Dixon storms to Indy 500 pole position with 234mph run

Scott Dixon

Scott Dixon has taken pole position for the 106th running of the Indianapolis 500 with the second-fastest four-lap qualifying speed in the event’s history.

The Chip Ganassi Racing driver scored his fifth Indy 500 pole, and second in a row, with two laps above 234mph, and a run average of 234.046mph (376.661km/h).

The Fast Six was a four-two split of Ganassi and Ed Carpenter Racing entries, in favour of the former, and each of the first two rows will feature two Hondas and a Chevrolet.

Dixon will be joined at the head of the field by team-mate Alex Palou, with Rinus VeeKay qualifying third.

VeeKay’s team boss Ed Carpenter himself is set to line up fourth, ahead of Marcus Ericsson and Tony Kanaan.

With the Fast Twelve done, and Rows 3 and 4 locked in, the six who were still in the hunt for pole position were sent for two laps behind the Pace Car to cool their engines down.

Being sixth-fastest in the earlier segment, Kanaan was first out for the Fast Six and set a four-lap average of 232.372mph (373.966km/h) in the #1 Honda.

It was no match for what Ed Carpenter had to offer, the veteran owner-driver far more consistent than he was in the Fast 12 in setting a run of 233.080mph (375.106km/h) in the #33 Chevrolet.

Ericsson (#8 Honda) started with a 233.257mph (375.391km/h) before setting laps in the 232s on the next three times through, his average a 232.764mph (376.207km/h).

Palou (#10 Honda) was fourth onto the race track for the Fast Six, and the first to get into the 234s when he set a 234.048mph (376.664km/h) on his first lap.

He guaranteed himself a front row start with subsequent laps of 233.698mph (376.100km/h), 233.304mph (375.466km/h), and 232.950mph (374.897km/h) for an average of 233.499mph (375.780km/h).

VeeKay was the second-last driver to go for his run, and was in the 233s throughout as he clocked a 233.385mph (375.597km/h) all-told in the #21 Chevrolet.

That meant Chip Ganassi Racing was guaranteed pole, but the question was whether it would be Spaniard Palou or New Zealander Dixon.

The New Zealander kicked things off in ominous fashion with a 234.437mph (377.290km/h) on his first lap, and a 234.162mph (376.847km/h) on his second.

Dixon’s third was a 233.859mph (376.360km/h), still faster than Palou had gone on three of his four laps, and the 2008 Indy 500 winner finished things off with a 233.726mph (376.146km/h).

The four-lap average of 234.046mph is shy of Arie Luijendijk’s 236.986mph (381.392km/h) in 1996, but that was not the run which clinched pole position for the Dutchman and hence Dixon’s is the very fastest in history on that specific metric.

Earlier in the day, McLaren SP’s Pato O’Ward qualified seventh, his team-mate Felix Rosenqvist in eighth, then Romain Grosjean (Andretti Autosport), Takuma Sato (Dale Coyne Racing w/ RWR), Power (Team Penske), and Jimmie Johnson (Ganassi).

All 33 drivers are back on track tomorrow for Practice 8, a two-hour session kicking off at 03:00 AEST.

Stan Sport will carry live and ad-free coverage of next weekend’s race on Monday from 01:00 AEST.

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Results: Fast Six

Pos Num Driver C/E/T Lap 1 Lap 2 Lap 3 Lap 4 Total time Avg speed (mph) Status
1 9 Scott Dixon D/H/F 38.3898 38.4350 38.4847 38.5067 2:33.8162 234.046 Pole Day – Fast 6
2 10 Alex Palou D/H/F 38.4536 38.5113 38.5763 38.6349 2:34.1761 233.499 Pole Day – Fast 6
3 21 Rinus VeeKay D/C/F 38.5033 38.5599 38.5895 38.5989 2:34.2516 233.385 Pole Day – Fast 6
4 33 Ed Carpenter D/C/F 38.4845 38.5888 38.5956 38.7843 2:34.4532 233.080 Pole Day – Fast 6
5 8 Marcus Ericsson D/H/F 38.5841 38.6651 38.7113 38.7025 2:34.6630 232.764 Pole Day – Fast 6
6 1 Tony Kanaan D/H/F 38.6273 38.6882 38.7427 38.8661 2:34.9243 232.372 Pole Day – Fast 6

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