Dixon sizzles to Indianapolis 500 pole, Alonso fifth

Scott Dixon

Scott Dixon has set the fastest four-lap qualifying time in 21 years to take pole for the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500, while Fernando Alonso will start from the middle of the second row.

The New Zealander will share the front row with Ed Carpenter and 2016 Indy 500 winner Alexander Rossi, while Will Power was slowest of the Fast 9.

Marco Andretti was first out in the Fast 9 and set an average speed of 230.474mph (370.912km/h) in his Andretti Autosport Honda, only to be immediately bettered by Tony Kannan in his Chip Ganassi Honda.

Alonso was third on track and managed to complete all four laps above 231mph to take provisional pole in the McLaren/Andretti Honda.

Power followed, but the only Team Penske Chevrolet driver in the Fast 9 was off the pace on each of his four laps.

Rossi (Andretti Autosport Honda) then went quickest, before JR Hildebrand (Ed Carpenter Chevrolet) slotted into provisional third.

That left just the top three from Day 1 of qualifying, and Dixon pulled out three laps above 232mph before his fourth was just under, for an average speed of 232.164mph (373.632km/h).

The last man to go faster in qualifying was Arie Luyendyk in 1996.

Takuma Sato used up all the track during his run, scraping the wall twice in his Andretti Honda, falling just short of Rossi and holding third for the time being.

Carpenter had the final say, and while his run was good enough for second fastest, he was still 0.5mph adrift of Dixon of the course of four laps.

The pole-sitter could barely believe his speed.

“I thought maybe the dash had broken on the steering wheel and brought up a fake number,” said Dixon.

“Seriously, I don’t think we expected to see the speed that we did.

“I tried to talk my engineer into putting some more downforce into the car, but he said, ‘Man, don’t worry. It’s going to be fine.’

“When I saw that first number, I was like, ‘Wow!’

“Obviously huge thanks to Honda. They have been pushing extremely hard with the engine and they’re definitely pushing it to its limits.

“Today we got the job done.”

Outside the first three rows, 2014 Indy 500 winner Ryan Hunter-Reay qualified 10th with the fourth-fastest run of the day, while the other four Penske entries struggled.

Juan Pablo Montoya qualified 18th, Helio Castroneves 19th, Josef Newgarden 22nd, and Simon Pagenaud 23rd.

Jack Harvey glanced the wall in his Andretti Autosport Honda on his way to 27th on the grid.

Australian James Davison will join the field as a replacement for the injured Sebastien Bourdais when the second week begins with penultimate practice from Tuesday morning at 0230 AEST.

VIDEO: Scott Dixon post-qualifying interview

Qualifying: Day 2: Indianapolis 500

Pos Driver C/A/E/T Lap 1 Lap 2 Lap 3 Lap 4 Total time
1 Dixon, Scott D/H/H/F 38.6938 38.7705 38.7901 38.8086 2:35.0630
2 Carpenter, Ed D/C/C/F 38.7630 38.8078 38.8632 38.9636 2:35.3976
3 Rossi, Alexander D/H/H/F 38.8194 38.9353 38.8805 38.8811 2:35.5163
4 Sato, Takuma D/H/H/F 38.7646 38.8603 38.9730 39.0002 2:35.5981
5 Alonso, Fernando D/H/H/F 38.9420 38.8870 38.8811 38.9322 2:35.6423
6 Hildebrand, JR D/C/C/F 38.8720 38.9594 38.9710 39.1167 2:35.9191
7 Kanaan, Tony D/H/H/F 38.9208 38.9583 39.0045 39.0765 2:35.9601
8 Andretti, Marco D/H/H/F 39.0187 39.1568 39.0233 39.0010 2:36.1998
9 Power, Will D/C/C/F 38.9759 39.1275 39.1478 39.1347 2:36.3859
10 Hunter-Reay, Ryan D/H/H/F 38.8477 38.8247 38.9190 38.9549 2:35.5463
11 Jones, Ed D/H/H/F 38.9785 38.9967 39.0722 39.0819 2:36.1293
12 Servia, Oriol D/H/H/F 39.0382 39.0563 39.0836 39.1337 2:36.3118
13 Aleshin, Mikhail D/H/H/F 39.0261 39.0729 39.0996 39.1391 2:36.3377
14 Rahal, Graham D/H/H/F 38.9849 39.1309 39.0618 39.1723 2:36.3499
15 Chilton, Max D/H/H/F 38.8909 38.9372 39.2882 39.3595 2:36.4758
16 Kimball, Charlie D/H/H/F 39.0720 39.0160 39.2382 39.2252 2:36.5514
17 Hinchcliffe, James D/H/H/F 39.0866 39.1202 39.1862 39.2239 2:36.6169
18 Montoya, Juan Pablo D/C/C/F 39.0549 39.1703 39.2785 39.3143 2:36.8180
19 Castroneves, Helio D/C/C/F 39.1393 39.1956 39.2553 39.2626 2:36.8528
20 Howard, Jay D/H/H/F 39.1461 39.1505 39.1957 39.4290 2:36.9213
21 Karam, Sage D/C/C/F 39.1077 39.2829 39.2717 39.2824 2:36.9447
22 Newgarden, Josef D/C/C/F 39.2190 39.2769 39.4391 39.6138 2:37.5488
23 Pagenaud, Simon D/C/C/F 39.3181 39.4089 39.5330 39.5703 2:37.8303
24 Munoz, Carlos D/C/C/F 39.4003 39.4047 39.5296 39.6151 2:37.9497
25 Chaves, Gabby D/C/C/F 39.6430 39.6829 39.7275 39.5924 2:38.6458
26 Daly, Conor D/C/C/F 39.6225 39.7037 39.6818 39.9751 2:38.9831
27 Harvey, Jack D/H/H/F 39.3385 39.9530 39.8108 40.3718 2:39.4741
28 Mann, Pippa D/H/H/F 39.9038 40.0222 40.0300 40.0384 2:39.9944
29 Pigot, Spencer D/C/C/F 39.7780 39.8845 39.8968 41.1175 2:40.6768
30 Lazier, Buddy D/C/C/F 40.2204 40.2817 40.3046 40.3273 2:41.1340
31 Saavedra, Sebastian D/C/C/F 40.0697 39.9149 40.3008 42.5057 2:42.7911
32 Veach, Zach D/C/C/F 40.1942 40.6387 40.5406 41.4625 2:42.8360

(C)hassis: D=Dallara | (A)erokit: C=Chevy, H=Honda | (E)ngine: C=Chevy, H=Honda | (T)yre: F=Firestone

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