Day one of qualifying at IMS

Helio Castroneves in the qualifying line for the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race. -- Photo by Doug Patterson

Day one of the two day qualifying at IMS for the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race is now complete. The day featured substantial delays for initially rainfall and the weepers in the track, meaning practice didn’t start until just after 1pm ET with two twenty minute practice sessions, split between the groups.

Max Chilton hit the wall in practice, damaging his Ganassi Dallara-Chevrolet and ruling himself out of qualifying. Max was released immediately from the medical centre, but did have some pain.

He will start the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 however, with only 33 entrants in total, is no reason why he can’t make the race tomorrow, and perhaps even pick up a decent starting spot, if he delivers a strong performance. The only limitation he now has is that he will start somewhere in positions 19 will be decided based on tomorrows sessions.

Today was about locking in who will take the top nine positions. The positions in this group can change in a separate fast 9 qualifying session tomorrow to those in position 9-33, though it will be one of these nine who will take pole position:

Name – Team – Engine supplier – 4 lap Average Speed (MPH)

  1. James Hinchcliffe – SPM – Honda – 230.946 mph
  2. Ryan Hunter-Reay – Andretti Autosport – Honda – 230.805
  3. Will Power – Team Penske – Chevrolet – 230.736
  4. Helio Castroneves – Team Penske – Chevrolet – 230.500
  5. Townsend Bell – BHA/Andretti – Honda – 230.452
  6. Josef Newgarden – ECR – Chevrolet – 230.229
  7. Mikhail Aleshin – SPM – Honda – 230.209
  8. Carlos Munoz – Andretti Autosport – Honda – 230.173
  9. Simon Pagenaud – Team Penske – Chevrolet – 230.102

The results are rather surprising. Ganassi struggled, with Dixon today the highest Chip Ganassi Racing entrant in 13th, whilst Juan Pablo Montoya at Penske also failed to make the top 9.

Additionally it was rumoured or rather expected that Chevrolet would once we got to qualifying play a larger role at the front of the grid, with Honda looking impressive throughout qualifying week however todays results show that in qualifying at least at IMS, Honda is dominant. The only fear is that during the week, the couple of mechanical failures we saw in practice where from Honda entrants.

The only real drama aside from the drivers retrying to make the top 9, was an incident for Pippa Mann after the rear wing end fence failed on her Coyne Honda. Pippa was checked and immediately released from the medical centre after the incident.

Tomorrow we find out who of the nine is on pole position for the Indianapolis 500 and determine who is the best of the rest in sorting the starting order for the 100th Indianapolis 500.

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charlie white

Is it me or is this Saturday running at top speed purely for “the show” and ABC network and totally unnecessary?

Fred Talmadge

Well if you could post a top 9 speed you could go for the pole Sunday. But otherwise with only 33 cars you would guaranteed a spot just by showing up.


As Fred said, the only thing to be gained was a spot in the Fast Nine. Otherwise it was practice for Sunday. I can’t say I’m a fan of this qualifying format.