The 2013 Indianapolis 500 qualifying order is out

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Here’s your qualifying order for this year’s Indianapolis 500. Note that the No. 40, which leads off, is the second Ed Carpenter Racing entry that won’t turn a wheel, and both primary and “T” cars are entered in the draw. Scott Dixon, the 2008 500 winner, will be the first driver to make a qualifying attempt.  Each driver’s best speed of the month in that car are listed just to the right.

Other notes: Sam Schmidt’s third car (second Schmidt Peterson entry) is the No. 99/99T with driver TBA, and Townsend Bell gets spot “12A” – not 13 – in-between 12 and 14 for the No. 60T backup car at Panther Racing.

Pole Day qualifying will be airing live on the NBC Sports Network at 11 a.m. ET and 4:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, and also streamed live on NBC Sports Live Extra.

Qualifying Order:
1 40 TBA
2 9 Scott Dixon (W) 226.162 17-May
3 14 Takuma Sato 227.038 17-May
4 15 Graham Rahal 226.152 17-May
5 14T Takuma Sato
6 2 AJ Allmendinger (R) 227.199 17-May
7 6T Sebastian Saavedra
8 91 Buddy Lazier (W) 222.464 17-May
9 8T Ryan Briscoe 217.773 12-May
10 78 Simona de Silvestro 225.518 17-May
11 83T Charlie Kimball 220.633 11-May
12 40T TBA
12A 60T Townsend Bell
14 27 James Hinchcliffe 226.983 17-May
15 27T James Hinchcliffe
16 9T Scott Dixon (W) 218.143 11-May
17 41 Conor Daly (R) 220.780 16-May
18 3T Helio Castroneves (W)
19 16T James Jakes 219.191 14-May
20 12T Will Power
21 7 Sebastien Bourdais 226.736 17-May
22 19 Justin Wilson 226.043 17-May
23 3 Helio Castroneves (W) 226.988 17-May
24 11T Tony Kanaan
25 1T Ryan Hunter-Reay
26 78T Simona de Silvestro
27 16 James Jakes 224.632 17-May
28 99T TBA
29 5T E.J. Viso
30 22T Oriol Servia
31 18T Ana Beatriz
32 6 Sebastian Saavedra 222.127 17-May
33 63 Pippa Mann 225.077 17-May
34 60 Townsend Bell 227.160 17-May
35 20T Ed Carpenter
36 5 E.J. Viso 229.537 17-May
37 98 Alex Tagliani 226.812 17-May
38 12 Will Power 228.401 17-May
39 77T Simon Pagenaud
40 25T Marco Andretti
41 8 Ryan Briscoe 225.265 17-May
42 11 Tony Kanaan 226.822 17-May
43 21 Josef Newgarden 226.372 17-May
44 55 Tristan Vautier (R) 223.369 17-May
45 10 Dario Franchitti (W) 227.080 17-May
46 18 Ana Beatriz 224.476 17-May
47 4T JR Hildebrand
48 19T Justin Wilson
49 10T Dario Franchitti (W) 218.842 11-May
50 55T Tristan Vautier (R)
51 83 Charlie Kimball 225.616 17-May
52 20 Ed Carpenter 226.768 17-May
53 1 Ryan Hunter-Reay 226.919 17-May
54 17 Michel Jourdain Jr. 223.266 17-May
55 26T Carlos Munoz (R)
56 26 Carlos Munoz (R) 228.520 17-May
57 2T AJ Allmendinger (R)
58 4 JR Hildebrand 227.549 17-May
59 25 Marco Andretti 228.754 17-May
60 21T Josef Newgarden 222.340 15-May
61 98T Alex Tagliani
62 99 TBA
63 7T Sebastien Bourdais
64 41T Conor Daly (R)
65 77 Simon Pagenaud 225.853 17-May
66 15T Graham Rahal 220.360 13-May
67 63T Pippa Mann
68 22 Oriol Servia 227.237 17-May

NHRA: Antron Brown on verge of earning 50th career Top Fuel win this weekend at Phoenix

Photo courtesy Toyota Racing
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When you’re used to winning championships – like three in the previous five seasons – any other season finish is disappointing.

That’s kind of how NHRA Top Fuel dragster driver Antron Brown looked at his fourth-place showing in the 2017 Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.

“At the end of the day, we had a very competitive season last year and made it to 10 final rounds,” Brown said. “But we got into the Countdown (NHRA’s six-race playoffs) and our timing was off.

“We struggled with a lot of problems we don’t usually have. Now it’s time for a new chapter for this team and time to get better. This is a new beginning for us and it’s going to be fun and exciting and we’re coming after them.”

Antron Brown hugs the NHRA Top Fuel championship trophy after winning it in 2016. (Photo by David Allio/Icon Sportswire)

Brown had a good start to 2018, reaching the semifinals before losing to Don Schumacher Racing teammate Tony Schumacher in the season-opening Lucas Oil Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, California.

“We had a great performance at Pomona and I couldn’t be more proud of what our Matco/Toyota guys did,” Brown said. “Now we are going to Phoenix where we’ve won three times (2009, 2012 and 2014, and was runner-up in 2011) and we’ll just try to hit it hard and get a fourth.”

Next up on the NHRA 24-race national event circuit is the second race of the season, this weekend’s NHRA Arizona Nationals at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in suburban Phoenix (Chandler, Arizona).

Brown has definite plans to make it four wins in Phoenix. And if he does that Sunday, he’ll set a significant career milestone: it would be his 50th career win driving a Top Fueler and the 66th win overall (he won 16 races in Pro Stock Motorcycle before shifting from two to four wheels).

In so doing, Brown would become only the fourth Top Fuel driver in NHRA history to hit the 50-win mark. The others are Tony Schumacher (83), Larry Dixon (62) and Joe Amato (52).

This will be the second time Brown has been racing in Phoenix this month. He was part of the preseason test there for Top Fuel, Funny Car and Pro Stock cars a week before the season began.

“Testing went really well there,” said Brown, leaving him optimistic that he can reach victory circle once again. “I love going back to Phoenix.”

Brown has been the most dominant driver in NHRA Top Fuel competition since 2012, winning more than twice the number of races (34) than the next most successful Top Fuel driver (16 by Schumacher) in that time period.

He also has a 71 percent overall win percentage, which exceeds both eight-time Top Fuel champ Schumacher and 16-time Funny Car champ John Force.

“I’m just pumped up, feeling like we’ve got some unfinished business from last year,” Brown said. “We had a good outing but didn’t close the deal, so this year, we’re looking forward to getting back there and getting off to a great start.”

NOTES: Brown will serve as honorary pace car driver for the March 4th Pennzoil 400 NASCAR Cup race at Las Vegas. He’ll be joined by teammates Matt Hagan and Leah Pritchett in a weekend full of activities that they’ll all be involved in.

“I’m really excited,” Brown said. “It’s going to be my first experience as a pace car driver, and I’m just super stoked to go out there and drive the Camry pace car for Pennzoil and start those NASCAR boys off the right way. Throttle down, pedal to the metal. I just want them to get off to a great start.”

Brown has won four times at The Strip, the drag strip adjacent to Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

“I couldn’t be more excited to have the opportunity,” he said. “It’s an honor to be out there with such talented drivers, and I know I’m going to really enjoy watching our NASCAR counterparts.”

Follow @JerryBonkowski