Simon Pagenaud wins pole position for Indianapolis 500

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Simon Pagenaud won the pole position for next Sunday’s 103rd Running of the Indianapolis 500, posting a four-lap average speed of 229.992 mph.

The Indianapolis 500 pole is the first for Pagenaud on the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval. Pagenaud won the IndyCar Grand Prix on the track’s interior road course last weekend.

THE 103RD INDIANAPOLIS 500: Click here for how to watch, full daily schedules

“It’s just amazing,” Pagenaud told NBC Sports following his pole run. “Obviously, last week was amazing, but this is even more special.

“Team Penske has been phenomenal at giving me the best equipment. I can’t thank them enough.”

Pagenaud will start on the inside of the front row in next Sunday’s race. He is joined by second-place Ed Carpenter in the middle, and third-place Spencer Pigot on the outside.

Here is the starting grid for the 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500:

(Qualifying position, driver, engine, four-lap qualifying speed average)

Row 1

(1.) Simon Pagenaud, Chevrolet, 229.992 mph

(2.) Ed Carpenter, Chevrolet, 229.889 mph

(3.) Spencer Pigot, Chevrolet, 229.826 mph

Row 2

(4.) Ed Jones, Chevrolet, 229.646 mph

(5.) Colton Herta, Honda, 229.086 mph

(6.) Will Power, Chevrolet, 228.645 mph

Row 3

(7.) Sebastien Bourdais, Honda, 228.621 mph

(8.) Josef Newgarden, Chevrolet, 228.396 mph

(9.) Alexander Rossi, Honda, 228.247 mph

Row 4

(10.) Marco Andretti, Honda, 228.756 mph

(11.) Conor Daly, Honda, 228.617 mph

(12.) Helio Castroneves, Chevrolet, 228.523 mph

Row 5

(13.) Marcus Ericsson, Honda, 228.511 mph

(14.) Takuma Sato, Honda, 228.300

(15.) James Davison, Honda, 228.273 mph

Row 6 

(16.) Tony Kanaan, Chevrolet, 228.120 mph

(17.) Graham Rahal, Honda, 228.104 mph

(18.) Scott Dixon, Honda, 228.100 mph

Row 7

(19.) Oriol Servia, Honda, 227.991 mph

(20.) Charlie Kimball, Chevrolet, 227.915 mph

(21.) JR Hildebrand, Chevrolet, 227.908 mph

Row 8

(22.) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Honda, 227.877 mph

(23.) Santino Ferrucci, Honda, 227.731 mph

(24.) Matheus Leist, Chevrolet, 227.717 mph

Row 9

(25.) Jack Harvey, Honda, 227.695 mph

(26.) Jordan King, Honda, 227.502 mph

(27.) Ben Hanley, Chevrolet, 227.482 mph

Row 10

(28.) Zach Veach, Honda, 227.341 mph

(29.) Felix Rosenqvist, Honda, 227.297 mph

(30.) Pippa Mann, Chevrolet, 227.244 mph

Row 11

(31.) Sage Karam, Chevrolet, 227.740 mph

(32.) James Hinchcliffe, Honda, 227.543 mph

(33.) Kyle Kaiser, Chevrolet, 227.372 mph

Fernando Alonso, Patricio O’Ward and Max Chilton all failed to qualify for the race after being bumped from the field during the preceding Last Row Shootout.

Coverage of the 103rd Running of the Indianapolis 500 begins next Sunday morning at 9:00 a.m. ET on NBCSN, then moves over to NBC at 11:00 a.m. ET.

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Here are the starting times for 2020 NTT IndyCar Series action on NBC and NBCSN

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Another important tidbit for NTT IndyCar Series fans is out as INDYCAR and NBC announced starting times for the 2020 season. The full television schedule is also included.

There are different starting times at four races in 2020 from 2019. Those include the March 15 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, the AutoNation INDYCAR Challenge at Circuit of the Americas on April 26, a later starting time for the Saturday night race at Iowa Speedway on July 18 on NBCSN

INDYCAR released the green flag times today for the 2020 NTT IndyCar Series season that features starting time shifts at four races – St. Petersburg, Circuit of The Americas, Iowa and Mid-Ohio – and the anticipated evening return to Richmond Raceway.

Those four returning races represent the only significant green flag start time changes from a year ago in the 17-race 2020 NTT IndyCar Series schedule, beginning with the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg scheduled for Sunday, March 15.

The August 16 Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio will be moved to an earlier starting time and will be broadcast on NBC. Previously, the race was scheduled for 4:05 p.m., but has been changed to a 12:45 p.m. Eastern Time green flag.

INDYCAR’s return to Richmond Raceway on Saturday, June 27 will begin at 8:15 p.m. ET. That is the only new event on the schedule.

Detailed broadcast information for the entire season will be announced at a later date.

Here are the notable changes to the starting times on the schedule:

The Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, which began at 1:40 p.m. ET this past season, will now have a 3:30 p.m. green flag. The race on the downtown streets of St. Petersburg, Fla., will be celebrating its 10thanniversary as the series’ season opener and be televised on NBC Sports Network.

The AutoNation INDYCAR Challenge at Circuit of The Americas on Sunday, April 26, will have a similar shift, moving from a 1:43 p.m. ET green flag this past season to 4:10 p.m. (3:10 p.m. local) in 2020. The permanent road course in Austin, Texas, will play host to the fourth race of the season and be broadcast on NBCSN.

The Iowa 300 at Iowa Speedway, set for Saturday, July 18, on NBCSN, will be better accommodated for an evening race under the lights with the green flag moving from 7:15 p.m. ET to 9 p.m. (8 p.m. local).

“The return of a night race for INDYCAR at Iowa Speedway is exciting news for our race fans, sponsors, and the entire region,” Iowa Speedway President David Hyatt said. “The cars look great under the lights, and the competition should be even more fierce given what should be cooler conditions. Our track provides some of the best racing you’ll see anywhere, which will be good for attendance. This will be a can’t-miss weekend for all race fans.”

The return to a true night race at Iowa was the result of fans requesting it. The race will begin at 8:00 p.m. CT on NBCSN and the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network. And for fans and drivers, it is nostalgic, hearkening back to the first race many of them experienced … a night race on a short track.

The series hasn’t held a race that began after dusk at Iowa Speedway since 2015, and drivers and fans are welcoming it. Not only does it look more vibrant — and create sparks as cars bottom out — it also makes for better racing. Tires grip better when the track is cooler. Fans also avoid sweltering conditions during summer afternoons.

The Honda Indy 200 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on Sunday, Aug. 16, will be the only race among the four that moves to an earlier start time. The race, which had a 4:05 p.m. ET start this past season, will shift to a 12:45 p.m. green flag in 2020 and be televised on NBC.

The NTT IndyCar Series heads to Richmond Raceway – the only new addition on the 2020 schedule – for the 11th race of the season on Saturday, June 27. The field will take the green flag at 8:15 ET for the start of the first Indy car race at the .75-mile oval since 2009. The race will be broadcast on NBCSN.