Indianapolis’ own Ed Carpenter is on pole for the 102nd running of the Indianapolis 500 after upsetting Team Penske’s dominant weekend. This is Carpenter’s third pole position for Indianapolis 500 and puts an American on pole for people still hung up on that for some reason even though it’s 2018.
Tony George’s step kid came across the line Sunday nearly a mile per hour faster than Talladega Nights star Simon Pagenaud in second. Carpenter’s four-lap average of 229.618 mph was far faster than the 228.761 Pagenaud and his #22 team accomplished. Carpenter had the benefit of teammates Danica Patrick and Spencer Pigot going before him. Like Simon and Helio Castroneves his teammates gave him feedback on track conditions and handling.
Carpenter has proven himself as a master qualifier around Indianapolis. Pole Day has quickly become an Indianapolis home game for Ed as the grandstands erupt in a chorus of cheers as he clicks off fast lap after fast lap. There was a man who took off his shirt in the stands yesterday to wave Ed by. Always appreciate the race fans who point drivers the correct way on the track, tracks can be confusing.
The question this year is can Ed put together an entire race or will he continue his Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing Missouri trend and completely fall apart in the second half and you’re left wondering why Woody Harrelson couldn’t have stuck around for the final 45 minutes. If Ed can keep it together he might actually be a threat to win. Or finish 31st.
Alexander Rossi Goes From 10th to 32nd
Everyone talks about how drivers can move up the starting order on Sunday, no one ever wants to talk about falling down the order. Alexander Rossi experienced the latter on Sunday as he went from starting 10th to 32nd by the end of his qualifying run. A slow leak in the tire restricted Rossi to a four-lap average of only 224.935 mph. Rossi’s struggle run was still faster than Conor Daly’s incident-free run as the #17 team continues to search for anything that resembles speed. It’s a little ironic a car painted like a fighter jet is the slowest car in the field.
Rossi had the second worst case scenario on Sunday. He didn’t crash but he killed his track position before the race. The #27 car has been solid all week and Rossi has quickly become one of the best wheelmen around the speedway. Coming from 32nd won’t be a problem, he fell that far back during his 2016 win.
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