After Ed Carpenter Racing’s Rinus VeeKay took full advantage of the favorable temperatures at the start of the day to set the third fastest qualifying run in Indy history, cars ran again to attempt to break into the top 12 spots to go for pole tomorrow.
Track temperature had dropped to 101degF by the end of the initial runs (minus Colton Herta and Stefan Wilson, both of whom were having engine changes).
Callum Ilott of Juncos Hollinger Racing-Chevrolet was the first to do a retake run and improved by 0.7mph but only gained three places, and lost two of those straight afterward when Dale Coyne Racing put rookie David Malukas and veteran Takuma Sato in line. The latter had to run again having had his first morning run invalidated when he interfered with Marco Andretti’s warm-up lap, having failed to follow IndyCar’s instruction to go to the deceleration lane on his slow-down lap.
Rookie Malukas improved, and got the Coyne with HMD car into 12th, but he was bumped out by his two-time Indy 500-winning teammate. Sato bounced off Turn 2’s SAFER barrier on his third lap but kept his foot in for the remainder of his run and claimed 12th.
Ironically, Marco Andretti was next up again, having suffered an electrical issue on his initial run, but he could claim only 24th. Meyer Shank Racing-Honda’s defending race winner Helio Castroneves produced an average of 229.630mph. Herta’s first run resulted in 25thwith a 230.235mph average.
Alexander Rossi elected to go to Lane 1, the priority lane, for his second run, which means a driver has to pull his first time, and could not improve, instead dropping himself from 15th to 21st.
Sage Karam was on his warm-up lap when the rain moved in, and the caution flag came out. There were also advisories of lightning within an eight-mile radius. However, there were still 3hrs30mins to go, so the action would resume once the track was dried and the lightning departed.
When the session restarted after 1hr20min, Karam improved his average speed by 0.5mph in the dense air, but gained only two places.
Remarkably, Team Penske-Chevrolet had elected to pull the times of Josef Newgarden and Scott McLaughlin, despite them sitting 14th and 15th on the grid, and go into the Priority lane. The hope was that the lower track temperatures could spring them into the Top 12 for Sunday’s shootout.
But McLaughlin’s second run dropped him from 15th to 26th, as he was 1.4mph slower than in his initial run. Teammate Newgarden got lucky because he was only his warm-up lap when lightning returned to within an eight-mile radius of the Speedway and the caution was thrown. Then came the rain and with an hour to go before the 5.50pm session, IndyCar had to admit the day was over.
Because he had not taken the green flag, Newgarden will be allowed to reclaim his 14th slot on the grid.
Positions 13-33 – now set
|13||David Malukas||231.607||232.482||232.206||230.552||231,200||Honda||Dale Coyne Racing with HMD|
|14||Joseph Newgarden||231.580||233.209||232.333||231.184||229.623||Chevy||Team Penske|
|15||Santino Ferrucci||231.508||232.239||231.729||231.329||230.741||Chevy||Dreyer & Reinbold|
|16||Simon Pagenaud||231.275||232.189||231.726||230.688||230.505||Honda||Meyer Shank Racing|
|17||JR Hildebrand||231.112||231.601||231.118||230.926||230.807||Chevy||AJ Foyt Enterprises|
|18||Conor Daly||230.999||232.448||231.459||230.822||229.288||Chevy||Ed Carpenter Racing|
|19||Callum Ilott||230.961||231.869||231.452||230.824||229.709||Chevy||Juncos Hollinger Racing|
|20||Alexander Rossi||230.812||231.379||231.076||230.514||230.282||Honda||Andretti Autosport|
|21||Graham Rahal||230.766||231.083||230.643||230.678||230.662||Honda||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing|
|22||Sage Karam||230.464||231.103||230.411||230.017||230.329||Chevy||Dreyer & Reinbold|
|23||Marco Andretti||230.345||230.996||230.283||230.117||229.986||Honda||Andretti Herta Autosport w/ Marco & Curb|
|24||Devlin DeFrancesco||230.326||231.511||231.228||230.737||227.865||Honda||Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport|
|25||Colton Herta||230.235||230.613||230.280||229.844||230.204||Honda||Andretti Autosport|
|26||Scott McLaughlin||230.154||230.394||230.123||230.104||229.998||Chevy||Team Penske|
|27||Helio Castroneves||229.630||230.306||229.803||229.570||228.845||Honda||Meyer Shank Racing|
|28||Kyle Kirkwood||229.406||230.124||229.728||229.303||228.476||Chevy||AJ Foyt Enterprises|
|29||Dalton Kellet||228.916||229.673||229.403||228.538||228.058||Chevy||AJ Foyt Enterprises|
|30||Juan Pablo Montoya||228.622||229.478||229.381||227.897||227.741||Chevy||Arrow McLaren SP|
|31||Christian Lundgaard||227.053||227.597||228.507||226.594||225.537||Honda||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing|
|32||Jack Harvey||226.851||230.401||225.447||228.032||223.640||Honda||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing|
|33||Stefan Wilson||no speed||no speed||no speed||no speed||no speed||Chevy||DragonSpeed with Cusick Motorsports|
DRIVERS IN TOP 12 for Sunday Qualifying
|1||Rinus VeeKay||233.655||234.702||233.921||233.353||232.655||Chevy||Ed Carpenter Racing|
|2||Pato O’Ward||233.037||233.401||233.176||232.804||232.767||Chevy||Arrow McLaren SP|
|3||Felix Rosenqvist||232.775||233.512||233.131||231.931||232.532||Chevy||Arrow McLaren SP|
|4||Alex Palou||232.774||233.588||233.175||232.607||231.734||Honda||Chip Ganassi Racing|
|5||Tony Kanan||232.625||233.180||232.680||232.362||232.280||Honda||Chip Ganassi Racing|
|6||Jimmie Johnson||232.398||233.135||232.428||232.134||231.897||Honda||Chip Ganassi Racing|
|7||Ed Carpenter||232.397||232.954||232.792||232.549||231.299||Chevy||Ed Carpenter Racing|
|8||Marcus Ericsson||232.275||232.728||232.406||231.973||231.993||Honda||Chip Ganassi Racing|
|9||Romain Grosjean||232.201||232.596||232.374||231.955||231.882||Honda||Andretti Autosport|
|10||Scott Dixon||232.151||232,750||232.286||231.980||231.590||Honda||Chip Ganassi Racing|
|11||Will Power||231.842||232.485||232.236||231.665||230.986||Chevy||Team Penske|
|12||Takuma Sato||231.708||232.482||231.890||231.244||231.221||Honda||Dale Coyne Racing w/RWR|