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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Ganassi announces multiyear sponsorship extension with American Legion for No. 10

Chip Ganassi American Legion
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Chip Ganassi Racing announced a new primary sponsorship deal with The American Legion this week, shoring up the funding on its No. 10 Dallara-Honda of Alex Palou.

The 2021 NTT IndyCar Series champion primarily had driven with NTT Data sponsorship the past two seasons. But NTT Data will move next season to McLaren Racing as a primary sponsor for Felix Rosenqvist in 10 races and on the Indy 500 car of Tony Kanaan (who drove an American Legion car for Ganassi at the Brickyard last year).

It was the latest twist in a McLaren-Ganassi saga that included a contract dispute for the services of Palou (who is expected to move to McLaren in 2024 after reaching an agreement to race with Ganassi next year).

Ganassi stayed within its own walls to help plug the sponsorship gap left by NTT Data, re-signing The American Legion to a multiyear extension. The Indianapolis-based non-profit organization, which has been sponsoring Ganassi cars for the past few seasons, also will be associated with other Ganassi drivers, including Indy 500 winner Marcus Ericsson and development driver Kyffin Simpson in Indy NXT.

The Ganassi organization will continue promoting The American Legion’s “Be The One” campaign aimed at reducing veteran suicides. The team launched an online auction for the initiative this week.

“Supporting our nation’s veterans is of immense importance to our organization and we are humbled to continue supporting The American Legion’s mission in ending veteran suicide,” team owner Chip Ganassi said in a release. “We will do absolutely everything we can to help veterans get the support they need while raising public awareness of the ‘Be The One’ platform.”

“We have received an overwhelming amount of support from fans, active-duty military members and veterans as a result of this partnership and we’re pleased to see it grow,” said Dean Kessel, chief marketing officer at The American Legion. “Thanks to the continuous collaboration with the team’s other partners, and the promotion of the ‘Be The One’ initiative, we are discovering more ways to engage with the military community than ever before. We want all veterans to know that it’s okay to ask for help.”