Team Penske comes up short at Indy, pole streak ends at eight — but is still in good position overall


All good things eventually come to an end, and such was the case for Team Penske during Sunday’s Indianapolis 500 qualifying.

When Target/Chip Ganassi’s Scott Dixon won the pole for this coming Sunday’s Greatest Spectacle in Racing, it snapped a stranglehold on pole positions that Team Penske had held for the last eight Verizon IndyCar Series races.

The streak dated back to the last three races of the 2014 season, starting with Milwaukee, and continued with the first five races of the current campaign.

But don’t weep for Team Penske. It still has two drivers on the front row of the 99th running of the 500: Will Power starts a career-best second and Simon Pagenaud will start third.

Helio Castroneves, bidding to become the fourth driver to win four Indy 500 titles, will start in the middle of the second row in fifth position.

The fourth Penske driver, reigning points leader Juan Pablo Montoya, will start from the outside of the fifth row (qualified 15th).

“I think we have a good chance here, the entire team,” Pagenaud told about the overall strength of the entire Team Penske delegation. “But the Indy 500 is a bit like the 24 Hours of Le Mans. You’re never ready enough for this race.

“There’s so many things, nine to 10 pit stops, a yellow can fall out at the wrong time, something can happen in pit lane.

“It can go all right up until the race and something can happen at the last moment where you don’t expect it. I’m just going to keep being like I have been, like pretty non-emotional about it and do my job, even though I’m super excited.”

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