News & Multimedia

Daily Trackside Report - Saturday, May 17

DAY 7 – SATURDAY, MAY 17, 2014 – QUALIFYING DAY 1

TODAY’S SCHEDULE (all times local):
6 a.m.    Garages open
8-10 a.m.    Indianapolis 500 practice (Group 1, 8-8:30 a.m.; Group 2, 8:30-9 a.m.; All cars, 9-10 a.m.)
11 a.m.-5:50 p.m.    Indianapolis 500 Qualifying
11:15 a.m.-6 p.m.    Indianapolis 500 media availability (each qualified driver), Economaki Press Conference Room
***
The Verizon IndyCar Series boost level has been increased from 130 kPa to 140 kPa for qualifications today and Sunday.
The change in pressure adds about a 40-horsepower boost to the engines produced by Chevrolet (twin-turbocharged Chevy IndyCar V6) and Honda (twin-turbo-charged Honda HI14TT. The boost level will return to 130 kPa for final practice on Coors Light Carb Day on Friday, May 24 and the 500-mile race Sunday, May 26.
***
Indianapolis 500 Pole Day qualifying procedures:
Order – A blind draw is conducted prior to each qualification day.
Warm-up laps – Each car is permitted two warm-up laps prior to the timed qualification laps.
Verizon IndyCar Series officials may permit three warm-up laps if they deem it necessary.
Green-flag laps – A qualification attempt consists of four timed laps. The cumulative time of four consecutive laps is recorded as the official qualifying time for the car.

SATURDAY QUALIFYING
All entries are guaranteed one attempt to qualify between 11 a.m. and 5:50 p.m., with the fastest 33 cars making up the provisional Indianapolis 500 field, based on the fastest four-lap averages. The top 30 cars are locked in to the field. All 33 cars must re-qualify on Sunday to determine final starting positions. The fastest nine cars advance to a shootout on Sunday to determine the Verizon P1 Award.
Qualifying Lines: There will be two qualifying lines at the end of pit lane, one for cars that are already in the field and one for cars that have yet to qualify for the field. Multiple attempts are permitted without withdrawing a time, as long as the track is available. Teams can withdraw their time and jump to the line of unqualified cars, which will have priority over cars already in the field. Teams that make multiple attempts can only improve their times if they have not withdrawn their time to enter the line of unqualified cars.
Qualifying points are available to all drivers/entrants on Saturday under the following format:
1st – 33 points    12th – 22 points    23rd – 11 points     
2nd – 32 points    13th – 21 points    24th – 10 points
3rd – 31 points    14th – 20 points    25th – 9 points     
4th – 30 points    15th – 19 points    26th – 8 points     
5th – 29 points    16th – 18 points    27th – 7 points     
6th – 28 points    17th – 17 points    28th – 6 points     
7th – 27 points    18th – 16 points    29th – 5 points     
8th – 26 points    19th – 15 points    30th – 4 points     
9th – 25 points    20th – 14 points    31st – 3 points     
10th – 24 points    21st  – 13 points     32nd – 2 points      
11th – 23 points    22nd – 12 points    33rd – 1 point     
               

Pit selection for the Indianapolis 500 is based on the Sunday qualifying order for positions 1-9 and 31-33. It is based on the Saturday order for positions 10-30; and 10-33 if there are not more than 33 cars entered.

Practice from 8-9 a.m. this morning will be separated into two groups, from 8-8:30 a.m. and 8:30-9 a.m. The track will be open for all cars from 9-10 a.m.
***
INDIANAPOLIS 500 PRACTICE:
At 8 a.m., the ambient temperature was 44 degrees with a relative humidity of 83 percent and calm winds. Skies were mostly cloudy. The track temperature was 52 degrees, according to Firestone engineers.
            8 a.m. – Start of session delayed for track preparations.
            8:55 a.m. – Track open for installation laps.
            9 a.m. – GREEN. Track is open to Group 1 cars.
            9:03 a.m. – #26 Busch fastest at 230.922, fastest of the month to date.
            9:08 a.m. – #25 Andretti fastest at 232.239, fastest of the month to date.
            9:12 a.m. – YELLOW. No. 7 Aleshin spins in the warmup lane at pit out.
            9:15 a.m. – GREEN.
            9:29 a.m. – YELLOW. Debris.
            9:34 a.m. – GREEN. Group 2.
            9:53 a.m. – YELLOW. Debris in Turn 2.
            9:59 a.m. – GREEN. Session is extended for five minutes. No. 16 Servia has been penalized five minutes for overdriving the previous caution.
            10:04 a.m. – CHECKERED.
***
FASTEST TIMES/SPEEDS OF PRACTICE:
Pos.    Car     Name    Time    Speed
1.    25    Marco Andretti    38.7531    232.239
2.    10    Tony Kanaan    38.8604    231.598
3.    28    Ryan Hunter-Reay    38.9575    231.031
4.    26    Kurt Busch*    38.9637    230.983
5.    6    Townsend Bell    38.9898    230.830
* -- Rookie


At 11 a.m., the ambient temperature was 55 degrees with a relative humidity of 55 percent and calm winds. Skies were cloudy. The track temperature was 78 degrees, according to Firestone engineers.

Each qualifying attempt will start on the second time past the flag stand.

11:06 a.m.    No. 34    CARLOS MUNOZ/Bogota, Colombia   
        Cinsay AndrettiTV.com HVM Honda   
           QA-1        1 – 39.1777 – 229.723    Q – 1
        2 – 39.1957 – 229.617       
        3 – 39.2042 – 229.567       
        4 – 39.2238 – 229.453       
        T 2:36.8014 – 229.590       

1:11 a.m.    No. 21    JR HILDEBRAND/Sausalito, Calif.   
        Preferred Freezer/Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet   
           QA-1        1 – 39.1932 – 229.632    Q – 2
        2 – 39.1803 – 229.707       
        3 – 39.2085 – 229.542       
        4 – 39.3126 – 228.934       
        T 2:36.8946 – 229.453       

11:15 a.m.    No. 2    JUAN PABLO MONTOYA/Bogota, Colombia   
        Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet   
           QA-1        1 – 39.2007 – 229.588    Q – 3
        2 – 39.1964 – 229.613       
        3 – 39.1951 – 229.621       
        4 – 39.2061 – 229.556       
        T 2:36.7983 – 229.594       

11:19 a.m.    No. 9    SCOTT DIXON/Auckland, New Zealand   
        Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet   
           QA-1        1 – 39.3645 – 228.632    Q – 4
        2 – 39.3820 – 228.531       
        3 – 39.3925 – 228.470       
        4 – 39.4093 – 228.372       
        T 2:37.5483 – 228.501       

11:23 a.m.    No. 20    ED CARPENTER/Indianapolis   
        Fuzzy’s Vodka/Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet   
           QA-1        1 – 39.1391 – 229.949    Q – 5
        2 – 39.0991 – 230.184       
        3 – 39.0878 – 230.251       
        4 – 39.1183 – 230.071       
        T 2:36.4443 – 230.114       

11:28 a.m.    No. 98    JACK HAWKSWORTH/Bradford, England   
        Integrity Energee Drink Honda   
           QA-1        1 – 39.1541 – 229.861    Q – 6
        2 – 39.1780 – 229.721       
        3 – 39.1846 – 229.682       
        4 – 39.1874 – 229.666       
        T 2:36.7041 – 229.732       

11:32 a.m.    No. 18    CARLOS HUERTAS/Bogota, Colombia   
        Dale Coyne Racing Honda   
           QA-1        1 – 39.5456 – 227.585    Q – 7
        2 – 39.4827 – 227.948       
        3 – 39.4424 – 228.181       
        4 – 39.4304 – 228.250       
        T 2:37.9011 – 227.991       

11:37 a.m.    No. 8    RYAN BRISCOE/Sydney, Australia   
        NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet   
           QA-1        1 – 39.6263 – 227.122    Q – 8
        2 – 39.6080 – 227.227
3 – 39.6151 – 227.186
4 – 39.6007 – 222.269
T 2:38.4501 – 227.201       
               

11:41 a.m.    No. 3    HELIO CASTRONEVES/Sao Paulo, Brazil   
        Pennzoil Ultra Platinum Team Penske Chevrolet   
           QA-1        1 – 39.2487 – 229.307    Q – 9
        2 – 39.1975 – 229.606       
        3 – 39.2103 – 229.532       
        4 – 39.2372 – 229.380       
        T 2:36.8927 – 229.456       

11:45 a.m.    No. 19    JUSTIN WILSON/Sheffield, England   
        Dale Coyne Racing Honda   
           QA-1        1 – 39.2991 – 229.013    Q – 10
        2 – 39.3144 – 228.924       
        3 – 39.3085 – 228.958       
        4 – 39.3193 – 228.895       
        T 2:37.2413 – 228.947       

11:50 a.m.    No. 63    PIPPA MANN/Ipswich, England   
        Dale Coyne Racing Honda   
           QA-1        1 – 39.4964 – 227.869    Q – 11
        2 – 39.5145 – 227.764       
        3 – 39.5748 – 227.417       
        4 – 39.5023 – 227.835       
        T 2:38.0880 – 227.721       

11:54 a.m.    No. 41    MARTIN PLOWMAN/Tamworth, England   
        ABC Supply/A.J. Foyt Racing Honda   
           QA-1        1 – 39.4620 – 228.068    Q – 12
        2 – 39.4655 – 228.047       
        3 – 39.5004 – 227.846       
        4 – 39.6232 – 227.140       
        T 2:38.0511 – 227.774       

11:58 a.m.    No. 25    MARCO ANDRETTI/Nazareth, Pa,   
        Snapple Honda   
           QA-1        1 – 39.1517 – 229.875    Q – 13
        2 – 39.1778 – 229.722       
        3 – 39.2131 – 229.515       
        4 – 39.2090 – 229.539       
        T 2:36.7516 – 229.663       

12:02 p.m.    No. 26    KURT BUSCH/Las Vegas, Nev.   
        Suretone Honda   
           QA-1        1 – 39.2656 – 229.208    Q – 14
        2 – 39.2383 – 229.368       
        3 – 39.2676 – 229.197       
        4 – 39.2582 – 229.251       
        T 2:37.0297 – 229.256       

12:07 p.m.    No. 7    MIKHAIL ALESHIN/Moscow, Russia   
        SMP Racing Honda   
           QA-1        1 – 39.3595 – 228.661    Q – 15
        2 – 39.4011 – 228.420       
        3 – 39.4439 – 228.172       
        4 – 39.4240 – 228.287       
        T 2:37.6285 – 228.385       

12:11 p.m.    No. 15    GRAHAM RAHAL/New Albany, Ohio   
        National Guard Honda   
           QA-1        1 – 39.3145 – 228.923    Q – 16
        2 – 39.3696 – 228.603       
        3 – 39.3594 – 228.662       
        4 – 39.3929 – 228.464       
        T 2:37.4364 – 228.664       

12:16 p.m.    No. 27    JAMES HINCHCLIFFE/Toronto, Canada   
        United Fiber & Data Honda   
           QA-1        1 – 39.1964 – 229.613    Q – 17
        2 – 39.1889 – 229.657       
        3 – 39.1779 – 229.721       
        4 – 39.1823 – 229.696       
        T 2:36.7455 – 229.672       

12:21 p.m.    No. 5    JACQUES VILLENEUVE/Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Canada   
        Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda   
           QA-1        1 – 39.4535 – 228.117    Q – 18
        2 – 39.4594 – 228.083       
        3 – 39.4315 – 228.244       
        4 – 39.4322 – 228.240       
        T 2:37.7766 – 228.171       

12:26 p.m.    No. 12    WILL POWER/Toowoomba, Australia   
        Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet   
           QA-1        1 – 39.1806 – 229.706    Q – 19
        2 – 39.1872 – 229.667       
        3 – 39.2297 – 229.418       
        4 – 39.1634 – 229.806       
        T 2:36.7609 – 229.649       

12:29 p.m.    No. 77    SIMON PAGENAUD/Montmorillon, France   
        Schmidt Peterson Hamilton Motorsports Honda   
           QA-1        1 – 39.3488 – 228.724    Q – 20
        2 – 39.2951 – 229.036       
        3 – 39.3615 – 228.650       
        4 – 39.3724 – 228.597       
        T 2:37.3778 – 228.749       

12:33 p.m.    No. 83    CHARLIE KIMBALL/Camarillo, Calif.   
        Novo Nordisk Ganassi Racing Chevrolet   
           QA-1        1 – 39.3457 – 228.742    Q – 21
        2 – 39.3445 – 228.749       
        3 – 39.3395 – 228.778       
        4 – 39.3746 – 228.574       
        T 2:37.4043 – 228.719       

12:37 p.m.    No. 10    TONY KANAAN/Salvador, Brazil   
        Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet   
           QA-1        1 – 39.4390 – 228.201    Q – 22
        2 – 39.4417 – 228.185       
        3 – 39.4843 – 227.939       
        4 – 39.4855 – 227.932       
        T 2:37.8505 – 228.064       

12:42 p.m.    No. 6    TOWNSEND BELL, San Luis Obispo, Calif.   
        Robert Graham KV Racing Technology Chevrolet   
           QA-1        1 – 39.3950 – 228.455    Q – 23
        2 – 39.3793 – 228.546       
        3 – 39.3967 – 228.446       
        4 – 39.3725 – 228.586       
        T 2:37.5435 – 228.508       

12:46 p.m.    No. 68    ALEX TAGLIANI/Lechenaie, Canada   
        SFHR RW Motorsports Honda   
           QA-1        1 – 39.5243 – 227.708    Q – 24
        2 – 39.4718 – 228.011       
        3 – 39.5016 – 227.839       
        4 – 39.5269 – 227.693       
        T 2:38.0246 – 227.813       

12:50 p.m.     No. 14    TAKUMA SATO/Tokyo, Japan   
        ABC Supply A.J. Foyt Racing Honda   
           QA-1        1 – 39.3116 – 228.940    Q – 25
        2 – 39.3301 – 228.832       
        3 – 39.3326 – 228.818       
        4 – 39.3779 – 228.555       
        T 2:37.3522 – 228.786       

12:54 p.m.    No. 16    ORIOL SERVIA/Pals, Spain   
        Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda   
           QA-1        1 – 39.4640 – 228.056    Q – 26
        2 – 39.4613 – 228.072       
        3 – 39.4666 – 228.041       
        4 – 39.4794 – 227.967       
        T 2:37.8713 – 228.034       

12:59 p.m.    No. 11    SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS/Le Mans, France   
        Hydroxycut/Mistic KVSH Racing Chevrolet   
           QA-1        1 – 39.3428 – 228.759    Q – 27
        2 – 39.3918 – 228.474       
        3 – 39.4511 – 228.131       
        4 – 39.4408 – 228.190       
        T 2:37.6265 – 228.388       

1:03 p.m.    No. 17    SEBASTIAN SAAVEDRA/Bogota, Colombia   
        KV AFS Racing Chevrolet   
           QA-1        1 – 39.3743 – 228.575    Q – 28
        2 – 39.4123 – 228.355       
        3 – 39.4568 – 228.098       
        4 – 39.4483 – 228.147       
        T 2:37.6997 – 228.294       

1:08 p.m.    No. 67    JOSEF NEWGARDEN/Hendersonville, Tenn.   
        Hartman Oil/Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing Honda   
           QA-1        1 – 39.2452 – 229.327    Q – 29
        2 – 39.2031 – 229.574       
        3 – 39.2225 – 229.460       
        4 – 39.2121 – 229.521       
        T 2:36.8021 – 229.471       
                Bumps #21 Hildebrand out of the Top Nine. #3 Castroneves on bubble.

1:12 p.m.    No. 33    JAMES DAVISON/Melbourne, Australia.   
        KVRT/Always Evolving Racing  Chevrolet   
           QA-1        1 – 39.6633 – 226.910    Q – 30
        2 – 39.6842 – 226.711       
        3 – 39.7066 – 226.663       
        4 – 39.7034 – 226.681       
        T 2:38.7575 – 226.761       

1:16 p.m.    No. 28    RYAN HUNTER-REAY/Fort Lauderdale, Fla   
        DHL Honda   
           QA-1        1 – 39.1534 – 229.865    Q – 31
        2 – 39.1164 – 230.083       
        3 – 39.1064 – 230.141       
        4 – 39.1378 – 229.957       
        T 2:36.5140 – 230.011       
                Bumps #3 Castroneves out of the Top Nine. #67 Newgarden on bubble.

1:23 p.m.    No. 91    BUDDY LAZIER/Vail, Colo.   
        Wynn Institute for Vision Research Chevrolet   
           QA-1        1 – 39.7421 – 226.460    Q – 32
        2 – 39.7129 – 226.627       
        3 – 39.7135 – 226.633       
        4 – 39.7417 – 226.462       
        T 2:38.9102 – 226.543       
                1:27 p.m. – YELLOW. Track inspection.
            1:37 p.m. – GREEN. Track open for practice.
***
                1:48 p.m. – Track reopens for qualifying.

1:50 p.m.    No. 77    SIMON PAGENAUD/Montmorillon, France   
        Schmidt Peterson Hamilton Motorsports Honda   
           QA-2        1 – 39.2437 – 229.336    Q – 33
        2 – 39.2729 – 229.166       
        3 – 39.2685 – 229.191       
        4 – 39.2877 – 229.079       
        T 2:37.0728 – 229.193       
                Pagenaud improves to 13th.

1:54 p.m.    No. 3    HELIO CASTRONEVES/Sao Paulo, Brazil   
        Pennzoil Ultra Platinum Team Penske Chevrolet   
           QA-2        1 – 39.1357 – 229.969    Q – 34
        2 – 39.1513 – 229.977       
        3 – 39.1756 – 229.735       
        4 – 39.2035 – 229.571       
        T 2:36.6661 – 229.788       
                Castroneves improves to third and bumps No. 67 Newgarden from Fast Nine. No. 34 Munoz on bubble.

1:59 p.m.    No. 22    SAGE KARAM/Nazareth, Pa.   
        Comfort Revolution/Brantley Gilbert Chevrolet   
           QA-2        1 – 39.3464 – 228.738    Q – 35
        2 – 39.3359 – 228.799       
        3 – 39.3547 – 228.689       
        4 – 39.4090 – 228.374       
        T 2:37.4460 – 228.650       

2:03 p.m.    No. 26    KURT BUSCH/ Las Vegas, Nev   
        Suretone Honda   
           QA-2        1 – 39.0647 – 230.388    Q – 36
        2 – 39.1467 – 229.904       
        3 – 39.1578 – 229.839       
        4 – 39.1802 – 229.708       
        T 2:36.5493 – 229.960       
                Busch’s last run was 229.256 and ranked 12th. He improves to second and bumps No. 34 Munoz from Fast Nine. No. 2 Montoya on bubble.

2:07 p.m.    No. 2    JUAN PABLO MONTOYA/Bogota, Colombia   
        Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet   
           QA-2        1 – 39.1957 – 229.617    Q – 37
        2 – 39.1701 – 229.767       
        3 – 39.1743 – 229.743       
        4 – 39.1677 – 229.781       
        T 2:36.7078 – 229.727       
                Montoya’s last run was 229.594 and ranked ninth. He improves to sixth. No. 12 Power on bubble.

2:12 p.m.    No. 7    MIKHAIL ALESHIN/Moscow, Russia   
        SMP Racing Honda   
           QA-2        1 – 39.3429 – 228.758    Q – 38
        2 – 39.2636 – 229.220       
        3 – 39.2630 – 229.223       
        4 – 39.2731 – 229.164       
        T 2:37.1426 – 229.091       
                Aleshin’s last run was 228.385 and ranked 22nd. He improves to 14th.
***
2:20 p.m.    No. 10    TONY KANAAN/Salvador, Brazil   
        Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet   
           QA-2        1 – 39.6483 – 226.996    UA – 1
        2 – 39.6240 – 227.135       
        Attempt waved off by Race Control       

2:24 p.m.    No. 63    PIPPA MANN/Ipswich, England   
        Dale Coyne Racing Honda   
           QA-2        1 – 39.5246 – 227.706    UA – 2
        2 – 39.5386 – 227.626       
        3 – 39.5273 – 227.691       
        4 – 39.5070 – 227.808       
        T 2:38.0975 – 227.708       
                Mann’s last run was 227.721 and ranked 30th. She does not improve her speed.

2:28 p.m.    No. 34    CARLOS MUNOZ/Bogota, Colombia   
        Cinsay AndrettiTV.com HVM Honda   
           QA-2        1 – 39.1710 – 229.762    UA – 3
        2 – 39.2897 – 229.068       
        3 – 39.0882 – 230.249       
        4 – 39.7373 – 226.487       
        T 2:37.2862 – 228.156       
                Munoz’s last run was 229.590 and ranked 10th. He does not improve his speed.
               
2:33 p.m.    No. 12    WILL POWER/Toowoomba, Australia   
        Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet   
           QA-2        1 – 39.0962 – 230.201    Q – 39
        2 – 39.0686 – 230.364       
        3 – 39.0572 – 230.431       
        4 – 39.0802 – 230.296       
        T 2:36.3022 – 230.323       
                Power’s last run was 229.649 and ranked 9th. He improves to provisional pole. #25 Andretti on bubble for Fast Nine.
***
                2:37 p.m. – Helicopter taking Kurt Busch to Indianapolis International Airport has departed the Speedway. He will race in the NASCAR all-star race tonight at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
***
2:40 p.m.    No. 21    JR HILDEBRAND/Sausalito, Calif.   
        Preferred Freezer/Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet   
           QA-2        1 – 39.0681 – 230.367    Q – 40
        2 – 39.1148 – 230.092       
        3 – 39.1569 – 229.845       
        4 – 39.1634 – 229.806       
        T 2:36.5032 – 230.027       
                Hildebrand’s last run was 229.453 and ranked 12th. He improves to third and bumps #25 Andretti from the Fast Nine. #27 Hinchcliffe is on the Fast Nine bubble.

2:45 p.m.    No. 25    MARCO ANDRETTI/Nazareth, Pa.   
        Snapple Honda   
           QA-2        1 – 39.1172 – 230.078    Q – 41
        2 – 39.1533 – 229.866       
        3 – 39.1744 – 229.742       
        4 – 39.1883 – 229.660       
        T 2:36.6332 – 229.836       
                Andretti’s last run was 229.663 and ranked 10th. He improves to sixth and bumps No. 27 Hinchcliffe  from the Fast Nine. No. 2 Montoya is on the Fast Nine bubble.

2:50 p.m.    No. 15    GRAHAM RAHAL/New Albany, Ohio.   
        National Guard Honda   
           QA-2        1 – 39.2838 – 229.102    UA – 4
        2 – 39.3182 – 228.902       
        3 – 39.4567 – 228.098       
        4 – 39.7008 – 226.696       
        T 2:37.7595 – 228.915       
                Rahal’s last run was 228.664 and ranked 17th. He does not improve his time.

2:54 p.m.    No. 67    JOSEF NEWGARDEN/Hendersonville, Tenn.   
        Hartman Oil/Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing Honda   
           QA-2        1 – 39.1121 – 230.108    Q – 42
        2 – 39.1926 – 229.635       
        3 – 39.2212 – 229.468       
        4 – 39.2433 – 229.339       
        T 2:36.7692 – 229.637       
                Newgarden’s last run was 229.471 and ranked 12th. He improves to 11th.

2:58 p.m.    No. 77    SIMON PAGENAUD/Montmorrilon, France   
        Schmidt Peterson Hamilton Motorsports Honda   
           QA-3        1 – 39.0639 – 230.392    Q – 43
        2 – 39.0900 – 230.238       
        3 – 39.1520 – 229.973       
        4 – 39.1682 – 229.778       
        T 2:36.4741 – 230.070       
                Pagenaud’s last run was 229.193 and ranked 13th. He improves to third and bumps No. 2 Montoya  from the Fast Nine. No. 98 Hawksworth is on the Fast Nine bubble.

3:02 p.m.    No. 16    ORIOL SERVIA/Pals, Spain   
        Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda   
           QA-2        1 – 39.8064 – 226.094    UA – 5
        2 – 39.4798 – 227.965       
        3 – 39.4743 – 227.996       
        Attempt is waved off by Race Director.        
***
3:08 p.m.  – YELLOW for a Track Inspection due to reports of rain. #83 Kimball did not take the green flag and waved off the attempt.

INDIANAPOLIS 500 QUALIFYING QUOTES

KURT BUSCH (No. 26 Suretone Honda): (About his first run): “I’ve qualified Pro Stocks on the quarter-mile; I’ve done the longest track on the NASCAR circuit (Talladega) but to do four laps here on a 2.5-mile track, that’s a 10-mile run. That’s the longest I’ve had to focus for a qualifying run. Just the shear excitement of trusting a car with downforce going down into Turn 1 at 230 is indescribable. Those four laps felt like one; 230 is a totally different game. I wasn’t as focused as I needed to be; the moment of Indy can kind of overtake you. It was a very solid run; I was hoping for more. I didn’t keep up with the adjustments in the car. Those guys at Andretti Auto sport have given me a great car. I have to head to Charlotte by 3 p.m. I’ve got to be able to start the Charlotte race – there’s a million bucks down there.  It’s been an experience, the month of May in an Indy car. It’s really hard to digest at all. The chance to qualify is one thing but to do it in an Andretti car is another. The qualifying run I made felt very comfortable, maybe that’s why it wasn’t as good as I had hoped. Maybe I was conservative with the car instead of edgy. I have to thank Andretti Autosport and Suretone for making all this happen; those guys have been great to partner up with and run a big advertising campaign around the Indy 500. We’re going to try and make it to Charlotte in time for the drivers’ meeting tonight. It’s nice that NASCAR has allowed my car to be practiced (by Parker Kligerman).” (About second run): “The Andretti team has taken the steps to help me get to a comfortable place to be able to go out there. We could have camped on our 12th-place run from our earlier outing and been back out here tomorrow. But why not go for it? We didn’t have to withdraw our time, so why not go for it and try to get into that final group. I gave my heart a run at it. If we end up outside of the Top Nine I know I gave it my all and that was really a neat experience – not to withdraw the time, but go to up against the car and myself to pick up speed. The way you have to challenge a track for a NASCAR run is you have the most downforce and the car is going to be the most at its grip level. Here at Indy you take all the grip away and you take all the downforce – you make the car as uncomfortable as you can make it. And then they tack on three extra laps, so you’re doing 10 miles. So I’ve qualified a Pro Stock car a quarter-mile at a time, I’ve qualified a stock car for 15 years – qualifying at Indy you have to do it over 10 miles and you have to do it in the most unnerving conditions with the car; the car is not ready to go 230 (mph) but you have to handle it.”

JACQUES VILLENEUVE (No. 5 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda): “It was nice and easy. We didn’t trim the car. We concentrated on the race setup. We didn’t have time to trim the car down, so we didn’t take any risk. The car was quite fast without being trimmed, so we’re actually quite happy.” (Comparing today to his qualifying in 1995) “The ’95 car was edgy. I wasn’t flat out on the four laps. There was more horsepower so you were a little bit more on the ragged edge. Now, it’s more of a question of momentum. The speeds are similar but it drives differently. I love driving at these speeds, that’s what I was born to do.”

SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS (No. 11 Hydroxycut/Mistic KVSH Racing): “It was a clean run for four laps; pretty solid. But I struggled quite a bit in Lap 3 and 4. Coming off of (Turn) 2 is the tailwind. I guess I could have been a little bit more aggressive. But the bottom line, you got on new tires; perfect track. It was a 228.7 and it’s just not good enough to make the Fast Nine. We can’t really trim the car much more than that, so I think the Mistic/Hydroxycut machine is just going to call it a day and come back tomorrow and just try to figure something out for tomorrow.”

ALEX TAGLIANI (No. 68 SFHR/RW Motorsports): “That wasn’t as good as we wanted. We lost some speed and we lost the balance. I guess we have some good data to look at. Josef (Newgarden) seems to be quicker than us. Hopefully we can come up with some plan for this afternoon and maybe try again. Hopefully, we can find what it takes. I think we’ll see some guys go back out. The reward in points is so important for the championship.” (On the variable conditions): “When you have this sort of run, you’re scratching your head and you’re wondering. But I think we have something we can fall back on.”

SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Chevrolet): (About his first run): “It was an average run. I think we were a little bit neutral and started sliding the rear a bit coming from Lap 2 and onwards. The speed just wasn’t there anyways. After Ed (Carpenter’s) run we have to find a good mile and one-half or a little more. We’re trimmed out more than what they are. It’s not about how trim you are; it’s all about the whole package together. We’ll go back out. With warmer conditions later we may see some bigger speeds.” (About Tony Kanaan as teammate): “It never hurts to have last year’s Indy 500 champion alongside you. We’re trying to work as hard together as we can. He has a lot of good experience. Hopefully we can get our package running and increase the speeds here.”

ORIOL SERVIA (No. 16 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda): “The car was good, just a little slow. It felt pretty good. We would like to have a little more speed to be honest, but we have all day to find it. That’s what I like about this new procedure. It’s fun (post qualifying), all these pictures, after qualifying. You always feel that you’re giving the people something special. “

JAMES HINCHCLIFFE (No. 27 United Fiber & Data Honda): “I just gotta be grateful to even be able to come out here and qualify the car. Just being here is great. A week ago today I was on a stretcher and didn’t know my own name. So we’ve come a long way in a short period of time. So much credit to everyone who’s helped me out over the last week. To get here is all the medical staff’s doing but to go that fast, that’s the team - those little practices we had to get those cars going fast and EJ (Viso) stepping in for more me. This weekend is so important to us. Those four flying laps around this place are so special. So to be able to do it at all and go as quick as we did is awesome. This new qualifying format has thrown a couple of curve balls to everybody. Hopefully we can go out there and tune a little bit, because we’re going to need a little bit more tomorrow to catch Ed (Carpenter). It’s going to be tough. When you get to this downforce level, things start to get really sensitive; really sketchy. But as long as the weather’s good and we get a good run at it today and tune on it, hopefully it will be alright.”

HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Pennzoil Ultra Platinum Team Penske): “Well, it was good. The weather is perfect. It couldn’t be better. The weather is helping so much; everyone is comfortable with their car. The car was actually solid. We just didn’t quite put up the speed we were expecting. But the Pennzoil car looks good. That’s what it’s all about. Now, we need a little more speed so we can secure the top nine. It’s so on the limit. You can see the times are so close. One small detail can make a big difference.”

PIPPA MANN (No. 63 Dale Coyne Racing Honda): “We were hoping for a little bit better (speed) out there. I struggled to get any heat in the tires on that run. We’ll go back to the garage and work on the car. I think we’ll be faster later.”

CARLOS HUERTAS (No. 18 Dale Coyne Racing Honda): “I thought it was a decent run, but there is still something left in the car. I hope we can get another chance later today to improve on it.”

MIKHAIL ALESHIN (No. 7 SMP Racing Honda):  “It felt amazing. It’s an amazing feeling. That’s my first qualifying on an oval and it’s the Indy 500 – that’s good. Obviously, we had some issues during the qualifying but I think for my first time it was good. I didn’t have a lot of possibility to drive and test the setup because of the weather was not so good, so it was difficult but it was good.”

GRAHAM RAHAL (No. 15 National Guard Honda): “We kind of got behind working on the race car a lot and we lost (Friday). When we got done with that and got out of the garage, it started to rain. We’re a little bit behind, but I’d say our run was clean.  Was it the quickest run? No. Is there more in the car? Yes, we just have to get it handling a little better. Overall, I’d say we’ve done a good job. Right now I’d say we’re in mid-pack, but a lot of good guys have gone. I think I had the fastest warm-up speed, but maybe I pushed too hard in warming up and killed the front tires a little bit.”

RYAN BRISCOE (No. 8 NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet): “It felt solid. I just need a bit more speed. We’re going to go back and work pretty hard and see what we can do to go faster. I’m pretty sure we’ll go back out again. I think it (the new qualifying format) is going to be great. It’s going to roll all the way into tomorrow. It’s going to keep the excitement going all weekend for the fans. I think as the day rolls on today, it’s going to just keep getting stronger and stronger. It should be fun.”

SEBASTIAN SAAVEDRA (No. 17 AFS KVAFS Racing Chevrolet): “It’s hard to believe that this is the same car that was involved in the big accident last weekend. I am so proud of the KV AFS Racing guys; they did an amazing job putting the car back together in two days. We lost a lot of time on track, but we are here and the car feels good. To be at the same pace as my teammates with a car that is not fully build for this event is a great feeling.  We haven’t focused so much time on the qualifying trim, so I know we have a good race car and now we focus on the race next weekend.”

MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 25 Snapple Honda): (About his first run): “I think it was a decent first stab, but I’m not sure it will hold up for the (Fast Nine). That might be a bubble time.” (On running a lap over 232 miles per hour in morning practice): “That lap felt awesome, but it doesn’t really tell the story for me right now.” (How long do you sit and wait before you potentially make another run?): “We need to make the appropriate change and make sure the car is well rubbed on and ready to go. We don’t want to rush anything. But as soon as we’re ready I’m ready.”

ED CARPENTER (No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka/Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet): (About if he’s surprised by the speeds) “I thought it was going to be a little slower this morning, but then once it warmed up the speed seemed about right. I expected the Ganassi cars to be a little bit better, and like I said, five teams in there – Newgarden threw it in at the end and all sorts of teams represented. That’s what’s awesome about [the Verizon IndyCar Series] right now.” (About what he has to do to keep the momentum going tomorrow) “It’s just got to go like it did last year, we’ve got to get it right for that one run. Everybody’s got one shot at it, and I think you saw guys going faster, going slower, going faster, going slower today depending on which run they were on. Some guys moved forward, some guys moved back when they pulled out a time. It just comes down to the engineers and the drivers making the right decision, believing in it and going out a laying down four good ones.” (About if he’s excited his cars have been so fast) “It’s been a good month. I’m really happy we have the second car this month with the way it’s gone with limited running and the rain. Having JR on the team has been a huge help. I’m happy we’re in a position to have a chance to win a pole again, and at the same time I feel like we’re in better shape for the race than where we were last year too, so it’s shaping up to be a fun weekend.”

JR HILDEBRAND (No. 21 Preferred Freezer/Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet): "We changed our gearing strategy a little bit here. Through practice we used lower boost levels so it's a little bit different. We had more headwind and I was really trying to, as they might say in dirt bike country, trying to keep the thing on the pipe. I was really trying to keep the RPMs up in my first run and I think that really just ended up meaning that I was shifting too much. In this run, the balance was actually a little worse, but the conditions are a little bit better, and I was shifting a little less each lap so that helped me go faster. We just changed our gearing strategy a little bit. We didn't run this morning, so I was just coming off running with lower boost with a focus on more shifting given the headwinds we had been facing. So we went back and looked at some of the data and realized that our approach was just a little off base. So we made a couple of adjustments to get more speed out of it. I think actually our balance was worse in the second run, so if we have to go out there and do this again, we can squeeze a little bit more out of it."

JUSTIN WILSON (No. 19 Dale Coyne Racing Honda): “We picked up three-quarters of a mile per hour. We trimmed it out another step. There isn’t much more than we can do. It’s about as fast as it would go. It was pretty loose; the last two laps were a handful. We’re pleased with it. We’ll go look at it and try to find more straight-line speed. The first run was really straight-forward and this one was definitely more on edge.”

HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Pennzoil Ultra Platinum Team Penske Chevrolet): “Every time you get the front row here, at least for the first qualifying, it’s great. It was a great battle. Every time we went out there we improved and we hope to continue that for tomorrow. When things are new you don’t know what to expect. I was just kind of like excited to find out what’s going to happen but it turned out to be not bad.”
    
MIKHAIL ALESHIN (No. 7 SMP Racing Honda):  “I don’t think we realized our full potential today in the No. 7 SMP Racing car. The biggest reason for that is that the rain prevented us from trying a qualifying set-up before today. We’ve been working with different variables in the car, but only got two qualifying runs before time ran out. I think that if I would have gotten a chance to go out a third time we would have improved our time. I think we’re in a good place for tomorrow though.”

PIPPA MANN (No. 63 Dale Coyne Racing Honda): “Today was a tough and at times a stressful one for us with the Susan G. Komen / Dale Coyne Racing car, but it started out, and finished the way we wanted things to!  Running 228 mph for the first time in my IndyCar career this morning was a pretty fun experience, and we thought we were looking good for our first qualifying run. Unfortunately, we ran into a couple of small technical issues that hampered our speed in both our first two runs, and then when we got back in line to try a third time, the rain that has played such an important role this month decided to join us on pit lane again! It wasn't the first time I've been strapped in the Susan G. Komen car, waiting to go, and that's happened this year! However when we finally did get on track for that third run, we got the 228 plus average speeds we were looking for and it locked me into the top 30, and thus into the race whatever happens tomorrow. I've had a couple of stressful bump days in the past, so that's a pretty good feeling.”

JOSEF NEWGARDEN (No. 67 Hartman Oil/Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing Honda): “Great job by my team, Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing. They pulled something out of their hats. Unbelievable. They put on a little different setup. We definitely went for it. It wasn’t quite good enough to be at the top, but somehow we snuck in. It’s pretty cool – a really good job by that team. Sometimes it’s just fast and you don’t know why. There are little tweaks though. Scrubbing, I think, was a big deal today. We were trying to get a consistent lap each run. It looked like that for other people too. Once we started trimming to a certain point we just started getting too much scrub. We figured out a way to limit that and I think that was the difference for us. It’s different for everyone, but sometimes you go slower - or you go faster - and you don’t actually know why. It’s a funny place. Sometimes you get the conditions right or just the right run, but it definitely seems to pick you. When this place wants you to be fast, it lets you be fast.”

WILL POWER (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): “It was looking pretty comfortable there for a while and then suddenly, bam, the track got quicker. Then we’re starting to think, ‘Jump in the car. We might have to make a run.’ But still, it was a good day. I get to run fourth tomorrow in line. We’ll just do what we can. It would have been nice to get full points, but it’s still great to get in the Fast Nine for tomorrow.”

SIMON PAGENAUD (No. 77 Schmidt Peterson Hamilton Motorsports Honda): “I’ve got to tell you, I think INDYCAR’s got it right for the nerve wracking intensity that we all experienced today. It was a very entertaining qualifying day, especially for the fans. It was stressful all day long. We got a 230 mph average early on in the day so waiting it out to see if it would hold up was difficult! I was ready to go at the end if it would have come to that and I think the Lucas Oil car would have been able to qualify its way back into the top-nine, but it was nice to not have to go back out there at the last minute. It felt like I was driving all day and we found a lot of speed in the car. That’s going to be great to help us for the second day of qualifying tomorrow. I’m so excited to have the opportunity to fight for pole position tomorrow. It’s honestly another dream come true and I’ll certainly give it my best tomorrow.”

GRAHAM RAHAL (No. 15 National Guard Honda): “From a fan’s perspective, the system works because a lot of people ran a lot today so I thought that worked fairly well. Obviously, we have a lot of speed to find. We’ve got to keep working hard and try to get the car better and improve for tomorrow to get ourselves as far up the grid as possible. The goal right now is to focus. We made big changes for each qualifying attempt. I went from pretty good handling, to hanging on, to pretty good handling but went slower each time.”

ORIOL SERVIA (No. 16 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda): “It’s no secret that all month we have been a little slower than we wanted. Then yesterday and today we made good improvements with the car and I honestly thought we were looking at being in the top-12 and we are not there. We were hoping to be faster than that though. Realistically we have been improving step-by-step and I think we still have more steps to go I think the new system makes qualifying interesting.”

JACQUES VILLENEUVE (No. 5 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda): “We had a run at the end of the day where we trimmed the car out but we went slower than before. That was frustrating because we just weren’t accelerating like we should have. That was serving as a test for tomorrow, so we have a few things to figure out before tomorrow.”

MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 25 Snapple Honda): (How did you overcome having a puncture in your tire and coming back out and putting that time up?): “Just line it up again. That’s all you can do. Until the gun goes off at this place, it can bite you.” (What is it like driving this car here for four laps trimmed out?): “I just have to keep reminding myself that we are in the field. I remember 2011; I was fighting to even race, so obviously we’re lucky with that bit. I definitely want to have a shot at. Hopefully we maximize whatever we have to do to make that happen.”

CARLOS MUNOZ (No. 34 Cinsay AndrettiTV.com HVM Honda): “After the second run, I was really disappointed. During the first run, the Cinsay car was really good, but during the second run, we just completely lost the balance of the car. My team, my engineer – they did exactly what I asked, and we had a great third run. I was questioning myself, the team, everything before, but as soon as I hit the track I forgot everything (about the second run). The car was really fast, and it’s a shame we wasted that second outing. I think we’re looking strong, and we’ll see what happens tomorrow.”

ALEX TAGLIANI (No. 68 SFHR/RW Motorsports Honda): “Really happy for the team. They made it with Josef Newgarden's 67 car in the top nine. It’s very important for the championship. I think the team has a good chance to steal the show tomorrow with the 67 car. I will be pulling and supporting them. In regards to the 68 car I am really sad for the crew. They deserve better and I am going to be on a mission for the race. That is the only thing that matters.”

JAMES HINCHCLIFFE (No. 27 United Fiber & Data Honda): “It feels really good now. It’s a huge testament to this team and the work that they’ve done to be able to come out here. We had a solid first run, but we knew we were going to have to tweak some more out of it. We were sitting back in the garage there watching ourselves tumble down the charts, watching the track get a bit quicker and guys go a bit quicker. We knew it was our time to go out. The rain came, and we weren’t what that was going to do to the track and the conditions. But Nathan (O’Rourke), my engineer, just nailed the aero balance on that one. The car was even nicer to drive than it was the last run. It was on edge, man. I’m shaking a little bit. But it was fast, and that’s what matters.”
 

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