News & Multimedia

Castroneves Blitzes To Fourth Career Indy Pole After Exciting Shootout

Pole Day Qualifying Grid

Sitting second to FAZZT Race Team's Alex Tagliani with 90 minutes left in the first segment of Pole Day qualifying for the Indianapolis 500, Helio Castroneves withdrew the qualified time for a shot at the top spot.

Tens of thousands of sun-soaked spectators shook their collective heads as they watch the jumbo screens ringing the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but Penske Racing president Tim Cindric and the vivacious Castroneves believed they could get more out of the No. 3 Honda-powered Dallara around the 2.5-mile oval.

So Castroneves left the starting line and returned 2 minutes, 38.7485 seconds later to the cheers of those spectators, additional knowledge to use in the 90-minute Fast Nine pole shootout, the top position that allowed him the first selection in the required Segment 2 qual order, and pit stall closest to pit out on Race Day. However, he had to repeat or beat the 226.245 mph four-lap average speed to retain the spot.

This time, he left spectators and the eight other challengers shaking their heads with a four-lap average of 227.970 mph – more than 3 mph faster than his pole-winning speed last year. The run included a lap of 228.213 mph – the fastest of the month.

But as the format was designed, drama ensued as 18 total attempts were made to steal Castroneves’ thunder (and the $175,000 payday to the pole winner). He wore a nervous smile as Team Penske

teammate Will Power posted a four-lap average of 227.578 mph and others came close.

Finally, he could breathe easier and celebrate with his crew. It will be the fourth Indy 500 pole start for Castroneves (second-, third-, and first-place finishes), and he’s the first back-to-back pole winner since Scott Brayton in 1995-96. It was his fourth career Indy pole, tied for second all time, and the 16th Indianapolis 500 pole for Penske Racing.

“Sitting in that car for an hour in half was not easy at all, especially with everyone getting closer and closer,” said Castroneves, who became the fourth four-time pole sitter as he seeks to become the fourth four-time winner. "I was like, 'Are we going or not?' because I can’t handle that much pressure.
“I think I need a raise after today. Man, it was the hardest thing to go out there. The second attempt was really crucial for us. It’s great to be part of this team. We work so well together. I’m on the pole but all three of us (Power and Ryan Briscoe) benefit from it."

Power and Target Chip Ganassi Racing's Dario Franchitti (226.990), the 2007 race winner, also will start on the front row.

"When I saw Helio’s time, I thought that’s crazy fast," said Power, the IZOD IndyCar Series points leader who has four front-row starts in six races. "But when I put the downforce level he had on a bit later, I was up there in the high 227s. I should have done that when it was warmer and the air was thinner, but that comes down to experience and he has great experience here.

"It's pretty tough to beat Helio at Indianapolis."

Briscoe (226.554), Tagliani (226.390) and Scott Dixon (226.233), the 2008 winner, will share Row 2. Tagliani dropped a row in the Pole Shootout.

“I kind of had an idea a little bit that somebody was going to pull a rabbit out of the hat in the top nine qualifying,” he said. “That's what happens. But I think it's almost normal. We're not there yet. It's our first Indy 500 as a group. For what they accomplished this week, I think I'm very proud of the team.”

Graham Rahal (225.519), driving the No. 30 The Quick Trim/Rahal Letterman Racing entry for his father, 1986 Indy 500 winner Bobby Rahal; Ed Carpenter (224.507), a one-off participant in the No. 20 Panther/Vision Fuzzy’s Vodka car; and Hideki Mutoh (223.487) in the No. 06 Formula Dream/Panasonic car for Newman/Haas Racing will be on the third row.

“I felt coming in that the Panther cars had good speed,” said Carpenter, who has finished fifth and eighth the past two years. “Dan (Wheldon) was really fast at Kansas. It wasn't like we didn't think we were going to have a chance at the top nine. From eighth to 15th, it was pretty tight the past couple days. You didn't really know where everything was going to come together until today.

“Today was a lot different day than the other days with the sun shining and the track temperature being up. I’m happy. It's my career-best start (at Indy). Being up in the first three rows, I think it opens things up for the race a little bit better. You're definitely in the lead pack running with the guys you need to race with for the win.”

Thirty-six qualifying attempts were completed in Segment 1 that filled the 24 available positions. The remaining nine spots will be filled May 23 on Bump Day.

***

2010 Indy 500 tickets: Tickets for the 2010 Indianapolis 500, scheduled for Sunday, May 30, are on sale now. Race Day ticket prices start at just $20.

Fans can order tickets online at www.imstix.com, call the IMS ticket office at (317) 492-6700, or (800) 822-INDY outside the Indianapolis area or visit the ticket office at the IMS Administration Building at the corner of Georgetown Road and 16th Street. Online orders can be made at any time. Hours for phone orders and the ticket office are 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (ET) Monday-Friday.

Tickets for groups of 20 or more also are on sale. Contact the IMS Group Sales Department at (866) 221-8775 for more information. 

Show More Show Less
Now Viewing
Castroneves Blitzes To Fourth Career Indy Pole After Exciting Shootout
 
Castroneves Blitzes To Fourth Career Indy Pole After Exciting Shootout
Helio Castroneves left spectators and the eight other challengers in the Fast Nine shaking their heads with a four-lap average of 227.970 mph – more than 3 mph faster than his pole-winning speed last year - to win the Peak Performance Pole Award presented by AutoZone for the 2010 Indianapolis 500. The run included a lap of 228.213 mph – the fastest of the month.
Read More
Related Media
Borg-Warner Trophy
 
Borg-Warner Trophy Has Hit Road with Varied Itinerary through the Years
The Borg-Warner Trophy is one of the most prestigious and recognized sports awards in the world, honoring every driver who has won the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil since the race’s inception in 1911.
Read More
INDYCAR 2018 Schedule
 
Verizon IndyCar Series Releases 2018 Schedule
Consistency and stability, plus the return of a favored track in the Pacific Northwest, highlight INDYCAR’s announcement of the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series schedule that again contains 17 races.
Read More
Sato Borg Unveil
 
Sato is Latest Champion Added to Illustrious History of Borg-Warner Trophy
When Takuma Sato’s likeness is unveiled Tuesday, Oct. 17 on the Borg-Warner Trophy, it will become the 104th face to be immortalized on one of the most coveted trophies in the world of sports.
Read More
Tony Kanaan
 
Kanaan Joins AJ Foyt Racing for 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series Season
Tony Kanaan and A.J. Foyt, two of Indy car racing’s most iconic names, will join forces for the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season, AJ Foyt Racing announced today at the Foyt Wine Vault in Speedway, Indiana, next door to the team’s secondary race shop.
Read More
Stefan Wilson 2018
 
Wilson Joins Andretti Autosport Lineup for 2018 Indianapolis 500
Stefan Wilson is set to return to the iconic field of 33 in May as the British-native will take the wheel of the No. 25 Driven2SaveLives Andretti Honda for the 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race. As the fifth entry for Andretti Autosport, Wilson will join teammates Alexander Rossi, Marco Andretti, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Zach Veach.
Read More
Items 1 - 5 of 1,494
Reserve one of our hospitality suites for your next event!
To start planning your event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway please fill out our Information Request Form or contact IMS Sales Department at (317) 492-8739 or email at hospitalitysales@brickyard.com.
Latest Tweets
It's Pole day on @CrownRoyal Armed Forces Weekend & we can't wait to see you! Check out details on the day: https://t.co/yKQ6Db3YRK
May 21