All month long, our racing guru David Scoggan is blogging LIVE from the track! Check back here regularly for a dose of Dave’s wit and whimsy.
Simon Pagenaud snatched the Indy 500 pole position away from Ed Carpenter by a mere .103 MPH and will start next Sunday’s race from the number one slot. Pagenaud’s #22 Menards Penske Chevy spoiled a possible ECR front-row sweep as his 229.992 4-lap average nipped Carpenter’s 229.889 and Spencer Pigot’s 229.826. ECR/Scuderia Corsa driver Ed Jones will start inside row two with his 229.646, flanked by rookie Colton Herta with the fastest Honda at 229.086 and defending 500 champion Will Power at a disappointing 228.645. Row three consists of Sebastein Bourdais (228.621), Josef Newgarden (228.396), and Alexander Rossi (228.247).
A wild Last Row Shootout saw a real life “Rich Man, Poor Man” scenario play out as the unsponsored, tiny team of Kyle Kaiser and Juncos Racing, using a backup car pieced together in an overnight thrash after a Friday crash, bumped the mighty Team McLaren and two-time World Champion Fernando Alonso out of the field! Kaiser’s average of 227.372 edged out Alonso’s 227.353, a mere .0129 second difference over 4 laps. Joining the 33rd starting Kaiser in Row 11 are Sage Karam (227.740) and James Hinchcliffe (227.543); missing the show are Alonso and the Carlin teammates Max Chilton and Patricio O’Ward. The speed spread from fastest to slowest qualifier is an amazing 2.748 MPH.
Rain began after a brief morning practice period and qualifying was delayed until 4:30 this afternoon with the Fast Nine Shootout conducted with none of the cars having practiced. The late start and the possibility of more inclement weather scrubbed a planned 2 hour, 45 minute practice period, but all qualified cars will get to practice their race setups tomorrow.