Helio Castroneves Wins Pole for Indianapolis 500

Dustin H.Correspondent IMay 23, 2010

INDIANAPOLIS - MAY 22:  Helio Castroneves of Brazil driver of the #3 Team Penske Dallara Honda celebrates after earning pole position during Pole Day qualifying for the IZOD IndyCar Series 94th running of the Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 22, 2010 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
Robert Laberge/Getty Images

The drama of pole day at Indianapolis is always intense, but with a new qualifying format in 2010 that would just add to the pressure. Helio Castroneves won the pole again for the 94th Indianapolis 500 Mile Race next Sunday, May 30.

Castroneves won the pole as the top nine drivers advanced from qualifying earlier in the day and had a chance to run for pole. Castroneves ran over 227.970 mph and ran his quickest lap on lap three of the four laps to qualify at Indy. His 39.43 put the Team Penske No. 3 car on the pole. Teammate Will Power qualified in second and Dario Franchitti in third as that trio will make up the front row for the Indy 500.

Qualifying started at 11 am as drivers made it on track for qualifying runs. Alex Tagliani, who has been fast in practice, would take the pole early and Castroneves would make his run. He didn't bump Tagliani on the first attempt but was second. Castroneves went back out later and took the pole and nobody else was able to top his speed on the day. The field of 24 drivers were set Saturday with the run for the pole.

Several drivers had a bad day on Saturday, including Takuma Sato, who crashed in practice early Saturday morning. Mario Moraes crashed his KV Racing car in his qualifying run. The team would get the car fixed and he would go back out later and get qualified in 13th.

Tony Kanaan has had so many great runs at Indy, but also so much bad luck. The bad luck would continue as Tony Kanaan spun in turn one on his qualifying run and hit the wall, ending his day. Danica Patrick made a qualifying attempt but ended up 23rd on the day. Marco Andretti is qualified in 16th and John Andretti will try to get in Sunday with several other drivers.

Paul Tracy was supposed to qualify early, but had problems with the gearbox. He would go out but wouldn't be able to set a fast time. He must qualify on Sunday. These drivers will need to qualify on Bump Day or bump in to get into this year's Indianapolis 500. Bump Day is Sunday at noon ET on Versus, and at the end of the day some drivers dreams will come true being in the 500, while others will be crushed.