Indy 500 Qualifying Results 2014: Tracking Time Trials and Pole Position Winner

Richard LangfordCorrespondent IMay 17, 2014

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MAY 17:  Ed Carpenter, driver of the #20 Fuzzy's Vodka Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet Dallara poses for a photo for after qualifying for the 98th Indianapolis 500 Mile Race on May 17, 2014 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

After this weekend's qualifying, Ed Carpenter captured his second straight pole for the Indy 500. The IndyCar Series team owner/driver was the fastest on Saturday by posting a four-lap average of 230.661 mph before shattering recent records on Sunday.

 

Day 2 Recap

Michael Conroy/Associated Press

As if Saturday's performance was not good enough, Carpenter exploded out of the gate on Sunday to seize his second consecutive Indy 500 pole thanks to a four-lap average of 231.067.

As IndyCar Series on Twitter illustrates, that's the fastest time in about a decade:

Carpenter was the last of the nine fastest racers from Saturday to hit the track and used his last lap to knock off James Hinchcliffe. Here is a look at the top 10 qualifiers for the May 25 race:

2014 Indy 500 Starting Grid
Pos.DriverTeamAvg. Speed
1Ed CarpenterEd Carpenter Racing231.067
2James HinchcliffeAndretti Autosport230.839
3Will PowerPenske230.697
4Helio CastronevesPenske230.649
5Simon PagenaudSam Schmidt230.614
6Marco AndrettiAndretti Autosport230.544
7Carlos MunozAndretti Autosport230.146
8Josef NewgardenSFHR229.893
9JR HildebrandEd Carpenter Racing228.726
10Juan Pablo MontoyaPenske 231.007
indianapolismotorspeedway.com

Note: Full starting grid can be found at indianapolismotorspeedway.com

 

For Carpenter, the triumph was business as usual, although he admits it was not as easy as his first pole victory from a year ago, according to the Associated Press, via ESPN:

"It was a harder run than last year," Carpenter said. "I knew what the average was, so I was just hanging on. I was surprised last year. Obviously, we felt good this year that we had a chance this year. But it's all about the race."

Interestingly enough, close behind Carpenter's time on Sunday was Juan Pablo Montoya, who was ineligible to win the pole and will start 10th.

The field is deep, but Carpenter's fastest time since 2003 is also interesting because that time around saw Castroneves go on to win the race itself. The hometown hero certainly has what it takes to win the checkered flag after two poles.

 

Day 1 Recap

Carpenter's totals on Saturday were good enough to have him edge out Indy 500 runner-up and Rookie of the Year Carlos Munoz, who posted an average of 230.460. 

Carpenter's blazing time was indicative of a fast day on the track.

In all, 10 cars posted a speed over 230 mph. This marks the first time since 2003 that qualifiers have surpassed the 230-mph mark. IndianapolisMotorSpeedway.com reported the fastest qualifiers.

Below is the full list of qualifiers:

Saturday's Qualifying Results
Pos.DriverTeamAvg. Speed
1.E. CarpenterEd Carpenter Racing230.661
2.C. MunozAndretti Autosport230.460
3.H. CastronevesPenske230.432
4.J. HinchcliffeAndretti Autosport230.407
5.W. PowerPenske230.323
6.Mo. AndrettiAndretti Autosport230.134
7.S. PagenaudSam Schmidt230.070
8.J. NewgardenSFHR230.027
9.JR. HildebrandEd Carpenter Racing230.027
10.K. Busch (R)Andretti Autosport229.960
11.R. Hunter-ReayAndretti Autosport229.899
12.J. HawksworthBryan Herta Autosport229.816
13.J. MontoyaPenske229.785
14.J. WilsonDale Coyne229.618
15.S. DixonGanassi Racing229.283
16.M. AleshinSam Schmidt229.091
17.R. BriscoeGanassi Racing228.825
18.T. SatoA.J. Foyt Enterprises228.786
19.C. KimballGanassi Racing228.710
20.G. RahalRahal Letterman228.664
21.S. KaramDreyer & Reinbold228.650
22.T. BellKVSH Racing228.508
23.T. KanaanGanassi Racing228.435
24.S. BourdaisKVSH Racing228.388
25.P. MannDale Coyne228.358
26.S. SaavedraKVSH Racing228.294
27.J. VilleneuveSam Schmidt228.171
28.J. DavisonKVSH Racing228.150
29.O. ServiaRahal Letterman228.034
30.C. HuertasDale Coyne227.991
31.A. TaglianiSFHR227.813
32.M. PlowmanA.J. Foyt Enterprises227.043
33.B. LazierLazier Racing226.543
Source: OpenWheeledWorld.net

The Fast Nine, in case you're wondering what I'm talking about, is part of the new qualification process.

Saturday provided a chance for drivers to ensure a spot in the 33-car race. The top 30 cars are all guaranteed a spot in the race.

It was also an opportunity to earn a shot at capturing the pole. The nine fastest from Saturday will be competing against each other on Sunday for the pole. 

So, we have to wait until Sunday to find out the pole winner for the May 25 race. 

Veteran racer and analyst Eddie Cheever is on board with the changes:  

Carpenter's strong effort won't give him much of an advantage on Sunday other than the fact he will be the last one on the track. Carpenter knows he is far from guaranteed at landing the pole. 

IndianapolisMotorSpeedway.com passed along this quote from Carpenter: 

It's stressful qualifying here and the less you have to do it the better. I think we have a good chance for the pole, but the field is very tight this year. There are so many good cars and drivers out there. It will come down on who gets it right on the day for the pole. It really comes down to being perfect for four laps.

Sitting just outside of the Fast Nine is NASCAR star Kurt Busch. He was temporarily in the Fast Nine but was bumped out as the day progressed. Unlike the other drivers, Busch was not able to attempt to better his time. 

The Indianapolis Star's Jim Lefko brings us up to speed on why Busch wasn't able to stick around: 

So, it is back to the track Sunday for Busch, Carpenter and all the other racers. The marquee action will come with the Firestone Fast Nine pole shootout, which will run from 2 p.m. ET to 2:45 p.m. ET. 

Anyone in that field has a great shot at the pole. There was just the tiniest of margins separating the racers on Saturday. Still, given his recent qualifying performances at Indy, Carpenter is a strong bet to remain the fastest.