INDIANAPOLIS – Last year, Schmidt-Peterson Motorsports saw James Hinchcliffe win the pole in dramatic fashion for the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500. It was a phenomenal story, but, if you dig deeper into it, it was an overall great qualifying weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway last year overall for the entire SPM organization. Hinchcliffe’s teammates at Indy in 2016 of Mikhail Aleshin and Oriol Servia also joined him in the top 10 of last year’s starting lineup.
Now, the last two days have shown that SPM will once again be a threat in Indy 500 Time Trials this weekend.
On Thursday, Jay Howard led all drivers on the speed chart with what was then the fastest lap of the month at 226.744 mph in his No. 77 Honda. This is the same car Servia qualified 10th in last May. Aleshin, was 11th on Thursday and Hinchcliffe 26th.
On Friday, they turned up the wick even more. All three were in the top eight on the overall speed chart with Hinchcliffe being sixth (231.517 mph) Aleshin (231.447 mph) was seventh and Howard (231.255 mph) eighth.
On the no tow chart, the SPM trio was ninth (Aleshin), 14th (Hinchcliffe) and 16th (Howard).
To me, it shows that SPM will be a factor all weekend and could see all three cars make their way into the Firestone Fast Nine.
Overall, they were 6-7-8 on the speed chart and 9-14-16 on the no tow list.
Watch out for the SPM drivers this weekend. A second straight ‘500 pole could be on the horizon.