Andretti outduels Dixon for Indy 500 pole
It got here right down to the final driver and final lap. Scott Dixon couldn’t watch and Marco Andretti couldn’t raise.
Because it turned out, Andretti executed completely to grab the pole place from Dixon for the 104th Indianapolis 500 in one of many extra dramatic endings to qualifying.
The third era driver’s four-lap common of 231.068mph in his US Concrete No. 98 Honda simply pipped Dixon’s 213.051mph run within the PNC Financial institution No. 9 Honda and that was the third closest margin in IMS historical past — 0.017 of a second for 10 miles.
The 5 closest Indy 500 poles (knowledge courtesy of Russ Thompson):
|YEAR||POLE SPEED||2ND||DIFF.||POLE WINNER||2ND QUALIFIER|
|2012||226.484||226.481||0.003||Ryan Briscoe||James Hinchcliffe|
|1970||170.221||170.213||0.008||Al Unser||Johnny Rutherford|
|2020||231.068||231.051||0.017||Marco Andretti||Scott Dixon|
|1958||145.974||145.926||0.048||Dick Rathmann||Ed Elisian|
|1955||140.045||139.985||0.060||Jerry Hoyt||Tony Bettenhausen|
“It feels nice and what a job by this group and Honda,” mentioned Andretti, who had been quickest in Saturday’s first spherical of time trials and was the ninth and ultimate driver to make his run Sunday afternoon. “It obtained somewhat sketchy on Laps 3-Four with the wind and I knew it was going to be shut.
“However now I’ve obtained the perfect seat in the home on race day. Clear air and pace are all the time good right here.”
After Andretti Autosport posted the 4 quickest speeds on Saturday, it was wanting like a possible entrance row sweep. However when James Hinchcliffe, Alexander Rossi and Ryan Hunter-Reay struggled on their runs Sunday, it was wanting like Michael Andretti’s squad would possibly get shut out.
“After our first three guys I figured we obtained no shot however Marco saved the day for us,” mentioned Michael Andretti. “The automobile was free and he drove the hell out of it.”
It was the primary pole at Indy for the 33-year-old grandson of Mario and denied Dixon his fourth quick time at IMS.
“It’s loopy — only a gust of wind can change issues however Marco did an excellent job,” mentioned the five-time IndyCar champion. “I do know what this place means to his household and I’m glad for him.”
The primary run of the day turned out to be third quickest as Takuma Sato did a masterful job of laying down all 4 laps at 230mph in his Panasonic Honda.
“It was very constant — not essentially quick, however constant,” mentioned the 2017 Indy 500 winner who together with teammate Graham Rahal was the one driver to observe Sunday morning because the winds picked as much as 15-18mph gusts.
Rookie Rinus VeeKay impressed everybody within the paddock by winding up fourth general at 230.704mph in Ed Carpenter’s SONAX No. 21 — the lone Chevrolet within the Quick 9.
“We went for it,” mentioned the 19-year-old native of the Netherlands who can also be being coached by two-time Indy winner Arie Luyendyk. “I’ve obtained an excellent automobile and group and this has been a tremendous expertise to this point.”
Hunter-Reay wound up fifth within the DHL Honda and Hinch sixth in his Genesys Honda, whereas the third row line-up is rookie Alex Palou, Rahal and Rossi.
FULL QUALIFYING RESULTS