Tony D's blog
Simon Pagenaud wins the pole for the Indianapolis 500
Chris Jones | indyCar
It was a drama filled day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. After a four hour rain delay, the back row shootout and Top 9 shootout to determine the Indy 500 pole entertained the crowd for an hour before Simon Pagenaud qualified fastest of the 33 to earn his first career Indy 500 pole.
Pagenauds run continued a joyous week for the always smiling Frenchmen. He took the checkered flag in last weeks Indy Car GP at IMS, and backed that up with the pole position. Simon spoke with me right after.
The drama and heartbreak was felt around the world when, on the last attempt to make the field, Kyle Kaiser bumped Formula One and world wide sensation Fernando Alonso from the field. Kaiser & Alonso both had similar weeks, involved in single car accidents that put their team behind the eight ball. Kaiser will be a second time starter for the small team that shocked the world in Juncos Racing. Juncos, which prepared Kyles backup car over night Friday is without a sponsor for the Indy 500, as the previous pulled out days before 500 practice started. Owner Ricardo Juncos told the media that indeed he does have a sponsor now.
Alonso missing the race is both good and bad for the sport of Indy Car. It's good because it shows that you can't just show up at Indy and be guarenteed a spot in the field. It shows that even am F1 champ can have his struggles around the famed Brickyard. Max Chilton & Pato O'Ward also missed the field of 33.
Ed Carpenter Racing will fill out the remainder of the front row with Ed Carpenter starting second, and Spencer Pigot earning a career best start in the Indy 500 with a 3rd place showing. Ed Jones will start a careed best 4th, also for Ed Carpenter Racing, a team that will be a force on race day.
Rookie phenom Colton Herta will see the green from the 5th position, while Will Power went from second in qualifying on Saturday, to 6th in the official starting grid. Sebastian Bourdais, Josef Newgarden and Alexander Rossi round out your top 9 starters for the race on Sunday.