Dixon, Honda Storm to Indianapolis 500 Pole

5/22/2017 12:20:00 AM

  • Scott Dixon to lead the field to the start of the 101st Indianapolis 500
  • Honda drivers claim four of the top five starting positions, seven of top 10
  • Tenth Honda pole in 17 "500s"

In a thrilling conclusion today to qualifying for next Sunday's Indianapolis 500, Scott Dixon drove his Chip Ganassi Racing Honda to a four-lap average speed of 232.164 mph to score his third Indy 500 pole, and the 10th for Honda in the last 17 years.

Dixon's pole run, the fastest since Arie Luyendyk's effort in 1996, capped a great day for Honda at the famed "Brickyard", as the manufacturer claimed four of the top five starting positions for the 101st running of the Indy 500 on May 28, and seven of the top 10.

Defending race winner Alexander Rossi will start on the outside of the front row, third, in his Andretti Autosport Honda. The second "row of three" will include Rossi's Andretti teammates Takuma Sato, fourth, and two-time Formula One world champion Fernando Alonso, fifth in his Indy 500 debut.

Tony Kanaan will start eighth in his Chip Ganassi Racing Honda, with Marco Andretti rounding out the "Fast Nine" final-round qualifiers. Ryan Hunter-Reay will start 10th in his Andretti Honda, followed by impressive rookie Ed Jones for Dale Coyne Racing and Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing's Oriol Servia.

Sebastien Bourdais, injured in a hard Turn 1 crash in Saturday's first-round qualifying, continues to recover after undergoing successful surgery at IU Health Methodist Hospital for fractures to his hip and pelvis. The Dale Coyne Racing driver will be replaced by two-time previous "500" starter James Davison.

Scott Dixon (#9 Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) pole qualifier, his third Indianapolis 500 pole: "I thought maybe the dashboard had broken and brought up a fake number [on his first lap of 232.595 mph]!  We seriously didn't expect to see the speed that we did. It was a big day for us. Obviously, this is the pole. I have to give a shout out to Sebastien Bourdais, too, as I saw him this morning, and he's doing well. He's a teammate with me in the Ford GT program. We've spent a lot of time together over the years, and he's a hell of a driver. So, I wish him well. I know he's going to be on the mend quickly and hopefully, he can be in a car here very soon. Today, we managed to get it done and we're starting in the right place [first]. The hard part now is to keep it there. We've been fortunate enough to have support from NTT DATA to this point this season, and we're really looking forward to having Camping World come on board for the 500 for race week."

Fernando Alonso (#29 McLaren Honda-Andretti Autosport Honda) will start his first Indianapolis 500 from fifth, fastest rookie: "The car was on the limit. I don't know if it was possible to be on pole position, but definitely very close. I had an overboost problem on Lap 2 out of the last corner, and it was like hitting the brakes. I went one gear down and started again picking up the speed. I crossed the line and I thought it was 225 mph or something. I nearly came to the pit lane, because [I thought] ‘this qualifying run is over' with this problem. [But I kept] running, still putting the laps together, and then I was happily surprised with the [final speed].  I feel good, I feel great. Obviously, this is the biggest race in the world, and it felt that way from the very beginning. But now, with the weekend and you pick up the speed and you feel even more and more with the fans coming for qualifying now. This is a very special event."

Art St. Cyr (President, Honda Performance Development) on today's performance in qualifying: "It's a good day when you can qualify in 14 of the top 17 positions for the most important race of the year. This two-day qualifying format is very stressful, but it shows that Honda is well positioned for a strong race next Sunday. Congratulations to Scott for a well-deserved pole, and a special call-out to the entire Andretti Autosport organization, for taking five of the top 10 grid positions. Best wishes for a speedy recovery to Sebastien Bourdais, who almost certainly would have been a contender for the pole today. It's good to know he came through surgery with flying colors and we hope to see him back at the track very soon."

Indianapolis 500 Final Qualifying
Circuit: Indianapolis Motor Speedway (2.5-mile oval), Indianapolis, IN
2016 Winner: Alexander Rossi (Andretti Autosport Honda) 166.634 mph average
2016 Pole: James Hinchcliffe (Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda) 230.760 mph four-lap average
Weather: Mostly sunny, warm, 78 degrees F

Indianapolis 500 Starting Field:

Ps.

Driver     

Team

Manufacturer

Speed MPH

Notes

1.

Scott Dixon-W

Chip Ganassi Racing

Honda

232.164

Third Indy 500 pole

2.

Ed Carpenter 

Ed Carpenter Racing

Chevrolet

231.664

Fast Nine Pole Shootout

3.

Alexander Rossi-W

Andretti Autosport

Honda

231.487

Defending race winner

4.

Takuma Sato

Andretti Autosport

Honda

231.365

Fast Nine Pole Shootout

5.

Fernando Alonso-R

McLaren Honda Andretti

Honda

231.300

Fast Nine Pole Shootout

6.

JR Hildebrand 

Ed Carpenter Racing

Chevrolet

230.889

Fast Nine Pole Shootout

7.

Tony Kanaan-W

Chip Ganassi Racing

Honda

230.828

Fast Nine Pole Shootout

8.

Marco Andretti

Andretti Autosport

Honda

230.474

Fast Nine Pole Shootout

9.

Will Power

Team Penske

Chevrolet

230.200

Fast Nine Pole Shootout

10.

Ryan Hunter-Reay-W

Andretti Autosport

Honda

231.442

Fastest Group 1 qualifier

11.

Ed Jones-R

Dale Coyne Racing

Honda

230.578

 

12.

Oriol Servia

Rahal Letterman Lanigan

Honda

230.309

 

13.

Mikhail Aleshin

Schmidt Peterson Motorsports

Honda

230.271

 

14.

Graham Rahal

Rahal Letterman Lanigan

Honda

230.253

 

15.

Max Chilton

Chip Ganassi Racing

Honda

230.068

 

16.

Charlie Kimball

Chip Ganassi Racing

Honda

229.956

 

17.

James Hinchcliffe

Schmidt Peterson Motorsports

Honda

229.860

 

18.

J-Pablo Montoya-W

Team Penske

Chevrolet

229.565

 

19.

Helio Castroneves-W

Team Penske

Chevrolet

229.515

 

20.

Jay Howard

Schmidt Peterson Motorsports

Honda

229.414

 

21.

Sage Karam

Dreyer & Reinbold Racing

Chevrolet

229.380

 

22.

Josef Newgarden 

Team Penske

Chevrolet

228.501

 

23.

Simon Pagenaud

Team Penske

Chevrolet

228.093

 

24.

Carlos Munoz

A.J. Foyt Racing    

Chevrolet

227.921

 

25.

Gabby Chavez 

Harding Racing

Chevrolet

226.921

 

26.

Conor Daly

A.J. Foyt Racing    

Chevrolet

226.493

 

27.

Jack Harvey-R

Michael Shank-Andretti

Honda

225.742

 

28.

Pippa Mann

Dale Coyne Racing

Honda

225.008

 

29.

Spencer Pigot 

Juncos Racing

Chevrolet

224.052

 

30.

Buddy Lazier-W

Lazier-Burns Racing

Chevrolet

223.417

 

31.

Sebastian Saavedra

Juncos Racing

Chevrolet

221.142

 

32.

Zach Veach-R

A.J. Foyt Racing

Chevrolet

221.081

 

33.

James Davison

Dale Coyne Racing

Honda

No speed

Replacing S. Bourdais

W – Previous Indy 500 Champion [7 former winners in the field] 
R – Indy 500 Rookie [4 rookies in the field]