Indy 500 | IndyCar Qualifying Day 1| Power and Penske on top after the first attempts

Penske Entertainment: Joe Skibinski
Spread the love

It’s time to begin setting the grid for the 108th running of the Indy 500. Today starting positions 13th to 30th will be filled out, with the best and the worst drivers to be defined tomorrow. Ganassi’s Scott Dixon has opted for a very last minute engine swap.

Andretti’s Kyle Kirkwood has drawn the number 1 for today and is the first to come out on track for his attempt. The two times IndyCar race winner mentions understeer on his radio, but is able to pull off a very consistent 232.764mph average, with a fastest first lap of 232.964mph.

Up next is Scott McLaughlin, race winner in Barber and among the top performers in the past practise sessions, making him a serious contender for the Final 6 as well as the pole considering the prime pit exit time. His first lap is an impressive 233.533mph, and he manages to keep all his laps well over the 233mphs, with an average speed of 233.332mph.

It’s time for the first rookie of the day, Ganassi’s Kyffin Simpson. His whole team hasn’t been completely satisfied with their qualy setups, and didn’t perform that well during Fast Friday, a day dominated by Chevys. His first lap was a 232.133mph, with a very solid average of 231.948mph that should allow him to qualify comfortably.

Ed Carpenter Racing’s Rinus Veekay, who started the 2023 Indy 500 from P2 right behind Alex Palou, comes on track next but he crashed hardly on his first fast lap, spinning out at Turn 3 after losing the rear of his car. The Dutch driver had been suffering from understeering earlier in the session.

Romain Grosjean will now set the fourth time of the day in his third attempt to make the 500. The Juncos Hollinger Racing driver has put in two consistent laps in the high 231mphs, but it’s not the fastest performance of the day with an average speed of 231.514mph.

2024’s most famous rookie Kyle Larson is up next after signing the fastest lap on Fast Friday. What can be expected from the Nascar Champion? His first two laps are very impressive, with the fastest in 232.7mph, but his Arrow McLaren encountered engine problems on the third lap, with Larson having to abort the attempt and return to the pits.

Agustin Canapino is on next, with a first lap in 232.414mph and up until the third lap, an average above the 232mph which would have put him in provisional P3. His final lap is however significantly slower, but he manages to outqualify his teammate Grosjean.

Canapino’s former teammate Callum Ilott is up next behind the wheel of Arrow McLaren’s car no.6. With a best fast lap of 232.420mph and an average of 231.995mph he is able to slot in P3.

Up next is the second Penske driver of the day, Will Power, a.k.a the driver with most poles in the history of IndyCar but yet to put it on top at the 500. Will this finally be the year? He takes the grid and the provisional top spot by storm with a fast first lap of 234.030mph and an average of 233.758mph.

Photo credits: Penske Entertainment | Joe Skibinski

Defending 500 winner and third Penske car of the day Josef Newgarden’s first lap is solid but not as fast as the ones put in by his teammates at 233.528mph. His average of 233.293mph will definitely be good enough to make the cut to the Fast 12, but won’t leave the perfectionist Newgarden satisfied.

Then comes the third rookie of the day, Marcus Armstrong behind the wheel of Ganassi’s car no.11. The former Formula 2 driver is able to put in three very consistent mid 232mph laps, slotting in P5 with a 232.183mph average.

Dale Coyne’s Nolan Siegel follows him. The rookie driver, also competing in INYNXT, was involved in a heavy crash just yesterday, with his team up late in order to allow him to attempt to qualify. However, the lack of practise is evident, with Siegel’s first lap a 226.900mph. The Californian finds a bit of pace on the following lap, but his average is far off the rest of the grid in 226.621mph.

Up next is 2023’s Indy 500 podium finisher Santino Ferrucci, returning for AJ Foyt Racing. It’s an impressive 232.496mph average speed, signing his fastest lap on the second in 232.700mph and with all four laps over the 232mph.

The first RLL driver on track today is Christian Lundgaard, with a 231.465mph average that puts him behind the Juncos cars.

Andretti’s Marcus Ericsson is on next. The 2022 500 champion suffered from a huge crash yesterday, which definitely left him not up to speed with his teammates and not that used to the backup car. His first lap is significantly worse compared to his teammate and top Honda in P4 in 230.955mph.for an average of 230.4 mph that puts him in provisional P12, only ahead of Siegel.

Third Ganassi of the day and last rookie for the team is 2024 podium sitter Linus Lundqvist, who has also suffered from a big practice Turn 2 hit. A bit more reverence can be felt, as he is the worst performing Ganassi so far averaging a 231.506mph for provisional P11.

2020 Indy 500 pole sitter Marco Andretti is up next. With a fastest lap of 232.050mph and an average of 231.890mph he slots in ahead of the Juncos cars in P9.

Owner-driver Ed Carpenter on his Chevrolet signs a strong fastest lap of 232.988mph, but has a significant drop off on the second lap as well as on the third. With an average of 232.017mph the veteran is in provisional P7.

Up next is Katherine Legge for Dale Coyne Racing, who signs a first lap speed of 230.460mph. It was a very consistent performance over the first three laps, but she touched the wall on the final attempt, bringing down her average to 230.244mph, bringing home a 229.732mph in spite of the accident.

The 20th driver out on track is Conor Daly for Dreyer&Reinbold Racing with Cusick Motorsport. He signs a 231.907mph, with an average of 231.243mph.

RLL?s Pietro Fittipaldi follows him, with a fastest lap speed of 231.471mph and a consistent performance around the 231.0mph. His average of 231.100mph puts him in provisional P16, ahead of Ericsson.

The first Meyers Shank Racing driver is out next. Tom Blomqvist has a fastest lap of 231.605mph and ends his first ever Indy 500 qualifying attempt with an average of 231.403mph in provisional P15.

Rossi and O’Ward both opted to skip their turns in order to make racetrack based changes to their setup. McLaren also mentioned that Larson’s issue happened due to electronic components and has been resolved.

Felix Rosenqvist, among the best qualifiers of 2024 is up next for MSR. He slots in the top 5 with a solid average of 232.547mph and a best first lap with a speed of

Defending 500 pole sitter Alex Palou takes the grid next. The reigning IndyCar champion, who is also leading the 2024 standings, averages a speed of 232.306mph, sliding in provisional P7.

Drama ensured as in the middle of Palou’s attempt Ilott’s P8 attempt has been disallowed due to a non conforming left rear wheel offset, in what has been so far not a positive day for McLaren on this side of the pond.

Latest RLL 500 winner Takuma Sato is on next. With a fastest lap speed of 232.4 mph he is the fastest RLL driver of the day so far, sliding in provisional P9 averaging a speed of 232.140mph.

AJ Foyt’s Sting Ray Robb is up next, with a fast first lap in the 232mph. His average speed of 231.346mph has him achieve P18 in spite of his 2mph drop-off.

Former championship leader Colton Herta is on next. The Andretti driver improved his speed on the second lap, with three incredibly consistent laps in the 232.4mphs. He ended up with a 232.236mph for provisional P8 and kicking out of the provisional top 12 Andretti.

Reigning INDYNXT champion Christian Rasmussen is on next for ECR. The young Danish talent signed two laps in the 232mphs, but dropped to the 230mph on the third lap. Recovering a bit of speed on the last run, he ended up splitting the Juncos cars in P15.

Graham Rahal is on next after being bumped with RLL last year. After three consistent laps around the mid 230mphs, he mentions an engine issue which consistently lowers his speed on the final two laps, ending up in provisional P26 with an average of 230.233mph.

Helio Castroneves on his Drive for Five is the final driver to complete his first attempt. The MSR driver and management’s first lap is a positive 232.050mph, with an average of 231.871mph for provisional P14.

27 cars have now set times, stay tuned to find out how the grid will be shaken up in the following hours!