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Indianapolis 500
Lineup
Row 1
Ed Carpenter…231.067 mph
James Hinchcliffe…230.839
Will Power…230.697
Row 2
Helio Castroneves…230.649
Simon Pagenaud…230.614
Marco Andretti…230.544
Row 3
Carlos Munoz…230.146
Josef Newgarden…229.893
JR Hildebrand…228.726
Row 4
Juan Pablo Montoya…231.007
Scott Dixon…230.928
Kurt Busch…230.782
Row 5
Jack Hawksworth…230.506
Justin Wilson…230.256
Mikhail Aleshin…230.049
Row 6
Tony Kanaan…229.922
Sebastien Bourdais…229.847
Oriol Servia…229.752
Row 7
Ryan Hunter-Reay…229.719
Graham Rahal…229.628
Carlos Huertas…229.251
Row 8
Pippa Mann…229.223
Takuma Sato…229.201
Alex Tagliani… 229.148
Row 9
Townsend Bell…229.009
Charlie Kimball…228.953
Jacques Villeneuve…228.949
Row 10
James Davison…228.865
Martin Plowman…228.814
Ryan Briscoe…228.713
Row 11
Sage Karam…228.436
Sebastian Saavedra…228.088
Buddy Lazier…227.920
Race: Sunday
Time: Noon
TV: ABC
Associated Press
Ed Carpenter celebrates with his wife, Heather, after winning the pole during qualifications for the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday.
indianapolis 500

Carpenter back home on pole

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

The last of nine qualifiers to take the track, 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.

“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.”

He didn’t mess it up, not at all.

Carpenter’s No. 20 Chevrolet was the car to beat all weekend, and the hometown favorite showed no signs of rust in his first IndyCar Series race of the season. He owns Ed Carpenter Racing and decided in November to run only on ovals, where he excels. He turned his car over to Mike Conway on road and street courses, and skipped the first four races of the season.

He knew he had the pole secured when he nailed the final two corners on the last lap.

“I could really just kind of enjoy it knowing that we were going to be on the pole for the second year,” he said.

Hinchcliffe will start second after suffering a concussion last weekend in the Grand Prix of Indianapolis. Will Power will join them on the front row.

Three-time Indy 500 champion 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, the stepson of former speedway executive Tony George, was 10th in last year’s Indy 500.

He is 11th driver to earn consecutive 500 poles and the first since Castroneves in 2009-10.

“It’s all about the race,” the 33-year-old 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 Ed Carpenter Racing. Hildebrand nearly won the Indy 500 as a rookie in 2011, but he crashed exiting the final turn and was passed for the win by the late Dan Wheldon.

“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.”

Carpenter thrived in the first year of a new Indy 500 qualifying format. He posted the top qualifying speed Saturday when the fastest nine drivers advanced to Sunday’s shootout for the pole.

Juan Pablo Montoya had the fastest four-lap average (231.007 mph) among drivers ineligible to win the Indianapolis 500 pole and will start 10th.

“We have a pretty quick car,” Montoya, the 2000 winner, said. “Hopefully, my guys can learn something for the Fast Nine. I think that will put us in a good spot to start the race.”

Montoya was followed by reigning series champion Scott Dixon and former NASCAR champion Kurt Busch.

Busch is set to race 1,100 miles in the Indianapolis 500 and the Coca-Cola 600 on May 25.

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