Castroneves Fastest In Bump Day At Indy; Hinchcliffe And Mann Bumped From 500 Field

Helio Castroneves was quickest in qualifying for the Indianapolis 500. © [Andy Clary / Spacesuit Media]

Helio Castroneves was quickest in qualifying for the Indianapolis 500. © [Andy Clary / Spacesuit Media]

By Joe Jennings

INDIANAPOLIS – Three-time winner Helio Castroneves led the way in the first of two days of qualifications for the upcoming Indianapolis 500.  The talented Brazilian recorded a four-lap average speed of 228.919 miles per hour.

He drives the Pennzoil Team Penske Chevrolet.

“I didn’t make many adjustments,” the popular driver said. “The Shell Pennzoil Chevy looks really strong. Right now, we’re working very well and trying to make sure Chevy power keeps pushing up to the front. When I saw the 229, I thought it was 228. I had to compose myself. It’s amazing how the car became so sensitive by the last lap. You don’t want to do anything too aggressive.”

Ed Carpenter and Simon Pagenaud were second and third fastest followed by Will Power, Sebastien Bourdais, Spencer Pigot, Josef Newgarden, Scott Dixon and Danica Patrick rounded out the fastest nine qualifiers, and they will all have an opportunity to compete for the prestigious pole position on Sunday afternoon.

Chevrolet powered seven of the top nine qualifiers while Honda had just two.

Patrick was more than pleased with the outcome, saying, “I am very happy with this car. I am comfortable, (Ed Carpenter Racing) has made me comfortable. We got off on a path that didn’t go very well for a while. The good thing is you come back to it and the car is there. I wish I would have been able to qualify before the rain came. The conditions were probably a little more ideal.”

Rain did stop the action twice during the afternoon.

While Castroneves and company basked in the top-speed spotlight, a handful of the slower cars were wrestling with their machines trying to go faster.  The final hour of the day was intense as the likes of James Hinchcliffe, Pippa Mann, Conor Daly, Stefan Wilson, Oriol Servia and James Davison were short on speed.

Hinchcliffe and Mann made last minute runs but came up short.

“This is disastrous,” Hinchcliffe said.  “It’s devastating in every way possible. We got in line there and then we had a tire vibration. I’m not exactly sure what the problem was… Indy is a cruel mistress sometimes. The highest of highs and the lowest of lows, but SPM worked their tails off to get these cars ready. We have three cars in the show, unfortunately the fourth one didn’t make it.  This is a big blow.”

Added Mann, “Earlier today I really thought we were going to get it done. Then we went out again for the first run and I knew we were in the fight in final trim. We took it further than any of our cars have gone. Big stats. If we understood what was going on, we wouldn’t be here.”

Davison was slowest and 33rd at 224.798 mph.

Saturday’s qualifying program locked in the fastest nine for Sunday’s Fast Nine Shootout and reduced the field from 35 to 33 with the two slowest entrants bumped.

On Sunday, Saturday’s times are erased and all entries must make another 4-lap qualifying attempt to determine starting positions 10-33.  Each entry makes one attempt in order based on slowest to fastest from Saturday’s qualifying times.

From 5 to 5:45 p.m., the Fast Nine Shootout takes place and each of the fastest nine qualifiers must make one attempt to determine their starting position in the first three rows, including the pole position and the Verizon P1 Award.

The top nine qualifiers will receive championship points with nine going to the pole winner and descending to one for the slowest qualifier out of the Fast Nine.

Indianapolis 500 bump day qualifying results
INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana – Results of first-day qualifying Saturday for the 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race presented by PennGrade Motor Oil Verizon IndyCar Series event on the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway, with rank, car number in parentheses, driver, engine, time and speed in parentheses.
1. (3) Helio Castroneves, Chevrolet, 2:37.2607 (228.919 mph)
2. (20) Ed Carpenter, Chevrolet, 2:37.4167 (228.692)
3. (22) Simon Pagenaud, Chevrolet, 2:37.6845 (228.304)
4. (12) Will Power, Chevrolet, 2:37.7604 (228.194)
5. (18) Sebastien Bourdais, Honda, 2:37.8322 (228.090)
6. (21) Spencer Pigot, Chevrolet, 2:37.8588 (228.052)
7. (1) Josef Newgarden, Chevrolet, 2:37.8608 (228.049)
8. (9) Scott Dixon, Honda, 2:38.0457 (227.782)
9. (13) Danica Patrick, Chevrolet, 2:38.1654 (227.610)
10. (27) Alexander Rossi, Honda, 2:38.1996 (227.561)
11. (14) Tony Kanaan, Chevrolet, 2:38.2363 (227.508)
12. (4) Matheus Leist, Chevrolet, 2:38.2826 (227.441)
13. (10) Ed Jones, Honda, 2:38.5941 (226.995)
14. (28) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Honda, 2:38.6238 (226.952)
15. (29) Carlos Munoz, Honda, 2:38.8702 (226.600)
16. (66) JR Hildebrand, Chevrolet, 2:38.9409 (226.499)
17. (98) Marco Andretti, Honda, 2:39.1837 (226.154)
18. (7) Jay Howard, Honda, 2:39.2233 (226.098)
19. (24) Sage Karam, Chevrolet, 2:39.2459 (226.065)
20. (6) Robert Wickens, Honda, 2:39.3241 (225.955)
21. (32) Kyle Kaiser, Chevrolet, 2:39.3388 (225.934)
22. (25) Stefan Wilson, Honda, 2:39.3561 (225.909)
23. (88) Gabby Chaves, Chevrolet, 2:39.4273 (225.808)
24. (26) Zach Veach, Honda, 2:39.4298 (225.805)
25. (23) Charlie Kimball, Chevrolet, 2:39.4673 (225.752)
26. (19) Zachary Claman De Melo, Honda, 2:39.4881 (225.722)
27. (60) Jack Harvey, Honda, 2:39.4894 (225.720)
28. (59) Max Chilton, Chevrolet, 2:39.5275 (225.666)
29. (30) Takuma Sato, Honda, 2:39.6362 (225.513)
30. (15) Graham Rahal, Honda, 2:39.7114 (225.407)
31. (64) Oriol Servia, Honda, 2:39.9953 (225.007)
32. (17) Conor Daly, Honda, 2:40.0897 (224.874)
33. (33) James Davison, Chevrolet, 2:40.1439 (224.798)

Did Not Qualify:
34. (5) James Hinchcliffe, Honda, 2:40.1547 (224.784)
35. (63) Pippa Mann, Honda, 2:40.4565 (224.360)


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