IndyCar Series 2014
One week after being hospitalized for a concussion sustained at the Grand Prix of Indianapolis, James Hinchcliffe qualified his Andretti Autosport Honda-Dallara second on Sunday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and will start next weekend’s 98th running of the Indianapolis 500 mile race from the middle of the front row.
After posting the fourth-fastest speed in first-round qualifying on Saturday, Hinchcliffe was one of five Honda-powered drivers to advance to the “Fast Nine Shootout”, a new format for 2014 to set the first three rows of the starting field for next weekend’s Memorial Day weekend classic.
Earlier, Hinchcliffe was forced to rest for three days after suffering a concussion when debris struck his helmet during last weekend’s race. He was cleared to return to driving mid-week, and quickly demonstrated he was fully up to speed, posting the fourth-fastest time in first-round qualifying on Saturday to advance to the pole shootout. His four-lap average of 230.839 mph was bettered only by Ed Carpenter, who scored his second consecutive “500” pole with an average of 231.067 mph. Carpenter’s pole speed is the fastest qualifying run at Indianapolis since 2003, when Helio Castroneves established a mark of 231.725 mph.
Other Honda drivers to take part in the pole shootout included Simon Pagenaud, who will start fifth for Schmidt Peterson Hamilton Motorsports; Marco Andretti, sixth for Andretti Autosport; Carlos Munoz - last year’s Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year - who will start seventh; and Josef Newgarden, who qualified eighth for Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing.
A trio of Indy rookies starred in second-round qualifying run earlier today at the Speedway. NASCAR star Kurt Busch led the way for Honda, posting the 12th-fastest speed in his Andretti Autosport entry, while Jack Hawksworth will start his first “500” from the inside of the fifth row, 13th. Mikhail Aleshin was another Honda rookie to better 230 mph in qualifying, and will start 15th. Veteran Oriol Servia also had an impressive day, making the largest gain in the field from first- to second-round qualifying, improving 11 positions to qualify 18th.
Verizon IndyCar Series activities resume on Monday with a practice session to aid teams in making race preparations, followed by the traditional “Carb Day” final practice on Friday, May 23. The 98th running of the Indianapolis 500 starts at 12 p.m. EDT Sunday, May 25, with live television coverage on ABC.
|1||Ed Carpenter (Ed Carpenter Racing)|
|2||James Hinchcliffe (Andretti Autosport)|
|3||Will Power (Team Penske)|
|4||Helio Castroneves (Team Penske)|
|5||Simon Pagenaud (Schmidt Peterson Motorsports)|
|6||Marco Andretti (Andretti Autosport)|
|7||Carlos Munoz (Andretti Autosport)|
|8||Josef Newgarden (Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing)|
|9||JR Hildebrand (Ed Carpenter Racing)|
|10||Juan Pablo Montoya (Team Penske)|
|12||Kurt Busch (Andretti Autosport)|
|13||Jack Hawksworth (Bryan Herta Autosport)|
|14||Justin Wilson (Dale Coyne Racing)|
|15||Mikhail Aleshin (Schmidt Peterson Motorsports)|
|18||Oriol Servia (Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing)|
|19||Ryan Hunter-Reay (Andretti Autosport)|
|20||Graham Rahal (Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing)|
|21||Carlos Huertas (Dale Coyne Racing)|
|22||Pippa Mann (Dale Coyne Racing)|
|23||Takuma Sato (A.J. Foyt Racing)|
|24||Alex Tagliani (Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing)|
|27||Jacques Villeneuve (Schmidt Peterson Motorsports)|
|29||Martin Plowman (A.J. Foyt Racing)|