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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Indy Lights: Askew clinches 2019 title while VeeKay wins Laguna Seca race 1

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MONTEREY, Calif – Rinus VeeKay may have won the first race of the weekend’s Indy Lights doubleheader at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca Saturday afternoon, but all all eyes post-race were all on the driver who finished the race in the fourth position.

That driver was Oliver Askew, who by simply starting the 30-lap event at the famed road course won the 2019 series title, along with the 2020 NTT IndyCar Series scholarship that guarantees a minimum of three races next season.

“It’s all sinking in,” Askew told NBC Sports following the race. “I’m really happy to be part of this team. They’re back to back champions now in Indy Lights, and I feel very fortunate to be driving in this car this year.

“This is what we worked for all year. I’m very happy to be in this position and I can’t wait to celebrate with my team.”

With the championship in Askew’s possession from the get-go, the best VeeKay could do for in race 1 was to win in dominant fashion. He went on to do just so.

After starting the race from the pole position, VeeKay led every lap from start to finish en route to his fifth victory of the season.

“We managed the car well and kept the car consistent throughout the whole race,” VeeKay said. “I got a great car from the team so I want to give a big shout out to them for giving me a winning car.”

Behind VeeKay, Portland race 2 winner Toby Sowery finished the race in the second position, while Robert Megennis finished third.

Live streaming coverage of race two of the Indy Lights doubleheader at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca begins tomorrow afternoon at 12:10 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Gold.

Click here for full race results

Follow Michael Eubanks on Twitter