Carpenter Fills Out Indy Field On Bumpless Day

| Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Sunday, May 20 2012

Ed Carpenter squeezed into the field at Indy on Sunday. (INDYCAR/LAT USA)

By Jim Pedley | Managing Editor

There was no bumping on Bump Day at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but IndyCar Series officials did avoid a public relations setback when the field for the 2012 Indianapolis 500 was filled out to its capacity of 33 cars and drivers.

Ed Carpenter, who suffered through a horrible Pole Day on Saturday as he crashed while preparing to qualify, filled out the field on Sunday in a backup car.

Had Carpenter not qualified, it would have marked the first time since 1947 that the Indy 500 would have started without a full field of 33.

Carpenter made the field in his Ed Carpenter Racing/Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet-powered Dallara with a four-lap average of 222.324 mph.

Despite making the field, Carpenter, known as a superior oval-track driver, was not all that happy.

“The whole month hasn’t gone as you script them,” Carpenter said. “I think I’ve been lucky for quite a few years to have a pretty seamless month of May. You never know with Indianapolis, when it is going to decide it’s your turn for a bad month. Things change quickly around here. One thing that doesn’t change for me is my confidence. I love racing here, and I love this race. As long as I’m in the field, I’m going to feel like I have a chance.”

Also fighting back from a Saturday Pole Day crash to make the field was rookie Bryan Clauson of Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing.

Unlike Carpenter, who went to a backup car on Sunday, Clauson’s team worked all night to fix his wrecked Dallara DW 12.

“It kind of snuck up on us yesterday,” Clauson, and Indiana native, said. “The car had been comfortable the whole run. If you would have stopped me at the flag stand on the third lap, I probably wouldn’t have changed a thing. It just got away from us there in Turn 1 and kind of put us in a little bit of a bind. But it’s exciting to get in. Those four laps were a heck of a lot easier before I messed them up yesterday. I was bummed, I guess, but it was neat to see all the hard work that went into getting the thing back out there. Those guys worked until 2, 3 in the morning to get us back out there. So to get out there and put it in the show and be able to go and work on race stuff is what it’s about.”

Clauson rolled out through Gasoline Alley and onto the track Sunday with a bandage decal on his car.

“That kind of explains the night,” Clauson said. “They got a Band-Aid to put over the half blue, half carbon on the left side of the car. They put a Band-Aid right in the middle to kind of transition it, I think. That’s what got them through the night, I guess, knowing that when I walked in in the morning I was going to see that and laugh. It was cool. This is such a pressure-packed month; sometimes the little things go a long way.”

In all, nine drivers qualified for the race on Sunday.

The list also included Simona de Silvestro, Oriol Servia, Mike Conway, Wade Cunningham, Sebastien Bourdais and Katherine Legge.

Qualifying Results for the 96th Indianapolis 500 IZOD IndyCar Series event on the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway, with rank, car number in parentheses, driver, chassis-engine, time and speed in parentheses:

1. (2) Ryan Briscoe, Dallara-Chevrolet, 02:38.9514 ( 226.484)

2. (27) James Hinchcliffe, Dallara-Chevrolet, 02:38.9537 ( 226.481)

3. (28) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Dallara-Chevrolet, 02:39.1233 ( 226.240)

4. (26) Marco Andretti, Dallara- Chevrolet, 02:40.6766 ( 225.456)

5. (12) Will Power, Dallara-Chevrolet, 02:39.7004 (225.422)

6. (3) Helio Castroneves, Dallara-Chevrolet, 02:39.8780 (225.172)

7. (67) Josef Newgarden, Dallara-Honda, 02:40.6879 (224.037)

8. (11) Tony Kanaan, Dallara-Chevrolet, 02:40.1775 (224.751)

9. (5) EJ Viso, Dallara-Chevrolet, 02:40.4119 ( 224.422)

10. (8) Rubens Barrichello, Dallara-Chevrolet, 02:40.5253 ( 224.264)

11. (98) Alex Tagliani, Dallara-Honda, 02:40.7144 ( 224.000)

12. (38) Graham Rahal, Dallara-Honda, 02:40.7437 ( 223.959)

13. (25) Ana Beatriz, Dallara-Chevrolet, 02:40.7720 ( 223.920)

14. (83) Charlie Kimball, Dallara-Honda, 02:40.8093 ( 223.868)

15. (9) Scott Dixon, Dallara-Honda, 02:40.9413 ( 223.684)

16. (50) Dario Franchitti, Dallara-Honda, 02:41.0144 ( 223.582)

17. (19) James Jakes, Dallara-Honda, 02:41.0866 ( 223.482)

18. (4) JR Hildebrand, Dallara-Chevrolet, 02:41.1299 ( 223.422)

19. (15) Takuma Sato, Dallara-Honda, 02:41.1517 ( 223.392)

20. (99) Townsend Bell, Dallara-Honda, 02:41.3377 ( 223.134)

21. (18) Justin Wilson, Dallara-Honda, 02:41.4865 ( 222.929)

22. (30) Michel Jourdain, Dallara-Honda, 02:41.5124 ( 222.893)

23. (77) Simon Pagenaud, Dallara-Honda, 02:41.5138 ( 222.891)

24. (17) Sebastian Saavedra, Dallara-Chevrolet, 02:41.5720 ( 222.811)

25. (7) Sebastien Bourdais, Dallara-Chevrolet, 02:40.8666 (223.760)

26. (41) Wade Cunningham, Dallara-Honda, 02:41.2484 (223.258)

27. (22) Oriol Servia, Dallara-Chevrolet, 02:41.8754 (222.393)

28. (20T) Ed Carpenter, Dallara-Chevrolet, 02:41.9262 (222.324)

29. (14) Mike Conway, Dallara-Honda, 02:41.9293 (222.319)

30. (6) Katherine Legge, Dallara-Chevrolet, 02:42.4374 (221.624)

31. (39) Bryan Clauson, Dallara-Chevrolet, 02:47.6671 (214.455)

32. (78) Simona De Silverstor, Dallara-Lotus, 02:47.9162 (214.393)

33. (64) Jean Alesi, Dallara-Lotus, 02:51.3516 (210.094)

| Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Sunday, May 20 2012
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