Indy 500: Carpenter leads qualifying, Alonso reaches Fast Nine

Two-time Indy 500 polesitter Ed Carpenter led Saturday qualifying, as Fernando Alonso booked his spot in the Fast Nine shootout and Bourdais survived a terrifying crash.

Indy 500: Carpenter leads qualifying, Alonso reaches Fast Nine
Ed Carpenter, Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet official qualifying portrait
Ed Carpenter, Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet
Ed Carpenter, Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet
Ed Carpenter, Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet
Ed Carpenter, Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet
Ed Carpenter, Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet
Ed Carpenter, Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet

Carpenter was one of only two drivers to clock all four laps over 230mph to clock a 230.465mph average, and he put Chevrolet unexpectedly at the front of the field in a Fast Nine dominated by Honda.

Said Carpenter: “Call me pessimistic but I’ve felt better going into qualifying. I thought Will [Power] and I had the fastest Chevys all week, but there were some big numbers going on up there.

“I thought I could run a 230, but I didn’t know I could run four of them. The balance was really good through the four laps, but it was hard at the end. Having a late draw helped today, and I love being in the shootout and to have Chevy in there.

Commenting on Bourdais’ major shunt mid-run, Carpenter added: “It’s hard when you see a guy like Seb go out and have a crash like that. I hope he’s doing OK. But when you get out there, it’s time to go, and I love driving racecars around this place.”

Takuma Sato was fastest of the six Andretti Autosport entries with a 230.382mph average ahead of 2008 Indy 500 winner Scott Dixon of Chip Ganassi Racing-Honda.

JR Hildebrand made it two ECR cars in the top four, with defending Indy 500 winner Alexander Rossi in fifth.

Will Power was the only Penske car to make it into tomorrow’s Fast Nine shootout, while two-time Formula 1 World Champion Fernando Alonso was predictably the star rookie, with two laps over 230mph, and also an average over 230 in the McLaren Honda Andretti entry.

Tony Kanaan was eighth of those with a 230 average, with Marco Andretti ninth on a 229.924mph lap.

Bourdais’ teammate Ed Jones provided some consolation to the shocked but relieved Coyne team.

Notable absentees from the Fast Nine, as well as four of the five Penkses, were Ryan Hunter-Reay and last year’s polesitter James Hinchcliffe of Schmidt Peterson Motorsports-Honda.

Zach Veach did not run the third AJ Foyt Racing-Chevrolet. Regarding Bourdais’ #18 Dale Coyne Racing Honda, whoever drives it in next week’s Indianapolis 500 will have to start from the back.

 

1. Ed Carpenter                     230.672, 230.670, 230.278, 230.254 = 230.468mph
2. Takuma Sato                     230.871, 230.349, 230.236, 230.074 = 230.382mph
3. Scott Dixon                        230.720, 230.522, 230.184, 229.909 = 230.333mph
4. JR Hildebrand                    230.834, 230.396, 229.931, 229.664 = 230.205mph
5. Alexander Rossi                230.281, 230.291, 230.130, 229.872 = 230.148mph
6. Will Power                          230.277, 229.931, 229.957, 230.124 = 230.072mph
7. Fernando Alonso              230.337, 230.260, 229.845, 229.696 = 230.034mph
8. Tony Kanaan                      230.341, 230.163, 230.019, 229.506 = 230.007mph
9. Marco Andretti                  230.303, 230.010, 229.747, 229.636 = 229.924mph
10. Ed Jones                            229.956, 229.830, 229.615, 229.467 = 229.717mph
11. Charlie Kimball               230.210, 229.687, 229.503, 229.453 = 229.713mph
12. Max Chilton                     229.924, 229.796, 228.993, 229.832 = 229.636mph
13. Ryan Hunter-Reay          229.876, 229.583, 229.547, 229.126 = 229.533mph
14. Helio Castroneves          229.605, 229.537, 229.424, 228.944 = 229.390mph
15. Mikhail Aleshin               229.450, 229.465, 229.063, 228.892 = 229.217mph
16. Graham Rahal                 229.172, 229.024, 228.624, 228.523 = 228.835mph
17. Josef Newgarden            229.051, 228.760, 228.512, 228.464 = 228.696mph
18. Juan Pablo Montoya      229.038, 228.581, 228.530, 228.431 = 228.645mph
19. James Hinchcliffe           228.524, 228.463, 228.720, 228.523 = 228.557mph
20. Simon Pagenaud            229.053, 228.223, 228.216, 228.083 = 228.393mph
21. Sage Karam                     228.846, 228.181, 227.639, 227.113 = 227.943mph
22. Jay Howard                      228.477, 227.984, 227.641, 227.313 = 227.853mph
23. Carlos Munoz                  227.770, 227.717, 227.266, 227.000 = 227.438mph
24. Oriol Servia                      229.971, 227.075, 226.282, 225.324 = 227.150mph
25. Jack Harvey                      226.873, 226.912, 226.919, 226.873 = 226.894mph
26. Gabby Chaves                 227.064, 226.846, 226.664, 226.912 = 226.875mph
27. Conor Daly                       225.980, 225.887, 225.984, 225.798 = 225.912mph
28. Sebastian Saavedra       226.331, 226.150, 225.248, 225.535 = 225.815mph
29. Spencer Pigot                  223.404, 223.591, 223.644, 223.833 = 223.631mph
30. Buddy Lazier                   221.423, 221.219, 221.463, 221.601 = 221.427mph
31. Pippa Mann                     225.773, 221.785, 214.643, 215.314 = 219.282mph
DNQ Sebastien Bourdais    231.472, 231.595, crash
DNQ Zach Veach                   no time

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