The 2014 Indianapolis 500 is one of the biggest races of the year for any motorsport, and the excitement surrounding the IndyCar event and the lineup of drivers has hardcore and casual fans alike excited about the possibilities.
Not only did defending pole-sitter Ed Carpenter win the pole for the second straight year, but the field also consists of former champions like Tony Kanaan, Juan Pablo Montoya and many more.
Here is a full list of drivers and their qualifying times for Sunday’s Indy 500.
|Starting Spot||Driver/ Manufacturer||Qualifying Time||Speed (MPH)|
|1||Ed Carpenter, Chevy||2:35.7992||231.067|
|2||James Hinchcliffe, Honda||2:35.9528||230.839|
|3||Will Power, Chevy||2:36.0488||230.697|
|4||Helio Castroneves, Chevy||2:36.0812||230.649|
|5||Simon Pagenaud, Honda||2:36.1049||230.614|
|6||Marco Andretti, Honda||2:36.1526||230.544|
|7||Carlos Munoz, Honda||2:36.4224||230.146|
|8||Josef Newgarden, Honda||2:36.5946||229.893|
|9||JR Hildebrand, Chevy||2:37.3938||228.726|
|10||Juan Pablo Montoya||2:35.8396||231.007|
|11||Scott Dixon, Chevy||2:35.8930||230.928|
|12||Kurt Busch, Honda||2:35.9913||230.782|
|13||Jack Hawksworth, Honda||2:36.1779||230.506|
|14||Justin Wilson, Honda||2:36.3480||230.256|
|15||Mikhail Aleshin, Honda||2:36.4881||230.049|
|16||Tony Kanaan, Chevy||2:36.5750||229.922|
|17||Sebastien Bourdais, Chevy||2:36.6259||229.847|
|18||Oriol Servia, Honda||2:36.6905||229.752|
|19||Ryan Hunter-Reay, Honda||2:36.7132||229.719|
|20||Graham Rahal, Honda||2:36.7756||229.628|
|21||Carlos Huertas, Honda||2:37.0328||229.251|
|22||Pippa Mann, Honda||2:37.0521||229.223|
|23||Takuma Sato, Honda||2:37.0671||229.201|
|24||Alex Tagliani, Honda||2:37.1038||229.148|
|25||Townsend Bell, Chevy||2:37.1990||229.009|
|26||Charlie Kimball, Chevy||2:37.2376||228.953|
|27||Jacques Villeneuve, Honda||2:37.2400||228.949|
|28||James Davison, Chevy||2:37.2977||228.865|
|29||Martin Plowman, Honda||2:37.3333||228.814|
|30||Ryan Briscoe, Chevy||2:37.4028||228.713|
|31||Sage Karam, Chevy||2:37.5931||228.436|
|32||Sebastian Saavedra, Chevy||2:37.8335||228.088|
|33||Buddy Lazier, Chevy||2:37.9501||227.920|
Driver to Watch: Kurt Busch
One of the drivers in the field garnering the most attention is NASCAR veteran and IndyCar rookie Kurt Busch. While Busch doesn’t have much experience in the IndyCar series, he is one of the best drivers in the world and will be going for the win Sunday.
Busch will be driving as fast as possible this weekend for two reasons, though. Not only will he be looking for the Indy 500 checkered flag, but he will then fly back to Charlotte to also compete in the Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR race Sunday night.
As the Monster Energy Drink Twitter account shared, Busch is driving two very different cars for his double duty:
The feat is incredibly difficult to accomplish, but he must take it one step at a time. The first step is getting around the tough Indianapolis Motor Speedway in one piece without smashing into the wall again, as he did during this week’s practice session.
After hitting a wall during Monday’s practice, Busch told Matt Lauer of NBC, via ESPN, about his accident and how he was overcoming the adversity:
I'll get over it quick. I've wrecked cars before. I got sideways, I tried to correct it. I had it for a moment, but then I tried to overcorrect it. We made a couple of changes, it was back to my most confident feel in the car. I just got too aggressive with sway bar changes, weight jacker changes, and didn't stay up on top of my adjustments.
NASCAR star Dale Earnhardt Jr. shared his thankfulness that Busch was medically cleared after the crash:
Glad to hear @KurtBusch is ok after today's accident. Hope he can regroup and have a competitive 500.— Dale Earnhardt Jr. (@DaleJr) May 19, 2014
Few fans are expecting much from Busch, but through the years of his success in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, it has become clear that he knows how to get even the worst-handling cars around a track fast.
While Busch will be the first to admit that there is a learning curve when it comes to IndyCar, with the time to get acclimated during the week, he will learn on the job. If he can stay out of trouble, there is a chance he could be fighting for a top-five finish.
With the support of the Andretti Autosport team and some of the best vehicles on the track, Busch will run a stellar race and start his double duty off with an admirable finish and plenty of momentum.
Predicted Finish: Top 5
*Stats via IndyCar.com.