Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Ed Carpenter earns second consecutive Indianapolis 500 pole

INDIANAPOLIS — Local driver Ed Carpenter has made himself at home on the Indianapolis 500 pole.

The last of nine qualifiers to take the track in Sunday's "Fast Nine" format, Carpenter bumped James Hinchcliffe from the top spot, posting a four-lap average of 231.067 mph to win the 500 pole for the second straight year at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

"I felt that it was harder," Carpenter said. "It was just a different position because when I made my run last year, we didn't really have anything to lose. This year, being the last guy to go out, I think there was a little bit of pressure to not mess it up."

The Indianapolis native showed no signs of rust in his first IndyCar race this season. He owns Ed Carpenter Racing and decided in November to run only on ovals, where he excels. He turned his No. 20 Chevrolet over to Mike Conway on road and street courses, and skipped the first four races. The move paid off, as Conway won at Long Beach, the team's first nonoval win.

Hinchcliffe will start second after sustaining a concussion last weekend in the Grand Prix of Indianapolis, last week's race which used the Brickyard's infield road course. Will Power will join them on the front row for Sunday's race.

Three-time Indy 500 champ Helio Castroneves was fourth followed by Simon Pagenaud and Marco Andretti. Carlos Munoz, Josef Newgarden and J.R. Hildebrand will be on the third row.

Carpenter, 33, the stepson of former IMS executive Tony George, was 10th in last year's 500. He is 11th driver to earn consecutive 500 poles and the first since Castroneves in 2009-10.

"It's all about the race," Carpenter said. "Hopefully, we can close the deal this year."

As a single-car team last year, Carpenter was unable to get help on data and much-needed setup information. He didn't want a repeat this May, so he hired Hildebrand to drive a second car at Indy for ECR.

"I wish we could have got him up on the front row with us, but the shootout's tough," Carpenter said. "The conditions were hard today, but having him go first today also helped me because we were able to make an adjustment."

This is the debut of a new qualifying format. The fastest nine drivers in Saturday's qualifying advanced to Sunday's shootout for the pole.

Juan Montoya had the fastest four-lap average (231.007 mph) among drivers ineligible to win the pole and will start 10th.

NASCAR's Kurt Busch, who will try "the double" (Indy and the Sprint Cup Coca-Cola 600 on the same day), will line up 12th (230.782 mph). St. Petersburg resident Sebastien Bourdais (229.847) starts 17th.

For the first time, IndyCar awarded points for Indy qualifying. Carpenter got the maximum 42 — 33 for Saturday's top speed and nine for earning the pole. That's nearly as many points as victories are worth at nonoval races (50, plus at least one point for leading a lap).

Ed Carpenter earns second consecutive Indianapolis 500 pole 05/18/14 [Last modified: Sunday, May 18, 2014 10:32pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays see the Blake Snell they've been waiting for in win over Mariners

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — It was a one-run game Sunday when the Mariners' Robinson Cano singled with one out in the seventh inning, bringing the dangerous Nelson Cruz to the plate.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) throwing in the third inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017.
  2. Bucs journal: Demar Dotson (mild groin strain) expected back for opener

    Bucs

    TAMPA — The Bucs got good news Sunday on starting right tackle Demar Dotson, whose MRI exam showed only a mild right groin sprain and who should be back at practice next week.

    Tackle Demar Dotson has only a mild groin strain.
  3. Bucs counting on better health creating better pass rush

    Bucs

    TAMPA — Ask Bucs coaches about the improved depth and health of their defensive line, and they'll look around for a piece of wood to knock on.

    Retired All-Pro defensive end  Simeon Rice, right, the last Buc to have double-digit sacks in a season,  works with defensive end Ryan Russell, who last season was promoted from the practice squad for the second half of the year as injuries piled up. He is competing for a backup job this year.
  4. Rays journal: Jake Faria heads to DL with left abdominal strain

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — RHP Jacob Faria made the trek he didn't want to take after his last start. It was to the trainer's room. The pain in his left abdominal went from nagging to an issue during his start that night in Toronto.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Jacob Faria (34) throwing in the first inning of the game between the Milwaukee Brewers and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Friday, August 4, 2017.
  5. Rays up next: vs. Blue Jays, 7:10 p.m. Tuesday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: Off

    Up next: vs. Blue Jays, 7:10 p.m. Tuesday, Tropicana Field.