Ed Carpenter, Carlos Munoz and Helio Castroneves found themselves jockeying hard for position during yesterday’s qualifying rounds at the “Brickyard” as they steered toward today’s Indy 500 Shootout, each achieving some of their career best times as each made some exceedingly bold moves during the final 80 seconds. In the end, it was Carpenter taking pole honors for the May 25 race after finishing first with a four-lap qualifying average of 230.661 mph. Munoz was second at 230.460, followed by Castroneves.
"I wasn't sure we were going to go 230 in our first run, so I was relieved when we did, But to be honest, I didn't think going into qualifying I was going to exceed 230," Carpenter stated.
Although Carpenter, the 5th car on the track, qualified after one round, he had to endure a day of waiting around as other drivers, including Jimmie Hinchcliffe took their turn toppling him from the top spot following a rain delay. Others juggling back and forth for the pole position also included Kurt Busch, Munoz, and Juan Pablo Montoya, before Carpenter came back and surpassed them all. If he wins the pole again today Carpenter, who one last year’s Indianapolis 500 pole, would be only the 2nd driver since 1990 to earn consecutive poles at Indy. The other driver was (3-time Indy 500 champ) Helio Castroneves who accomplished the feat in 2009 and 2010.