“Marc”-ed Man: Andretti the Driver to Beat on Saturday
Just like on Fast Friday, Marco Andretti with his Andretti Herta Autosport with Marco Andretti and Curb-Agajanian Honda setting the fastest four-lap average speed as Andretti Autosport cars held the top four positions in the fast nine going into Sunday.
Marco’s first run was enough to put him pole, with a four-lap average speed of 231.351 mph. Most drivers were not able to improve as the day went on as they had to combat increasing track temperatures.
Second place would be the DHL Honda of Ryan Hunter-Reay with a four-lap average of 231.330 mph. The 2012 Indianapolis 500 winner would be followed by the 2016 winner of the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing” Alexander Rossi. The final Andretti car in the top five would be James Hinchcliffe in fourth.
Scott Dixon would be the one to break the Andretti stranglehold in fifth, putting his Chip Ganassi Racing Honda in fifth with a four lap average of 231.155 mph. Right at the end of qualifying, Dixon set the fastest single lap of the day with an average of 232.356 mph.
NTT IndyCar Series rookies Rinus Veekay and Alex Palou would find themselves sixth and seventh respectively after brilliant drives by the two. Veekay’s sixth place effort was the fastest by a Chevrolet powered car on Saturday as they continued to struggle for pace.
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing would round out the fast nine, with Graham Rahal and 2018 Indy 500 winner Takuma Sato in eight and ninth respectively.
Team Penske’s struggles continued on Saturday, as Josef Newgarden was able to only post a team-best thirteenth place position with a four-lap average of 230.296 mph. The next fastest Penske machine would be Will Power in twenty-second, followed by Simon Pagenaud in twenty-fifth and Helio Castroneves in twenty-eighth (his worst career Indy 500 qualifying position).
This lack of pace has plagued the team as well as Chevrolet all week so far, with the manufacturer putting only one car in the top ten in two of the first three practice sessions, none of which were a Team Penske car.
Team boss Roger Penske will not be happy with the performance of the team at the track he now owns. Both the boss and the drivers expect to be fighting for the pole here, but have languished outside of the top ten. All parties will be hoping that Chevrolet’s pace issues are fixed and that race pace is better than their single lap pace come 23 August.
This lack of pace is also hurting the triple crown chances of Fernando Alonso, who will be starting from twenty-sixth in his No. 66 Arrow McLaren SP entry.
Going into the fast nine shootout on Sunday, one question looms. Will anyone be able to stop Andretti? And if not, which Andretti driver will be on pole? We will just have to wait and see on Sunday.
Indianapolis 500 Saturday Qualifying Results
|RANK||CAR NO.||DRIVER||NAT||TEAM||TOTAL TIME||AVERAGE SPEED|
|1||98||Marco Andretti||USA||Andretti Herta Autosport with Marco Andretti and Curb-Agajanian||02:35.6078||231.351|
|2||28||Ryan Hunter-Reay||USA||Andretti Autosport||02:35.6217||231.33|
|3||27||Alexander Rossi||USA||Andretti Autosport||02:35.6638||231.268|
|4||29||James Hinchcliffe||CAN||Andretti Autosport||02:35.7126||231.195|
|5||9||Scott Dixon||NZ||Chip Ganassi Racing||02:35.7396||231.155|
|6||21||Rinus VeeKay (R)||NED||Ed Carpenter Racing||02:35.7674||231.114|
|7||55||Alex Palou (R)||ESP||Dale Coyne Racing with Team Goh||02:35.8213||231.034|
|8||15||Graham Rahal||USA||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing||02:35.9641||230.822|
|9||30||Takuma Sato||JPN||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing||02:35.9844||230.792|
|10||88||Colton Herta||USA||Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport||02:35.9962||230.775|
|11||8||Marcus Ericsson||SWE||Chip Ganassi Racing||02:36.1374||230.566|
|12||45||Spencer Pigot||USA||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing w/ Citrone/Buhl Autosport||02:36.1557||230.539|
|13||1||Josef Newgarden||USA||Team Penske||02:36.3203||230.296|
|14||10||Felix Rosenqvist||SWE||Chip Ganassi Racing||02:36.3491||230.254|
|15||5||Pato O’Ward||MEX||Arrow McLaren SP||02:36.3769||230.213|
|16||20||Ed Carpenter||USA||Ed Carpenter Racing||02:36.3781||230.211|
|17||26||Zach Veach||USA||Andretti Autosport||02:36.5484||229.961|
|18||47||Conor Daly||USA||Ed Carpenter Racing||02:36.5525||229.955|
|19||18||Santino Ferrucci||USA||Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan||02:36.5736||229.924|
|20||60||Jack Harvey||ENG||Meyer Shank Racing||02:36.6161||229.861|
|21||7||Oliver Askew||USA||Arrow McLaren SP||02:36.6852||229.76|
|22||12||Will Power||AUS||Team Penske||02:36.7252||229.701|
|23||14||Tony Kanaan||BRA||A.J. Foyt Enterprises||02:37.0993||229.154|
|24||41||Dalton Kellett||CAN||A.J. Foyt Enterprises||02:37.2880||228.88|
|25||22||Simon Pagenaud||FRA||Team Penske||02:37.3180||228.836|
|26||66||Fernando Alonso||ESP||Arrow McLaren SP||02:37.3646||228.768|
|27||51||James Davison||AUS||Dale Coyne Racing with Rick Ware Racing||02:37.3789||228.747|
|28||3||Helio Castroneves||BRA||Team Penkse||02:37.6368||228.373|
|29||4||Charlie Kimball||USA||A.J. Foyt Enterprises||02:38.0625||227.758|
|31||24||Sage Karam||USA||Dreyer & Reinbold Racing||02:38.5210||227.099|
|32||67||JR Hildebrand||USA||Dreyer & Reinbold Racing||02:39.0518||226.341|