UPDATED, 3:10 P.M. ET: A frantic hour of action has seen a bunch of drivers go ahead and attempt a second Indianapolis 500 qualification attempt to see if they could improve their speeds, before a slight drizzle has hit the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
If a driver improved, so too would their position. But they would not lose their original speed and time.
Will Power has now jumped to the top of the time sheets with a four-lap average of 230.323 mph.
Power told the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network: “We found more in the car and the conditions are different. We had the right gear and downforce level for this run. I think a lot of people are gonna go quicker now. But that should be at least for the next couple hours. I have to look at the points. OK, yeah, that’s something to consider, since you don’t lose your best speed if you get out.
The top nine at 3:10 p.m. ET: Power 230.323, Ed Carpenter 230.114, Simon Pagenaud 230.070, JR Hildebrand 230.027, Ryan Hunter-Reay 230.011, Kurt Busch 229.960, Marco Andretti 229.836, Helio Castroneves 229.788, and Jack Hawksworth 229.732.
Here’s a rundown of the attempts in this stint, with the driver’s first run on the left and second on the right. Note Pagenaud is the only driver thus far to make three attempts, and he went to P3 on his third.
ROUND 2+ OF ATTEMPTS First run Next run 77 Pagenaud 228.749/P15 229.193/P13 3 Castroneves 229.456/P10 229.788/P3 22 Karam - 228.650/P18 26 Busch 229.256/P12 229.960/P3 2 Montoya 229.594/P9 229.727/P6 7 Aleshin 228.385/P22 229.091/P14 10 Kanaan 228.064/P25 Waved off 63 Mann 227.721/P30 No improvement 34 Munoz 229.590/P10 No improvement 12 Power 229.649/P9 230.323/P1 21 Hildebrand 229.453/P12 230.027/P3 25 Andretti 229.663/P10 229.836/P6 15 Rahal 228.664/P18 No improvement 67 Newgarden 229.471/P11 229.637/P11 77 Pagenaud 229.193/P13 230.070/P3 16 Servia 228.034/P26 No improvement 83 Kimball 228.710/P17 Rain
ORIGINAL, 1:35 P.M. ET: The first runs of qualifying for the Indianapolis 500 are in the books. Here’s where we stand:
- Ed Carpenter and Ryan Hunter-Reay are over 230 mph with their four-lap runs.
- Kurt Busch has qualified at 229.256 mph. Of his lap, Busch told the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network: “It went by so fast. I wasn’t as focused as what I was this morning. You’re so busy, trusting the car, knowing the corners. Here you take downforce off, and it makes it exciting. Not just one lap, it’s four. It keeps you busy. I did four laps but it felt like one. I wasn’t in the zone and might have left something. It’s a big challenge to qualify the car at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”
- James Hinchcliffe slotted into third with his run, eventually bumped back to fourth by teammate Hunter-Reay. “It was a week of uncertainlty. They took good care of me to come back. I’m just so happy to have not missed this. Pole weekend is second only to the race. To miss that, I would have been bummed. The car was a big part of that. We have to find a little bit more speed.”
- Jacques Villeneuve, 1995 Indianapolis 500 champion, made his first qualifying run in 19 years: “It was nice and easy. We didn’t have that much time. We don’t need the qualifying points. The top 9 is pointless for us. We’re actually really happy. In ’95, it was edgy; I wasn’t flat on the four laps. More power. Now it’s a question of momentum. The speed’s similar, but it drives differently.”
- Ryan Hunter-Reay, in P2 thus far: “It was for sure a good run. We’re fighting a championship as well. But I’m fully expecting the track to go quicker.”
- The top nine right now: Carpenter, Hunter-Reay, rookie Jack Hawksworth, Hinchcliffe, Marco Andretti, Will Power, Juan Pablo Montoya, Carlos Munoz and Josef Newgarden.
- The rest of the runners, 10-32: Helio Castroneves, JR Hildebrand, Kurt Busch, Justin Wilson, Takuma Sato, Simon Pagenaud, Charlie Kimball, Graham Rahal, Townsend Bell, Scott Dixon, Sebastien Bourdais, Mikhail Aleshin, Sebastian Saavedra, Jacques Villeneuve, Tony Kanaan, Oriol Servia, Carlos Huertas, Alex Tagliani, Martin Plowman, Pippa Mann, Ryan Briscoe, James Davison and Buddy Lazier.
- So far rookie Sage Karam has not gone out.
QUALIFYING PROGRESSION 91 Lazier, Did Not Run 34 Munoz, 229.590 21 Hildebrand, 229.453 2 Montoya, 229.594 9 Dixon, 228.501 20 Carpenter, 230.114 98 Hawksworth, 229.732 18 Huertas, 227.904 8 Briscoe, 227.201 3 Castroneves, 229.456 19 Wilson, 228.947 63 Mann, 227.721 41 Plowman, 227.774 25 Andretti, 229.663 26 Busch, 229.256 7 Aleshin, 228.385 15 Rahal, 228.664 27 Hinchcliffe, 229.672 5 Villeneuve, 228.171 12 Power, 229.649 17 Saavedra, Did Not Run 33 Davison, Did Not Run 77 Pagenaud, 228.749 83 Kimball, 228.710 10 Kanaan, 228.064 67 Newgarden, Did Not Run 6 Bell, 228.508 68 Tagliani, 227.813 22 Karam, Did Not Run 14 Sato, 228.786 28 Hunter-Reay, Did Not Run 16 Servia, 228.034 11 Bourdais, 228.388 AFTER INITIAL PROGRESSION 17 Saavedra, 228.294 67 Newgarden, 229.471 33 Davison, 226.761 28 Hunter-Reay, 230.011 91 Lazier, 226.543