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Simon Pagenaud earns Indianapolis 500 pole

Monday 20th May, 2019 - 11:29am

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Simon Pagenaud

Simon Pagenaud secured pole position for the Indianapolis 500 while fellow Team Penske driver and 2018 race winner Will Power qualified sixth.

Pagenaud earned team owner Roger Penske’s 18th Indy 500 pole in the Fast Nine Shootout.

The Frenchman’s 229.992mph (370.136km/h) average in the #22 Chevrolet denied hometown favourite Ed Carpenter (229.889mph, 369.970km/h) a fourth Indianapolis pole.

The Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolets placed two-three-four as the American owner/driver was ably backed up by Spencer Pigot, the provisional pole-sitter, and Ed Jones.

Carpenter was the third driver to run, setting the benchmark for the three-car Penske attack.

But while Power (228.645mph, 367.968km/h) and Josef Newgarden (228.396mph, 367.568) fell short, the latter ultimately eighth, Pagenaud coaxed enough speed out of his machine for his 11th career IndyCar Series pole and first at Indianapolis.

“I can’t take credit for this for myself; this is truly what Team Penske does, and they give us the best equipment,” said Pagenaud.

“Quite frankly I’m at the very, very end of it all, and I’m just very honoured to drive this #22 Chevy, which honestly was incredible today.”

Pagenaud has been under pressure after failing to come close to the performances that took him to the 2016 IndyCar title.

He did not win a race in 2018 and slumped to sixth in the standings, and even that result flattered his level of competitiveness.

Convinced that he had returned to form earlier this season, Pagenaud finally broke through for a victory at the IndyCar Grand Prix on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course one week ago.

He proved it with his confident run to pole position for the 500.

“I think all the cars are so close these days, and it’s very difficult for a driver to make a difference,” said the 35-year-old.

“You can see all the teams and drivers are raising their game.

“It’s tremendous to be involved in this era of the sport.

“I think we’re showing that we finally got to open up my confidence again, and that’s where we’re at.

“This is what strong teams do, and this is what strong drivers do together.”

Power was 0.002mph (0.003km/h) away from Pigot’s speed a day earlier, but was unhappy with his result on Sunday in the #12 Chevrolet.

“I have no clue what happened to our speed today,” said the Queenslander.

“It was easy to drive, but it was slow, and I really could not tell you why.

“It’s unfortunate, because we were so close to the top speed yesterday.

“We’ll study our data pretty hard tonight to see where the speed went.

“The car was amazing to drive, so much so that I was really dumbfounded when I heard what the times were.

“Starting sixth is not bad, but I really want a pole here. It’s coming, man.

“It took a few years to win the race, so it may take a few years to win the pole.”

Earlier, Fernando Alonso was the biggest name of the three who failed to make it onto the 11th and final row for the 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500.

There will be two hours of practice on Monday afternoon (local time; Tuesday morning AEST), before Carb Day on Friday (local time).

Results: Qualifying: Day 2

Pos Num Driver C/E/T Lap 1 Lap 2 Lap 3 Lap 4 Total time Avg speed Qualified on Status
mph km/h
1 22 Simon Pagenaud D/C/F 39.1102 39.1285 39.1118 39.1766 2:36.5271 229.992 370.136 Pole Day  
2 20 Ed Carpenter D/C/F 39.0673 39.1265 39.1890 39.2143 2:36.5971 229.889 369.970 Pole Day  
3 21 Spencer Pigot D/C/F 39.1206 39.1575 39.1659 39.1962 2:36.6402 229.826 369.869 Pole Day  
4 63 Ed Jones D/C/F 39.0972 39.2149 39.2181 39.2327 2:36.7629 229.646 369.579 Pole Day  
5 88 Colton Herta D/H/F 39.2126 39.2487 39.2966 39.3886 2:37.1465 229.086 368.678 Pole Day  
6 12 Will Power D/C/F 39.3169 39.3623 39.3763 39.3935 2:37.4490 228.645 367.968 Pole Day  
7 18 Sebastien Bourdais D/H/F 39.3055 39.3833 39.3357 39.4414 2:37.4659 228.621 367.930 Pole Day  
8 2 Josef Newgarden D/C/F 39.3523 39.4134 39.4587 39.3964 2:37.6208 228.396 367.568 Pole Day  
9 27 Alexander Rossi D/H/F 39.3273 39.4184 39.4762 39.5021 2:37.7240 228.247 367.328 Pole Day  
10 98 Marco Andretti D/H/F 39.1941 39.3151 39.3995 39.4642 2:37.3729 228.756 368.147 Day 1  
11 25 Conor Daly D/H/F 39.2626 39.3879 39.4040 39.4143 2:37.4688 228.617 367.923 Day 1  
12 3 Helio Castroneves D/C/F 39.2083 39.3775 39.4600 39.4879 2:37.5337 228.523 367.772 Day 1  
13 7 Marcus Ericsson D/H/F 39.2987 39.4361 39.3971 39.4096 2:37.5415 228.511 367.753 Day 1  
14 30 Takuma Sato D/H/F 39.3392 39.4293 39.4969 39.4220 2:37.6874 228.300 367.413 Day 1  
15 33 James Davison D/H/F 39.2590 39.4561 39.4936 39.4970 2:37.7057 228.273 367.370 Day 1  
16 14 Tony Kanaan D/C/F 39.3649 39.4391 39.4943 39.5133 2:37.8116 228.120 367.124 Day 1  
17 15 Graham Rahal D/H/F 39.3761 39.4162 39.4298 39.6005 2:37.8226 228.104 367.098 Day 1  
18 9 Scott Dixon D/H/F 39.3605 39.4468 39.4603 39.5580 2:37.8256 228.100 367.091 Day 1  
19 77 Oriol Servia D/H/F 39.3764 39.4116 39.5047 39.6082 2:37.9009 227.991 366.916 Day 1  
20 23 Charlie Kimball D/C/F 39.4210 39.4892 39.4822 39.5611 2:37.9535 227.915 366.794 Day 1  
21 48 JR Hildebrand D/C/F 39.3381 39.4374 39.5441 39.6388 2:37.9584 227.908 366.782 Day 1  
22 28 Ryan Hunter-Reay D/H/F 39.3605 39.4598 39.5725 39.5871 2:37.9799 227.877 366.732 Day 1  
23 19 Santino Ferrucci D/H/F 39.4230 39.4593 39.5772 39.6220 2:38.0815 227.731 366.498 Day 1  
24 4 Matheus Leist D/C/F 39.4579 39.5109 39.5662 39.5561 2:38.0911 227.717 366.475 Day 1  
25 60 Jack Harvey D/H/F 39.3759 39.4859 39.5400 39.7045 2:38.1063 227.695 366.440 Day 1  
26 42 Jordan King D/H/F 39.5103 39.5254 39.5701 39.6344 2:38.2402 227.502 366.129 Day 1  
27 81 Ben Hanley D/C/F 39.4854 39.5270 39.5860 39.6558 2:38.2542 227.482 366.097 Day 1  
28 26 Zach Veach D/H/F 39.4136 39.5770 39.6792 39.6825 2:38.3523 227.341 365.870 Day 1  
29 10 Felix Rosenqvist D/H/F 39.5183 39.5561 39.6150 39.6940 2:38.3834 227.297 365.799 Day 1  
30 39 Pippa Mann D/C/F 39.4099 39.5814 39.7379 39.6911 2:38.4203 227.244 365.714 Day 1  
31 24 Sage Karam D/C/F 39.3871 39.5145 39.5606 39.6125 2:38.0747 227.740 366.512 Pole Day  
32 5T James Hinchcliffe D/H/F 39.4827 39.5219 39.5691 39.6381 2:38.2118 227.543 366.195 Pole Day  
33 32 Kyle Kaiser D/C/F 39.5222 39.5744 39.6059 39.6286 2:38.3311 227.372 365.920 Pole Day  
34 66 Fernando Alonso D/C/F 39.5123 39.5990 39.6236 39.6091 2:38.3440 227.353 365.889 Pole Day Bumped
35 31 Patricio O’Ward D/C/F 39.5909 39.6010 39.6729 39.6612 2:38.5260 227.092 365.469 Pole Day Failed Attempt
36 59 Max Chilton D/C/F 39.6369 39.8901 39.8214 39.8081 2:39.1565 226.192 364.021 Pole Day Bumped
37 21 Spencer Pigot D/C/F 38.9948 39.1172 39.1649 39.1886 2:36.4655 230.083 370.283 Day 1 Withdrawn – Fast 9
38 12 Will Power D/C/F 39.0569 39.0969 39.1544 39.1584 2:36.4666 230.081 370.279 Day 1 Withdrawn – Fast 9
39 22 Simon Pagenaud D/C/F 39.0420 39.1539 39.1768 39.2483 2:36.6210 229.854 369.914 Day 1 Withdrawn – Fast 9
40 2 Josef Newgarden D/C/F 39.1083 39.1758 39.1681 39.2402 2:36.6924 229.749 369.745 Day 1 Withdrawn – Fast 9
41 88 Colton Herta D/H/F 39.1660 39.2037 39.2797 39.2285 2:36.8779 229.478 369.309 Day 1 Withdrawn – Fast 9
42 63 Ed Jones D/C/F 38.9585 39.1186 39.2825 39.5439 2:36.9035 229.440 369.248 Day 1 Withdrawn – Fast 9
43 20 Ed Carpenter D/C/F 39.1257 39.2107 39.2890 39.3404 2:36.9658 229.349 369.101 Day 1 Withdrawn – Fast 9
44 27 Alexander Rossi D/H/F 39.1713 39.2488 39.2778 39.3238 2:37.0217 229.268 368.971 Day 1 Withdrawn – Fast 9
45 18 Sebastien Bourdais D/H/F 39.1771 39.1713 39.6865 39.3078 2:37.3427 228.800 368.218 Day 1 Withdrawn – Fast 9

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

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