Even after winning the pole for the Indianapolis 500, it’s still unlikely that Ed Carpenter actually pulls off the win at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Carpenter won the pole position on Saturday, with the Indy Motor Speedway's official Twitter account announcing his victory.
Ind. Motor Speedway @IMS
Congratulations to @edcarpenter20! He is the pole sitter for the 97th running of the Indianapolis 500! http://t.co/4OpMNfH3kZ5/18/2013, 11:17:32 PM
The last win for Carpenter came in September of last year, winning the MAVTV 500 after starting fifth. In the 141 races he has started, he has only won twice.
This is actually Carpenter’s second career pole position, despite racing for 10 years. For a racer who has been in the IndyCar series for so long, you would expect to see more wins and pole positions.
In his career at the Indy 500, Carpenter’s average finish is around 15. That’s not a horrible average finish, but it’s not where he wants to be if he wants to be considered an elite racer. His best finish came back in 2008, where he finished in fifth.
Pole-sitters at the Indy 500 tend to have some success, but it isn’t a guarantee. The last winner who started from the pole position was Helio Castroneves back in 2009. Other winners from the pole since 2000 happened back in 2008, 2006 and 2004.
The competition surrounding Carpenter will be fierce. Previous winners who will be driving include Castroneves, Scott Dixon, Dario Franchitti and Buddy Lazier. Other big names will be racing as well, with Tony Kanaan and Marco Andretti in the hunt.
At the moment, Carpenter is currently No. 23 in the IndyCar series standings. That’s not a good start through the season’s first four races. In fact, only four drivers are lower in the standings, with only two of them actually racing in all four races.
Carpenter also has a few guys close behind after the qualifying results. According to USA Today, Andretti and Castroneves finished in the top 10 qualifiers as well. Talented drivers like those two will provide plenty of competition for Carpenter early on in the race.
While starting in the pole position is always nice, it likely won’t help out Carpenter much. He’s a driver with few wins in his career, despite racing for a decade. There is likely to be plenty of hype surrounding Carpenter heading into the race, but going the fastest during qualifying doesn’t always transition into a victory.