The 2017 Indianapolis 500 will start with Scott Dixon on pole. However, when Dixon enters his car Sunday afternoon, he'll be doing it with a renewed sense of what it all means.
"Winning the pole really means a lot for the drivers," Dixon said, per the Associated Press (via the St. Louis Post-Dispatch). "You are trying to keep the car on its limits, so there's kind of respect amongst yourselves, in this community. Although the race is the important part, there's a great sense of pride in what we did Sunday."
Dixon and Dario Franchitti were robbed at gunpoint while at a Taco Bell in Indianapolis following the 500 qualifying last Sunday. Franchitti, the three-time Indy 500 winner who retired in 2013, and Dixon were both unharmed.
"I think the biggest thing is you are just hoping that everything is O.K., grateful that nothing silly happened," Dixon said. "That's the world of difference. That aside, personally, it maybe brings you to think about choices you make."
Dixon will start on the inside of Row 1 along with Ed Carpenter and Alexander Rossi. Rossi won the 2016 race at age 24, becoming one of the youngest in history to win IndyCar's premier event.
"This whole experience has been much more natural because I know what to expect," Rossi said of returning to Indy, per Nick DeGroot of MotorSport.com.
"I've got another four oval races under my belt, so I'm a little bit more comfortable with it. But everyday you're in a race car, you're learning here. It's a very unique place and you always have to come into it with that attitude because it can bite you very quickly. I feel like I've never really maximized it fully yet and I'm still working on that."
Juan Pablo Montoya and Ryan Hunter-Reay, the 2015 and 2014 winners of the race, will have work to do getting up in the pack. Hunter-Reay starts in Row 4, while Montoya's all the way back in 18th place in Row 6.
That said, Hunter-Reay will be in a better position after adjustments to his car put him near the top of times during practice sessions.
"We made some changes and I have to credit the engineering department," he said, per Phillip B. Wilson of the IndyCar's official website.
"They made the right changes, and then we picked the right downforce for the run. It's not easy. Track temperature is something you can't put a figure into, right? You can't validate it. You can't put a quantity into it. Ambient conditions, it could be the wind, you can take all this into account, but track temp is always a wild card."
Indianapolis 500 Viewing Info
Race Time: 12:19 p.m.
Engine Start: 12:14 p.m.
National TV: ABC
Indianapolis 500 Grid/Times (via Indianapolis Star)
1. 9, Scott Dixon, Honda, Ganassi, 232.164 mph
2. 20, Ed Carpenter, Chevrolet, Carpenter, 231.664
3. 98, Alexander Rossi, Honda, Andretti Herta, 231.487
4. 26, Takuma Sato, Honda, Andretti, 231.365
5. 29, Fernando Alonso, Honda, Andretti McLaren, 231.300
6. 21, JR Hildebrand, Chevrolet, Carpenter, 230.889
7. 10, Tony Kanaan, Honda, Ganassi, 230.828
8. 27, Marco Andretti, Honda, Andretti, 230.474
9. 12, Will Power, Chevrolet, Penske, 230.200
10. 28, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Honda, Andretti, 231.442
11. 19, Ed Jones, Honda, Coyne, 230.578
12. 16, Orio Servia, Honda, Rahal Letterman Lanigan, 230.309
13. 7, Mikhail Aleshin, Honda, Schmidt Peterson, 230.271
14. 15, Graham Rahal, Honda, Rahal Letterman Lanigan, 230.253
15. 8, Max Chilton, Honda, Ganassi, 230.068
16. 83, Charlie Kimball, Honda, Ganassi, 229.956
17. 5, James Hinchcliffe, Honda, Schmidt Peterson, 229.860
18. 22, Juan Pablo Montoya, Chevrolet, Penske, 229.565
19. 3, Helio Castroneves, Chevrolet, Penske, 229.515
20. 77, Jay Howard, Honda, Schmidt Peterson, 229.414
21. 24, Sage Karam, Chevrolet, Dreyer & Reinbold, 229.380
22. 2, Josef Newgarden, Chevrolet, Penske, 228.501
23. 1, Simon Pagenaud, Chevrolet, Penske, 228.093
24. 14, Carlos Munoz, Chevrolet, Foyt, 227.921
25. 88, Gabby Chaves, Chevrolet, Harding, 226.921
26. 4, Conor Daly, Chevrolet, Foyt, 226.439
27. 50, Jack Harvey, Honda, Shank Andretti, 225.742
28. 63, Pippa Mann, Honda, Coyne, 225.008
29. 11, Spencer Pigot, Chevrolet, Juncos, 224.052
30. 44, Buddy Lazier, Chevrolet, Lazier, 223.417
31. 17, Sebastian Saavedra, Chevrolet, Juncos, 221.142
32. 40, Zach Veach, Chevrolet, Foyt, 221.081
33. 18, James Davison, Honda, Coyne, no speed