Verizon IndyCar driver, ED CARPENTER/No.20 Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet has the pole for the 2014 98th running of the Indianapolis 500. He’s becomes the eleventh driver to have back to back pole positions. His fast four lap average was 231.067 mph, faster than the earlier fast lap set by JUAN PABLO MONTOYA/No.2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet in the Best of the Rest session earlier in the afternoon.
This year’s qualifying lap average is the fastest ever, at 229.382 mph. The previous record was 228.648 set in 2002. This year’s field is the closest ever with a margin of only 2.1509 seconds between P1-Carpenter and P33-BUDDY LAZIER/No.91 Lazier Partners Racing Chevrolet.
The Front Row will be Carpenter, JAMES HINCHCLIFFE/No.27 Andretti Autosport Honda, and WILL POWER/No.12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet.
Row Two will be: HELIO CASTRONEVES/No.3 Team Penske Chevrolet, SIMON PAGENAUD/No.77 Schmidt Peterson Hamilton Motorsports Honda, and MARCO ANDRETTI/No.25 Andretti Autosport Honda.
Row Three will be: CARLOS MUNOZ.No.34 Andretti Autosport Honda, JOSEF NEWGARDEN/No.67 Sarah Fischer Hartman Racing Honda, and Carpenter’s teammate, JR HILDEBRAND/No.20 Chevrolet.
Carpenter said “The conditions changed, it was the most interesting qualifying I have ever seen. I was just hanging on. It was awesome to do it two years in a row. I have great team behind me, including my wife HEATHER, one helluva team. Looking forward to practice Monday.”
Left to right first row, IndyCars belonging to: Helio Castroneves, Simon Pagenaud, and JR Hildebrand.
Left to right second row: IndyCars belonging to: James Hinchcliffe, Carlos Munoz, and Marco Andretti.
Hinchcliffe said “It wasn’t until the first three laps that I’d run that I thought, ‘Well, maybe we do have a shot at this!’ The car was a huge handful, but it needed to be-it was fast. That’s not a criticism of the car at all. Going into Turn 3 on that last lap, I was working on the tools like crazy and the thing stepped out a bit on entry. I had to take some wheel out of it, creating understeer on exit and I had to crack the throttle. I don’t think anybody’s ever been on pole at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway cracking the throttle over four laps, so I kind of knew right then and there. I was screaming in my helmet. At the same time, if the worst we’re going to start is second, then that’s awesome.”
Power said “It’s a long race, and a very interesting style of racing. Me – I’m going to make sure I run in traffic and darn well win that thing. The car was certainly user friendly and no main crashes this week so far, a bit more downforce, and easier to drive this year.
“The pressure of running four laps twice is tough, tough to go back out. Depending on your downforce – Newgarden, Helio and I had the least and were sliding around a lot out there. Stressful, I can tell you.”
Any advice or coaching from Roger Penske. “it’s changed a lot now – every car has the same stuff. The whole field is going to start and finish on that front straight. We need to put the driver back into it more. The slightest change in weather changes everything. It’s the wind that counts.”