From hell to pole - Hinchcliffe claims the pole position for Indianapolis 500
The Canadian driver James Hinchcliffe writes a heartbreaking story at Indiapolis Motor Speedway in Sunday’s qualifying for the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500. A year after he almost lost his life in a horrific crash at IMS, Hinchcliffe returned to the biggest race track in the world and claimed pole position for the oldest race in the world.
In the nine-driver shootout for the pole, Hinchliffe put together four fantastic laps to achieve 230.760 mph average, which was 0.060 mph better than Josef Newgarden‘s speed. Together with the #5 Hinchcliffe’s Honda and #21 Newgarden’s Chevrolet, the third car at the front row of the 33-car grid would be#28 Ryan Hunter-Reay‘s Honda.
Hinchcliffe’s pole at Indianapolis Motor Speedway is his first pole in IndyCar Series, in which he debuted in 2011. It is the first Indianapolis 500 pole position for manufacturer Honda in five years, also with Schmidt Peterson. It also ended Team Penske’s string of seven consecutive pole positions.
The second row starters would be a pair of Andretti Autosport drivers Townsend Bell and Carlos Munoz, along with Team Penske’s Will Power (sixth). Russian driver Mikhail Aleshin qualified in the seventh place and he will share the third row with IndyCar Series leader Simon Pagenaud and three-time Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves.
In the qualifying session prior to the Fast Nine Shootout, that set starting position between 10th and 33rd, Oriol Servia was fastest and secured the spot in the fourth row. He made a biggest improvement compated to the first day of qualifying, moving from 24th to 10th. Scott Dixon, the defending IndyCar champion and last years Indy 500 pole sitter, qualified 13th. The last year’s Indy 500 winner Juan Pablo Montoya will start 17th. Alex Tagliani was the only who crashed in the last qualifying session and he will start the race 33rd.
The grid of the 100th Running of the Indianapolis consists of six former winners (Castroneves, Hunter-Reay, Dixon, Montoya, Kanaan and Lazier) and five rookies (Matt Brabham, Max Chilton, Spencer Pigot, Alexander Rossi and Stefan Wilson).
Before the race, scheduled for Sunday (May 29), drivers will have two more practice sessions on Monday and Friday.