 starts was fourth in 2012. “This morning, we put more downforce in it and we still couldn’t balance it. We couldn’t put four laps together. They were scratching their heads (and made changes) and it worked. I had a fantastic car for four laps.”

Scott Dixon, the 2015 Indy 500 pole sitter and reigning Verizon IndyCar Series champion, qualified 13th (227.991 mph) after his crew was forced to make an engine change in his No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet in just 64 minutes between practice and the qualifying session.

“We had an engine issue this morning and Team Target and the other CGR teams changed it all out and got us ready for qualifying in just over an hour,” Dixon said. “That is absolutely unheard of. This is truly why this is a team sport. I obviously didn’t pick up a wrench today and they probably liked it that way, knowing my mechanical skills.

“INDYCAR would not have let us in qualifying if we didn’t get the car ready in time and we would have started dead last. Given the situation and what we went through today as a team I’m pleased.”

Defending Indianapolis 500 champion Juan Pablo Montoya was permitted to make a second qualifying attempt today after running over a large plastic garbage bag on his first try. The driver of the No. 2 Verizon Team Penske Chevy will start 17th after a run of 227.684 mph.

“I saw (the bag) on the grass and I thought, ‘Ooh, that’s odd’ and when I came to Turn 3 it was in the middle of the groove,” Montoya said. “I had nowhere to go. I just hit it and lost all of the front air from under the car. It just went straight. I got on the brakes, trying not to hit the wall.

“Luckily, we got another run, but they didn’t let us check the car. I think the wing or something bent with the force of the bag.”

Tagliani will start the race 33rd after crashing his No. 35 Alfe Heat Treating Special Honda for AJ Foyt Racing as he exited Turn 4 to take the green flag for his qualifications attempt. Per Rule 8.4.4.5 of the rulebook, he will start at the rear of the field.

“It really caught me off guard because it really happened late into the corner, like almost at the exit of Turn 4,” Tagliani said. “I was really almost at the straightaway and that’s why I got caught because, normally when I get loose early on, I have a chance to catch it. It’s really unfortunate.”

The field of 33 for the 100th running features six former winners (Castroneves, Hunter-Reay, Dixon, Montoya, Tony Kanaan and Buddy Lazier) and five rookies (Matt Brabham, Max Chilton, Spencer Pigot, Alexander Rossi and Stefan Wilson)

Two more practice sessions are available to the Indy 500 competitors, from 12:30-4 p.m. ET Monday and the traditional Miller Lite Carb Day practice from 11 a.m.-noon Friday. The legendary 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 is set for May 29, with coverage beginning at 11 a.m. on ABC and the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network.

Team owner Schmidt tops 150 mph in SAM Project car laps

It was a completely satisfying day at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for Sam Schmidt. Not only did his car win the pole position for the 100th Indianapolis 500 with James Hinchcliffe, but Schmidt was able to do his own “qualification run” driving the Arrow Electronics Semi-Autonomous Motorcar (SAM) Project’s modified 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray earlier in the day.

Using his breathing and neck movements to drive the car, Schmidt – a quadriplegic due to an Indy car testing crash in 2000 at Walt Disney World Speedway – improved his pace each lap to reach trap speeds of more than 150 mph on the oval and averaged more than 105 for the four-lap run.

“It’s a full-circle moment for me,” Schmidt said after parking at the yard of bricks on pit road. “Sixteen years ago, I thought I’d never drive again. For me to come out in such a high-performance vehicle and go pretty darned fast, it was really cool. It’s something I’ll remember for the rest of my life.”

Schmidt controls the throttle and brakes with his breath, blowing through a tube to accelerate and sucking through it to brake, and turns the car with 3D camera glasses. As he turns his head, the steering wheel turns in the same direction.

Schmidt is aligned with Arrow Technologies – primary sponsor on Hinchcliffe’s pole-winning car – to work toward improving the lives of people with disabilities. Schmidt said Arrow undertook the SAM Project, modifying the Corvette to allow Schmidt to control it, to help people with disabilities and push the project forward at a rapid rate.

Schmidt first drove the SAM car at IMS in 2014. Since then, he has proven the technology’s abilities on the street course at Long Beach, Calif., the winding permanent road course at Sonoma, Calif., and the short oval at Phoenix.

“Arrow has a five-year-out initiative where they keep pushing things and seeing five years ahead, and what it’s capable of,” Schmidt said. “For everybody, their motto is ‘technology is there to improve people’s lives.’ For people with disabilities, that’s a greater impact. It’s fantastic to be a part of that.”

‘Quotes’ from Indianapolis 500 Qualifications Day 2

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA (No. 2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, 2015 Indianapolis 500 winner): “What can you do? We had a good run going and then I ran over the trash bag. They gave us another shot, but that’s not ideal. We came from the back of the pack last year. It’s a long race and all kinds of things happen. My Verizon Chevy team will be ready on race day.”

HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Pennzoil Team Penske Chevrolet): “In the end our Pennzoil Chevrolet had great balance but we didn’t have the speed to get us on the front row. You don’t need to be up front to win, thankfully. I’m looking forward to getting the Chevrolet where we need to be and focus on the race ahead.”

BUDDY LAZIER (No. 4 Lazier/Burns Racing Chevrolet): “It feels awesome to be here. As a driver, you want to get the most out of your stuff. We’re a small team and we’ve been getting better all the time. We just missed it a little there. We’ll get it right; we’re here to race next Sunday, that’s the main thing.”

JAMES HINCHCLIFFE (No. 5 Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda, 2016 Indianapolis 500 pole sitter): “I came into this month really hoping that we would have a new story to talk about after what happened last year (crash in practice) and I think we did it. I can’t believe it. Honestly, I’m kind of at a loss for words which, as you know, is rare for me. But the Arrow Electronics car was just an absolute smoke show out there. It was right on the edge. (Lead engineer) Allen McDonald, all my engineers, did such a great job. Everybody at Schmidt Peterson Motorsports. Sam Schmidt, Ric Peterson. These guys worked so hard. Three Schmidt Peterson Motorsports cars in the top 10, it’s incredible. Now we’ve got the best seat in the house for the start of the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500.” (What is like knowing you have a car to do it?): “It’s crazy. Obviously, this race always has more pressure than anywhere else and, it being the 100th, there’s a little more attention as well. Obviously, we’ve done something right as a team. It’s a long race. Ten miles is one thing. You’ve got to hold your breath for that whole thing. But 500 is a very different deal. You’ve got to be patient. You’ve got to breathe. You’ve got to know when to push and when to relax. At least we’ve got a good starting spot, the best starting spot and we can kind of go from there.” (About his parents): “A year ago, they came here for a very different reason. They were out of the country when I had my accident last year. I can’t imagine what that plane trip must have been like for them. Mom moved in on May 1. She said she wasn’t missing a single minute of on-track action just in case I tried to kill myself again and, luckily, that wasn’t the case. We’re here. These two have been everything in my life and my career. I couldn’t have done any of it without them.”

JR HILDEBRAND (No. 6 Preferred Freezer Fuzzy Vodka Chevrolet): “We went out when the conditions were pretty lousy. We knew that ahead of time so we wanted to make sure that we could get four good laps in and not be in a position where we’re fast but having a tricky time putting laps together. You saw a lot of guys do that this morning and in qualifying today. We ended up 15th, which I think we’re pretty pleased with. At this point, it’s really about the race. Anywhere that we were going to qualify today within reason was going to put us in a position to win next Sunday. Now we use what time we have left on track to get dialed-in in race trim.”

MAX CHILTON (No. 8 Gallagher Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet): “Yesterday I lost a little bit of confidence, but I was ready to go today in the Gallagher car. Just a phenomenal effort by the whole team to get another car prepared after the incident yesterday. We struggled a bit with the setup and I’m disappointed with the way qualifying ended up like this, but it’s over now and we’ll move forward. The team deserves all the credit for turning an entire car around in 12 hours and now we’re in and the 500 is all that counts.”

SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet, 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series champion): “We had an engine issue this morning and Team Target and the other CGR teams changed it all out and got us ready for qualifying in just over an hour. That is absolutely unheard of. This is truly why this is a team sport. I obviously didn’t pick up a wrench today and they probably liked it that way, knowing my mechanical skills. INDYCAR would not have let us in qualifying if we didn’t get the car ready in time and we would have started dead last. Given the situation and what we went through today as a team, I’m pleased.”

TONY KANAAN (No. 10 NTT Data Chevrolet): “Of course, I’m disappointed with our run today. We’ve struggled all week finding speed, but we thought we had the car to a point after this morning’s practice that we felt good about. It’s just been frustrating when you know you can be faster, but it just doesn’t come together. It is what is it is, though. We’ll just need to put this behind us and refocus on our race car. I’ve said it before, but I started further back in the field when I won in 2013 so no one should be writing us off yet.”

SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS (No. 11 Team Hydroxycut Chevrolet): “It was a solid qualifying run for the Hydroxycut – KVSH Racing Team. The only shame is that we were not geared up for the tailwind. We had a rescue plan for the wind which we used, but it definitely was not ideal for us. When you upshift twice and downshift twice a lap, it’s about a tenth of a mile per hour that goes away per shift. It’s a shame because we probably should have done a 228 (mph) flat if the conditions had been better. At least the laps were very consistent. Not quick enough, not where we want to be, but we did the best with what we had today and overall it was a good run.

WILL POWER (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): “Well, I just couldn’t get the Verizon Chevy up to speed. We were wide open all of the way around. The conditions were a little harder, so we added some downforce and, unfortunately, it just wasn’t fast enough. Despite that, I’m still proud of the Verizon Chevy team and very happy with the run and getting into the Fast Nine. It was fun to be there and now we’re looking forward to the race.”

TAKUMA SATO (No. 14 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Honda): “The 14 ABC Supply crew did a fantastic job after having had difficult days this week and difficult qualifying runs for the sister cars. We were all nervous about it, especially with the gusty winds. We performed very similar to what we had this morning, which was fantastic so the engineers and crew did a perfect job and gave me a fast car, a very fast car, so I was very happy.”

GRAHAM RAHAL (No. 15 Steak ‘n Shake Honda): “I have been chasing it all week, particularly in qualifying trim. It’s been frustrating obviously because the car has gone slower as the week has gone on and I’m not sure why that is. My race car is really good, this is just a qualifying-trim issue. We can’t put our finger on it so we’re going to have to go back and figure it out for next year. We wanted to qualify further up for the points. We’re going to lose 30-plus points to the lead group in the championship, which is frustrating because we were fifth in the points coming into qualifying. This is going to hurt us pretty bad, but what can we do? We’ve got to focus on next Sunday and try to get another Rahal in Victory Lane along with Steak ‘n Shake, PennGrade and all of our partners. We can win this thing. I started 29th and earned my best finish of third here. I’ve seen it all happen here. I’m not worried about the race.”

SPENCER PIGOT (No. 16 RLL/Mi-Jack/Manitowoc Honda): “The car was definitely very comfortable today. I think we put a little bit more downforce on expecting it to be hot, windy and kind of difficult like it was this morning, but it turned out to maybe be just a little bit too much. It was comfortably flat the whole time but that’s all right. The important thing is that we’re going to be racing in the Indy 500 and the car is in one piece, so a big thank you to everyone at the team. I think we have a good race car and we will put in a lot of laps in the next couple of days of practice to try and fine tune it.”

CONOR DALY (No. 18 ShirtsForAmerica Honda): “We’ve been struggling with the heat, as a group. It’s a shame, some people are dealing with the heat better than us and making it work, but we didn’t do it today so I’m disappointed. The conditions are unpredictable, the wind is so strong and it’s sketchy. For us, to pad that, you add downforce and that takes away speed. We have to work on our setup tomorrow and make it better, but that’s all right. I know our car is fast. We could do 228s yesterday but it just goes to show you that it’s all in the conditions. This place is really challenging.”

GABBY CHAVES (No. 19 Boy Scouts of America Honda): “I was a lot happier with the car balance today, we’re just lacking a little bit of speed after yesterday. In trying to get back to the right setup, we gave up a little bit on speed, but at least we have the car balance where we want it. I’m pretty confident that we’ll have a strong race car. I’m starting about nine positions better than I did last year and I was able to work my way into the top eight with only a few laps to go before suffering some damage to the car, so I expect to be able to overtake some cars, move my way forward and be there at the end. I’m just really happy to be here, and to have the opportunity to race in the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500, I can’t thank Dale Coyne Racing enough for giving me this chance.”

ED CARPENTER (No. 20 Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet): “I’ve got a great car. That’s as well of handling car as when I had the pole here. It just doesn’t want to go fast this week. We’ll hope for a little more speed next week but the handling is certainly there, so I think we’ll have what it takes to get to the front in the race. We’ll have to pass more cars and be a little more aggressive than what I had anticipated earlier in the race.”

JOSEF NEWGARDEN (No. 21 Preferred Freezer Chevrolet): “I got going up the gears; I went fifth, sixth on the frontstretch and it was just on the limiter and with this headwind normally you downshift on the backstretch. I was just holding six on the limiter all the way through Turn 2. I was like, ‘What is going on, this thing’s super quick!’ It’s the quickest the car’s been all month. It was a good time to peak. This is the pinnacle; this is the greatest event that you can be a part of in racing so it’s just cool to be here. I was so happy to see our speed on that first lap and I got really hopeful that it might be enough to hang on, but it wasn’t. I’m happy for James (Hinchcliffe). It was a great run by them and Schmidt Peterson Motorsports has done a fantastic job. We lost the battle today but I’m hoping we can win next weekend.”

SIMON PAGENAUD (No. 22 Menards Team Penske Chevrolet): “Well, we didn’t do as well as we would’ve liked. It was a little difficult being the first car out, but we ended up eighth and we’re happy with that. It’s actually a pretty good starting spot. We came here to win the race and that obviously is still our focus. I couldn’t be prouder of the whole Menards Chevrolet team. Everybody has worked so hard to give me a great car and I’m really excited for the race next week.”

SAGE KARAM (No. 24 Gas Monkey Energy Chevrolet): “We just had too much downforce in the car today. The cloud cover definitely cooled off the track surface and we just didn’t need that downforce. The car was so good yesterday that I thought we had a shot at 10th today. The track is changing every time you go out there. We thought we needed more downforce with the hotter track temperature and the temps down 10 degrees with the clouds. I wish we could have taken the wedges out of the car and put in some of the speed ramps. The weather was constantly changing and it just caught us out. The Gas Monkey Energy crew have been outstanding this week on setups for the race and I feel confident going into next Sunday. It’s not all about today. It’s about next Sunday. It would have made my job easier for the race if we could have qualified a bit better. It’s been nine months for me since my last race. It’s an incredible feeling to be back here at Indy. Anytime you are turning laps here it’s still a magical feeling. I can’t wait to back into Turn 1 with 32 other cars and make 200 laps again.”

STEFAN WILSON (No. 25 Driven2SaveLives – KVRT Chevrolet): “Just really excited to be qualified for the Indy 500. It’s great to be qualified in 30th position. Thank you so much to all of the guys on my team, they’ve spent some long hours at the track to get the car ready and to work on it over the week. I’m thankful to my team owners, Jimmy Vasser and Kevin Kalkhoven, for giving me this opportunity and, of course, my sponsors, Gap Guard, Driven2SaveLives – Indiana Donor Network, Innovative Solar and Premiere Glass and Mirror. Thank you to all of them for making it possible. Now we get to put the downforce back in and race setup to have a good race on Sunday.”

CARLOS MUNOZ (No. 26 United Fiber & Data Honda): “Now that qualifying is finished, we are focused on the race. I expected a little bit better today. It wasn’t the best run, we could’ve done better. These United Fiber & Data guys work really good – my mechanics, my engineers, everyone. For sure, it would’ve been nice to be on the front row for the race, but qualifying is what’s nice for the show – the race is the most important thing. I think we have a good car for the race and now that’s what we will focus on.”

MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 27 Snapple Honda): “Qualifying without fifth gear is not easy. All I can say is I hope we are getting our (bad) luck out of the way before this race. I ride with my guys – we could start this race 33rd and I’m going in as confident as ever. Yeah, we could’ve been top nine or even pole contenders, but we’ve been up against it all week- a different problem every time we come out. But we’re ready to battle and the way I look at it is like having a bad first pit stop in the race, even if you’re on pole. We just have to keep battling. We’re looking to do what (Juan Pablo) Montoya did last year and Ryan (Hunter-Reay) did the year before that. That’s the goal.”

RYAN HUNTER-REAY (No. 28 DHL Honda): “We left all we had in the DHL Honda on track today – it was on rails. Perfect qualifying run, just came up short. We have a great car – the crew has done a tremendous job putting together an incredible car. It’s great to start on the front row of the 100th Running of the Indy 500.”

TOWNSEND BELL (No. 29 California Pizza Kitchen/Robert Graham Honda): “It was great to get back out for qualifying today – it’s the 100th Running of the Indy 500 and I had a shot at the pole, maybe even the front row. I’m a little bummed we’re not up there but we have a fast car. Our last practice run this morning, I about left the car in the dumpster. It was as close as it can possibly get here and to still drive away, I was really lucky. The California Pizza Kitchen/Robert Graham car is one of the best I’ve ever had
here. It’s not just the car, though, it’s the team, the approach. Working with (engineer) Craig Hampson has just been terrific and he has given me a great car along with the whole Andretti Autosport and Honda crews.”

ALEX TAGLIANI (No. 35 Alfe Heat Treating Special Honda): (About his crash before taking the green flag for qualifying): “It really caught me off guard because it really happened late into the corner, like almost at the exit of Turn 4. I was really almost at the straightaway and that’s why I got caught because normally when I get loose early on, I have a chance to catch it. It’s really unfortunate. We’ve been struggling a little with the setup and we just need to regroup and hopefully get it back and try to forget
about this one and have a good race for the team and the sponsor. I thought I was going to catch it. Honestly, you always think that as the driver but, unfortunately, this time I didn’t. Honestly, when I felt it go I thought, ‘OK, I’m going to come out of that one and the next lap will be a better one.’ But I never could recover. The wiggle was too much and we lost the rear and it was too late.”

JACK HAWKSWORTH (No. 41 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Honda): “The conditions were hotter than expected so the tires fell off. Like yesterday, we had consistent 225 mph speeds, but the rear tires fell off. I kept getting more loose throughout the run. The speed is still not there. We’re still struggling for outright speed and, in the end of the run, the tires fell off and we were not quick enough. The tire degradation was the biggest problem and what made the cookie crumble.”

CHARLIE KIMBALL (No. 42 Tresiba Chevrolet): “We made some big changes to the car overnight and it was much better this morning in practice. The No. 42 Tresiba Chevrolet was a little less reactive to the conditions, which was nice because we fought the wind quite a lot yesterday. That’s the great thing about Chip Ganassi Racing – you get a lot of data to learn from, especially with guys as good as TK (Tony Kanaan) and (Scott) Dixon. Overall, regardless of how today went, we have a really good race car. We’ll work on the race setup tomorrow and Friday and just keep with the mentality that it’s not where you start, it’s where you finish.”

MATT BRABHAM (No. 61 PIRTEK Team Murray Chevrolet): “It was pretty solid out there today, it was nice to lay down another four clean laps. The weather was quite different to yesterday. It was a lot hotter and a bit more windy out there. The laps were good, the car felt great and there were no big moments, so it was all really well-controlled. The focus now switches to getting the race car ready. We’ve got a lot of things to sort out to get the car good for dicing with everyone else in traffic. The PIRTEK Team Murray crew are on it and will be busy over the next few days getting ready for the race.”

PIPPA MANN: (No. 63 Susan G. Komen Honda): “It feels fantastic. Yesterday was so tough for the entire Dale Coyne Racing team and those guys stayed so late last night, they worked so hard, then to have the issues this morning as well in morning warmup, those were the first laps I turned at speed since I was backwards yesterday. Relief, happy, thrilled. We’ve had such a great race car all week, that in different circumstances, we’ve had liked to have gone faster, but for today I’m just so happy we got that taken care of and we can now get to working on our race car.”

ORIOL SERVIA (No. 77 Lucas Oil Special Honda): “It really was a tough one. These windy and heat conditions make it tough. Drivers, for sure, but especially the engineers to find the right balance. We struggled yesterday. We have a very fast car, but we just couldn’t balance it for four laps. This morning, we put more downforce in it and we still couldn’t balance it. We couldn’t put four laps together. They were scratching their heads (and made some changes) and it worked. I had a fantastic car for four laps. It was very consistent. I’m happy. There’s no choice, You put it all out there. It’s a matter as if the car can handle it or not, because you’re not going to back off. That’s why I’m so happy they did a good job and gave me a great car.”

BRYAN CLAUSON (No. 88 Cancer Treatment Centers of America Honda): “It’s been a lot of fun, it’s great to be back here at the speedway. It’s also been great working with our Johnathan Byrd’s/Dale Coyne Racing team and to get back into the groove. We have a good group, we’re just trying to plug away and trying to get laps and we seem to be getting better and better each time out. I can’t really ask for more.”

ALEXANDER ROSSI (No. 98 NAPA Auto Parts/Curb Honda): “Eleventh was one away from what we could’ve hoped for after yesterday, so we’ll take it. It’s pretty clear that the Andretti cars are pretty strong, including the NAPA Auto Parts/Curb car. We’ll keep working away these next few days and do the best that we can to be as prepared as possible for race day.”

VERIZON INDYCAR SERIES 100th Indianapolis 500 Mile Race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway STARTING LINEUP

QP Car Driver Hometown Car Name Entrant Total Time Avg. Speed
1. 5 James Hinchcliffe Toronto, Canada Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda Schmidt Peterson Motorsports 02:36.0063 230.760
2. 21 Josef Newgarden Hendersonville, Tenn. Preferred Freezer Chevrolet Ed Carpenter Racing 02:36.0470 230.700
3. 28 Ryan Hunter-Reay Fort Lauderdale, Fla. DHL Honda Andretti Autosport 02:36.0821 230.648
4. 29 Townsend Bell San Luis Obispo, Calif. California Pizza Kitchen/Robert Graham Honda Andretti Autosport 02:36.1950 230.481
5. 26 Carlos Munoz Bogotá, Colombia United Fiber & Data Honda Andretti Autosport 02:36.3264 230.287
6. 12 Will Power Toowoomba, Australia Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet Team Penske 02:36.7471 229.669
7. 7 Mikhail Aleshin Moscow, Russia SMP Racing Schmidt Peterson Honda Schmidt Peterson With Pelfrey Racing 02:36.8205 229.562
8. 22 Simon Pagenaud Montmorillon, France Menards Team Penske Chevrolet Team Penske 02:37.1096 229.139
9. 3 Helio Castroneves Sao Paulo, Brazil Shell V-Power Nitro+ Team Penske Chevrolet Team Penske 02:37.1265 229.115
10. 77 Oriol Servia Pals, Spain Lucas Oil Special Honda Schmidt Peterson with Marotti Racing 02:37.1638 229.060
11. 98 Alexander Rossi (R) Nevada City, Calif. NAPA Auto Parts/Curb Honda Andretti Herta Autosport with Curb-Agajanian 02:37.5679
228.473
12. 14 Takuma Sato Tokyo, Japan ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Honda A.J. Foyt Enterprises 02:37.8747 228.029
13. 9 Scott Dixon Auckland, New Zealand Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet Chip Ganassi Racing Teams 02:37.9007 227.991
14. 27 Marco Andretti Nazareth, Pa. Snapple Honda Andretti Autosport 02:37.9161 227.969
15. 6 JR Hildebrand Sausalito, Calif. Preferred Freezer Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet Ed Carpenter Racing 02:37.9809 227.876
16. 42 Charlie Kimball Camarillo, Calif. Tresiba Chevrolet Chip Ganassi Racing Teams 02:38.0180 227.822
17. 2 Juan Pablo Montoya Bogotá, Colombia Verizon Team Penske Team Penske 02:38.1141 227.684
18. 10 Tony Kanaan Salvador, Brazil NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet Chip Ganassi Racing Teams 02:38.2906 227.430
19. 11 Sebastien Bourdais Le Mans, France Team Hydroxycut-KVSH Chevrolet KVSH Racing 02:38.2919 227.428
20. 20 Ed Carpenter Indianapolis, Ind. Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet Ed Carpenter Racing 02:38.4325 227.226
21. 19 Gabby Chaves Bogotá, Colombia Boy Scouts of America Honda Dale Coyne Racing 02:38.4566 227.192
22. 8 Max Chilton (R) Reigate, England Gallagher Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet Chip Ganassi Racing Teams 02:38.8100 226.686
23. 24 Sage Karam Nazareth, Pa. Gas Monkey Energy Chevrolet Dreyer & Reinbold – Kingdom Racing 02:38.9851 226.436
24. 18 Conor Daly Noblesville, Ind. Shirts for America Honda Dale Coyne Racing 02:39.0721 226.312
25. 63 Pippa Mann Ipswich, England Susan G. Komen Honda Dale Coyne Racing 02:39.2877 226.006
26. 15 Graham Rahal New Albany, Ohio Steak ‘n Shake Honda Rahal Letterman Lanigan w/ Theodore Racing 02:39.4002 225.847
27. 61 Matt Brabham (R) Gold Coast, Australia PIRTEK Team Murray PIRTEK Team Murray 02:39.4846 225.727
28. 88 Bryan Clauson Noblesville, Ind. Cancer Treatment Centers of America Dale Coyne/Jonathan Byrd’s Racing 02:39.8111 225.266
29. 16 Spencer Pigot (R) Orlando, Fla RLL/Mi-Jack/Manitowoc Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 02:40.1087 224.847
30. 25 Stefan Wilson (R) Sheffield, England Driven2SaveLives-KVRT Chevrolet KV Racing Technology 02:40.2833 224.602
31. 41 Jack Hawksworth Bradford, England ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Honda A.J. Foyt Enterprises 02:40.2878 224.596
32. 4 Buddy Lazier Vail, Colo. Lazier/Burns Racing Chevrolet Lazier/Burns Racing 02:42.0498 222.154
33. 35 Alex Tagliani Lechenaie, Canada Alfe Heat Treating Special Honda A.J. Foyt Enterprises No time No speed

Legend: R – Indianapolis 500 Rookie. All cars use fourth-generation Verizon IndyCar Series Dallara chassis (IR-12) with Chevrolet or Honda aerodynamic bodywork and engines and Firestone tires.

IndyCar
http://www.indycar.com/
Graphics & Photos Courtesy of Indycar

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