INDIANAPOLIS – If we took a poll on names that we could see not just make the Firestone Fast Six on Friday afternoon from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway but contend for the pole as well, the popular responses would likely be Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan, Helio Castroneves, Will Power, Juan Pablo Montoya, Sebastien Bourdais, Marco Andretti, Ryan Hunter-Reay, etc.
Well, what if I told you that none of those drivers even made it to the final round of qualifying on Friday for this weekend’s Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis (3:30 p.m. ET/ABC/IMS Radio Network)?
The Firestone Fast Six session featured six different drivers from six different teams and none of these popular names were a part of it.
An issue that bottle necked drivers like Dixon, Montoya, Kanaan and Power in the second round kept them from advancing, as Kanaan will start seventh, Montoya eighth, Dixon ninth and Power 12th.
Bourdais wasn’t quite fast enough either as he will roll off 10th on Saturday afternoon.
Those guys will try to rush the field in a hurry, but they’ll have to stave off challenges from Castroneves who will start 15th and Hunter-Reay (17th) and his teammate Andretti (21st).
This, is going to make tomorrow’s race very enjoyable, as having big names have to come from the back is exciting. But, what they do have to watch out for is the opening lap carnage.
In 2014, there was a melee at the start as pole sitter Sebastian Saavedra stalled his car when the lights went green for the standing start and caused a scary accident with drivers trying to avoid him.
Last year, several cars were involved in a Lap 1, Turn 1 incident as well, as it almost seems inevitable that with it happening two straight years and there being so many big named drivers angrily coming from the back, it’s going to happen again.
That’s why today’s qualifying results was so baffling.