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.

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“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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Valtteri Bottas takes pole position for season-opening Austrian GP

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SPIELBERG, Austria — Valtteri Bottas upstaged Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton to take pole position Saturday for the Formula One Austrian GP.

The Finnish driver edged out the world champion by 0.012 seconds to claim the top spot for the season opener at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg. He clenched his fist as he climbed out of his car and shared a hug with Hamilton.

“It’s something special when you push the car to the limit,” said Bottas, who is chasing an eighth career win. “Feels so good. It’s very impressive (from the team).”

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen was third, and Lando Norris gave McLaren a boost by finishing fourth. Verstappen has won the past two years here, including 2019 when he started third behind Hamilton and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.

“It’s going to be interesting quite a bit warmer tomorrow and hopefully this will play to our advantage,” Verstappen said. “Today, Mercedes was on a different level, unfortunately. Last year we were also a little bit off in qualifying so I expect we will be a bit better in the race.”

Bottas had the leading time when drivers embarked on their final laps and beat his own mark before sliding off the track into the gravel.

Hamilton was chasing a record-extending 89th career pole. He was ahead but then dropped off slightly as Bottas secured a 12th career pole.

“Great job by Valtteri. It’s a great start to the season,” Hamilton said. “We show year on year that we continue to be the best team. We’re open-minded … constantly learning from each other and pushing the boundaries.”

Ferrari struggled for speed, with Leclerc nearly one second behind in seventh and Sebastian Vettel failing to make it into the third and final part of qualifying, known as Q3. He starts the race from 11th on the grid.

Vettel is leaving Ferrari at the end of the season with his future in F1 uncertain.

Earlier, Hamilton posted the fastest time in morning practice. The 35-year-old British driver was also quickest in both sessions on Friday.

Midway through third practice, F1 newcomer Nicholas Latifi misjudged the exit of a turn and spun his Williams car into a protective tire wall.