Carpenter Hammers The Big Boys On Pole Day

| , RacinToday.com Saturday, May 18 2013

Ed Carpenter showed that a small operation can achieve big things on Pole Day at Indy. (Photo courtesy of the IZOD IndyCar Series)

Ed Carpenter, the lone team owner/driver in the IZOD IndyCar Series recorded a blistering four-lap average speed of 228.762 mph (best lap of 229.347 mph; 39.2418 seconds) in the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka car to win the pole for the 2013 Indianapolis 500.

The one-car team bested the best of Team Penske and Andretti Autosport in the nine-car shootout that determined the front row of the starting grid.

“(Two series) victories were great, but an Indianapolis 500 pole is the best,” said Carpenter, an Indianapolis resident who won the series’ last oval race last September at Auto Club Speedway. “This is the start of a dream come true (but) this is just the first part of what we want to do. To fight with the Penskes and Andrettis is an accomplishment in itself.”

The average pole speed was the highest since Sam Hornish Jr. (228.985 mph) in 2006 for Team Penske. He went on to win the race. Carpenter’s previous best start at the Speedway was eighth in 2010 and ’11; his best finish is fifth after starting 10th in 2008.

Rookie Carlos Munoz, 21, earned a front-row start and $50,000 of the Verizon Front Row Awards for second (228.342) and Marco Andretti was awarded a $40,000 bonus for third (228.261).

“I don’t have too many words to describe how happy I am,” Munoz said, “just to be a rookie on the front row is a dream come true. I was crossing my fingers that it rained so that we can stay in the front row. I was happy with the car in the first qualifying, but we did a couple of changes and it worked out.

“As Marco said, we were really fast. We didn’t expect (Ed) Carpenter to go so fast, but he just put in really good laps. I can’t say anything – front row is just perfect for the race. I have my teammate just on the side of me; I have great people around me with a lot of experience. It’s a 500-mile race, and I’m in the middle of the field with some little problems down there. Right now I have to focus on the race.”

E.J. Viso, first-year Indy 500 competitor AJ Allmendinger and Will Power will start on Row 2 for the 200-lap race May 26. Reigning IZOD IndyCar Series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay will join three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves and James Hinchcliffe on Row 3.

Rain cut into the day and pushed the shootout past the traditional 6 p.m. closing of the track.

Positions 25-33 will be set through four-lap qualifications May 19 on Old National Armed Forces Bump Day.

There will be at least one bump in determining the 33-car field as Schmidt Peterson Pelfrey entered the No. 81 Angie’s List Honda-powered car to be driven by Katherine Legge. She’s expected to participate in the 9-10 a.m. (ET) practice session and make at least one qualifying attempt later in the day. Each entrant is allowed three qualifying attempts as time permits.

In addition to Legge, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing teammates Graham Rahal and Michel Jourdain Jr., rookies Tristan Vautier and Conor Daly, Ana Beatriz, Buddy Lazier, Pippa Mann, Josef Newgarden and Sebastian Saavedra will attempt to qualify.

Results of qualifying Sunday for the 97th Indianapolis 500 Mile Race 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. (20) Ed Carpenter, Dallara-Chevy 02:37.3689 ( 228.762)

2. (26) Carlos Munoz, Dallara-Chevy 02:37.6581 ( 228.342)

3. (25) Marco Andretti, Dallara-Chevy 02:37.7139 ( 228.261)

4. (5) EJ Viso, Dallara-Chevy 02:37.7907 ( 228.150)

5. (2) AJ Allmendinger, Dallara-Chevy 02:37.8264 ( 228.099)

6. (12) Will Power, Dallara-Chevy 02:37.8342 ( 228.087)

7. (1) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Dallara-Chevy 02:37.9614 ( 227.904)

8. (3) Helio Castroneves, Dallara-Chevy 02:38.0596 ( 227.762)

9. (27) James Hinchcliffe, Dallara-Chevy 02:38.5411 ( 227.070)

10. (4) JR Hildebrand, Dallara-Chevy 02:38.2830 ( 227.441)

11. (98) Alex Tagliani, Dallara-Honda, 02:38.3209 ( 227.386)

12. (11) Tony Kanaan, Dallara-Chevy 02:38.6260 ( 226.949)

13. (22) Oriol Servia, Dallara-Chevy 02:38.7206 ( 226.814)

14. (19) Justin Wilson, Dallara-Honda, 02:39.0318 ( 226.370)

15. (7) Sebastien Bourdais, Dallara-Chevy 02:39.1543 ( 226.196)

16. (9) Scott Dixon, Dallara-Honda, 02:39.1808 ( 226.158)

17. (10) Dario Franchitti, Dallara-Honda, 02:39.2434 ( 226.069)

18. (14) Takuma Sato, Dallara-Honda, 02:39.3681 ( 225.892)

19. (83) Charlie Kimball, Dallara-Honda, 02:39.3768 ( 225.880)

20. (16) James Jakes, Dallara-Honda, 02:39.4268 ( 225.809)

21. (77) Simon Pagenaud, Dallara-Honda, 02:39.5219 ( 225.674)

22. (60) Townsend Bell, Dallara-Chevy 02:39.5438 ( 225.643)

23. (8) Ryan Briscoe, Dallara-Honda, 02:39.8117 ( 225.265)

24. (78) Simona De Silvestro, Dallara-Chevy 02:39.8398 ( 225.226)

| , RacinToday.com Saturday, May 18 2013
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