Carpenter takes top starting spot at Indy 500 for 3rd time

INDIANAPOLIS — Ed Carpenter and Danica Patrick bought precisely what they wanted in qualifying Sunday.

Now comes the exhausting half: Finding a option to victory lane subsequent weekend.

After crashing Roger Penske’s front-row occasion by claiming his third Indianapolis 500 pole-winning run and watching his teammate, Patrick, qualify seventh for the ultimate begin of her profession, Carpenter shortly turned his consideration to internet hosting a much bigger household celebration at the monitor his stepfather’s household owns.

“We’ve been in this position before and ran a good race. I thought we had a chance to win (when we won our) first pole, we didn’t really have the right game plan,” Carpenter mentioned. “I feel like we’ve learned a lot. I feel like I’ve gotten better since 2014. We’ve got a great package with Chevrolet and ECR and hopefully we’ll be able to be in the mix (next) Sunday.”

Carpenter has largely taken a backseat to different distinguished story strains this month.

Penske’s workforce earned its 200th profession win final week and was in place to assert the top three spots Sunday.

Patrick has drawn loads of consideration as she gears up for the ultimate cease on her two-race farewell tour.

Helio Castroneves had the quickest automotive in qualifying Saturday and regarded like he would possibly break a tie for second by claiming his fifth profession Indy pole. Instead, he’ll chase a record-tying fourth 500 win from the No. eight starting spot.

The return of Bump Day left two drivers, James Hinchcliffe and Pippa Mann, looking out for methods to get again into the sector. There was no instant indication if both had a pathway again although one door closed when IndyAutomobile president of competitors and operations Jay Frye advised The Associated Press the standard 33-car subject wouldn’t be expanded.

But Carpenter’s surprisingly fast four-lap qualifying run was all the fashion Sunday.

He was the one driver to top 230 mph, the one one to show 4 successive laps over 229 and the one one who beat Penske’s drivers. Carpenter’s common of 229.618 topped Simon Pagenaud’s 228.761 and Will Power’s 228.607.

Carpenter has 5 profession begins from the primary three rows however hasn’t completed increased than 10th.

“Good job dad!” considered one of Carpenter’s youngsters mentioned, stealing a hug at the top of the day.

Penske took the following three all with drivers who’ve received collection titles — Pagenaud, Power and Josef Newgarden, who certified second, third and fourth.

“You could say I’m the first loser, but I’m still happy,” Pagenaud mentioned after briefly holding No. 1 spot.

Patrick loved her last qualifying day on the two.5-mile oval.

The first feminine to steer at Indy hasn’t competed in an IndyAutomobile since 2011. But she regarded relaxed on the primary run of the pole shootout and posted a quantity, 228.090, that regarded prefer it would possibly put her within the top three.

It’s the fourth time Patrick has certified within the top 9, ending fourth, eighth and 22nd on the earlier events.

She was equally happy with how her teammates — Carpenter and Spencer Pigot — fared. Pigot will begin sixth, the skin of Row 2, after going 228.107.

“That’s awesome. He deserves it,” Patrick mentioned, referring to Carpenter.

The drama that evoked a lot intrigue Saturday was lacking Sunday. Qualifying went just about in keeping with script — till Castroneves got here up properly in need of profitable his fifth profession Indy pole.

He by no means had an opportunity after going 228.992 on his first lap.

“When I was sitting in the car and I heard the 230, I asked the guys ‘Do we have enough gear to do that?’” Castroneves mentioned. “They said ‘Well, with a little help from the wind we could.’”

The assist by no means got here.

Now the main target turns completely to race day for Patrick’s grand finale, Castroneves’ persevering with quest to affix the four-time winner’s membership and Carpenter’s dream of a milk-drenched household reunion.

WHO’S HOT

Penske didn’t get the pole. But he did put 4 vehicles within the top eight, owns a report 16 wins and has momentum from final weekend’s victory on Indy’s street course.

WHO’S NOT

Conor Daly certified thrice Saturday and bought bumped twice earlier than lastly sticking his automotive within the lineup. Sunday wasn’t any simpler. He’ll begin 33rd after going 224.429 and there are questions on whether or not he could possibly be changed in Dale Coyne’s automotive by Pippa Mann and the workforce would face no penalty as a result of it’s already starting at the again of the sector.

WINNERS’ CURSE?

The final two race winners had a troublesome weekend.

Takuma Sato, final 12 months’s champion, and Alexander Rossi, the 2016 winner, each missed the shootout. Both will face uphill battles subsequent Sunday.

Sato, the primary Japanese winner at Indy, will begin 16th from the within of Row 6, after going 226.557. Rossi misplaced velocity dramatically on every of his last two laps and wound up 32nd and at 224.035.

___

More AP Auto Racing: https://racing.ap.org

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This materials will not be revealed, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Source link