After the thirty three staring field had been set for the Indianapolis 500, here is what some of the drivers had to say.
Ed Carpenter would take the pole by running the first lap of his qualifying attempt and 230 mph!
“I’ve got to thank my team. The first lap blew my mind. I figured we could run a 229 mph based on last night. My run last night actually wasn’t very good. The car wasn’t near as good as we’ve been. So, I knew we had more left but I wasn’t expecting a 230 mph, but the whole ECR team, especially the guys on my No. 20 car, they’ve put so much love into this car and it means everything to me to put us in a position like this. And to be able to share the top nine in this whole thing with Spencer (Pigot), his first time in the top nine with Preferred Freezer, and Danica (Patrick) with GoDaddy, we’re super happy to be here and obviously it couldn’t be possible without Fuzzy’s Vodka. Hopefully, we can keep doing this a long time.” said Carpenter just after qualifying ended.
Simon Pagenaud would the first of the four Penske cars on the grid, right next to Carpenter in Second.
“We gave it our best. It was an incredible run. The No.22 Menards team did a phenomenal job on the car yesterday and today. Ed (Carpenter) was just a little faster. It is what it is. It’s qualifying, and you try everything you have. I hate the waiting part of qualifying. Waiting is the worst because you don’t know what others have. But we gave everything we had. It’s going to be a front row start for us, and I thank the team and Chevrolet for an incredible job. Chevrolet, man, it’s incredible what they gave us. Team Penske did an excellent job preparing for this event. I’m super excited.” Said Pagenaud.
Josef Newgarden put his #1 Verizon Chevrolet in fourth place at the end of the day.
“You hope to go out last in this sort of deal, but we didn’t. All these Team Penske cars have been so quick this month. We have a lot of great people working on them. Team Chevy has really brought their A-game. They’re going to get it done hopefully next weekend."
Danica Patrick would make the fast nine in her first time back at Indy since 2011. She would end the weekend in the seventh starting spot.
“Before I went out, I kept saying I wanted it to be a boring run, well, as boring as it can be when your going 230 mph or more. I just wanted everything to be predictable and flow really well. I was able to chase the car with my cockpit adjustments and try and keep the speed in the car the whole run. These are tough conditions when it’s hot and humid out here, and the wind is up a little, but overall, my run was as boring as you can possibly get. I’m happy with it, and looking forward to next Sunday.”
Marco Andretti was able to better his starting position from the previous day.
“I thought it was alright. I was chasing balance end to end. Even though there was not that much wind, the balance end to end was different and it kind of caught me out. Lap 2 exiting turn 1, I had a big washout, but then corrected with the tools and just road it out. I’m excited about the race that’s for sure. Yesterday wouldn’t have been enough for the top nine - I just wanted to be row 4 because we can get it done from there.”
James Davison had a pretty eventful weekend with crashing on Friday, and having his team work all through the night to get their car repaired. Then almost get bumped out of the field, however they would manage to stay in the field and move up a good amount on Sunday.
“It’s been an incredible weekend for the team after our mishap on Friday. We had to endure a very long night, obviously it’s always depressing when you have a crushed car around here. We punched above our weight on bump day, and got ourselves in, but didn’t show our hand. We really laid it down on pole day to move from 33rd to 19th. It’s basically two days in a row the team has been rewarded for their hard work, making the show and moving up 14 positions on the grid. Unexpected results are always really nice in motorsports and we got that with our improvement. Just very proud of the entire team and want to keep the momentum going next week."
One driver who is looking to improve from their end qualifying result would be Alexander Rossi.
“The NAPA AUTO PARTS Andretti Honda deserved to be higher up. I thought we were fighting for a position in row 4 and we ended up in the last row. We’ll look into it, but that’s what makes this place what it is. We saw yesterday there are a lot of curveballs that are unexpected around here. Starting this far back is a new challenge and a new oppurtunity to show what we can do. I have a lot of experienced people around me who have a lot of starts here - some at the front, some at the back, so I’ll lean on them and we’ll go forward from there.”
Catch the Indy 500 on May 27th on ABC and always be sure to check back for everyting IndyCar right here on MotorLat.