Provisional 101st Running of the Indy 500 Field Set, Ed Carpenter Fastest on Saturday

INDIANAPOLIS – Unfortunately for the fans, the rich drama that we normally see on the first day of qualifying was taken out today by virtue of mother nature. The original schedule for Saturday’s 101st Running of the Indianapolis 500 (11 a.m. ET/ABC/INDYCAR Radio Network) was supposed to start at 11 and see drivers make multiple attempts at making their way into the Firestone Fast Nine Shootout.

Instead, rain began falling just 10 minutes before the scheduled qualifying round was supposed to start, as heavy storms hit the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Saturday morning. Rain would stay around until around 1:30 p.m. locally and after a few hours of track drying, the famed circuit was ready to qualify.

Luckily, the ABC broadcast wouldn’t come on until 4 p.m. ET, so the track was ready in perfect amount of time as the first qualifier, Pippa Mann, took to the green track for the first time at 4:01.

When the checkered flag flew on Gabby Chaves’ final run of the day, two-time Indy 500 pole winner was left standing on top, as Ed Carpenter was the quickest qualifier of the day with a four-lap average of 230.468 mph in his No. 20 Chevrolet.

Carpenter,a Butler grad, was one of just three Chevy’s to make the Fast Nine, as one of the others belonged to his teammate JR Hildebrand.

Hildebrand, was fourth overall with a speed of 230.205 mph in his No. 21 Chevrolet to give ECR both cars in the top four on Saturday.

Takuma Sato (230.382 mph) and Scott Dixon (230.333 mph) were on the provisional Front Row today while Alexander Rossi, Will Power, Fernando Alonso, Tony Kanaan and Marco Andretti were fifth through ninth respectively.

What’s amazing is the entire front row from last year’s race won’t be in the first three rows this year. James Hinchcliffe was 19th fastest, while Ryan Hunter-Reay and Josef Newgarden were 13th and 17th respectively themselves.

Only 31 cars qualified today, as Zach Veach didn’t make an attempt after crashing in practice yesterday, and Sebastien Bourdais had a scary crash in Turn 2 on his run. What’s even crazier is after two laps, Bourdais was on a pole run. Instead, he was taken to Methodist Hospital in downtown Indianapolis as a result. Luckily, he was awake and alert the entire time.

The field is now set but only provisionally. Everyone will requalify tomorrow afternoon, as the top nine today are locked into the second round of final qualifying on Sunday. Spots 10-33 will requalify in reverse order, slowest to fastest first at 2:45 p.m. ET tomorrow, while the Fast Nine will requalify at 4:45 p.m ET.

Day 1 of Indianapolis 500 Qualifying Results:

  1. 20 Carpenter 230.468 mph
  2. 26 Sato 230.382 mph
  3.  9 Dixon 230.333 mph
  4. 21 Hildebrand 230.205 mph
  5. 98 Rossi 230.148 mph
  6. 12 Power 230.072 mph
  7. 29 Alonso R 230.034 mph
  8. 10 Kanaan 230.007 mph
  9. 27 Andretti 229.924 mph
  10. 19 Jones R 229.717 mph
  11. 83 Kimball 229.713 mph
  12.  8 Chilton 229.636 mph
  13. 28 Hunter-Reay 229.533 mph
  14.  3 Castroneves 229.390 mph
  15.  7 Aleshin 229.217 mph
  16. 15 Rahal 228.835
  17.  2 Newgarden 228.696
  18. 22 Montoya 228.645
  19.  5 Hinchcliffe 228.557 mph
  20.  1 Pagenaud 228.393 mph
  21. 24 Karam 227.943 mph
  22. 77 Howard 227.853 mph
  23. 14 Munoz 227.438 mph
  24. 16 Servia 227.150 mph
  25. 50 Harvey R 226.894 mph
  26. 88 Chaves 226.875 mph
  27.  4 Daly 225.912 mph
  28. 17 Saavedra 225.815 mph
  29. 11 Pigot 223.631 mph
  30. 44 Lazier 221.427 mph
  31. 63 Mann 219.282 mph
  32. 18 Bourdais No Time
  33. 40 Veach R No Time

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