Indy 500 Qualifying 2013: Analyzing Standout Performances in Field

Dan Talintyre@@dantalintyreSenior Analyst IIMay 20, 2013

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MAY 19:  Ed Carpenter, driver of the #20 Fuzzy's Vodka/Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet, poses on the track after qulaifying on the pole for the 2013 Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 19, 2013 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

The field is set for the 2013 Indy 500 after a frantic day of racing on Bump Day saw Michel Jourdain, Jr. bounced from contention ahead of the illustrious event.

It might have all seen fairly uneventful on the day, but there were still several top performances to be found throughout qualifying—especially after watching Ed Carpenter dominate Team Penske and Andretti Autosport in the Fast Nine Shootout.

Which drivers delivered standout performances in qualifying this year?

Read on and find out.

1. Ed Carpenter

Without the greatest form-line coming into this one or record at the Indy 500, Ed Carpenter stole the show in qualifying with a tremendous pole-position performance.

He finished fifth in qualifying but was able to knock off several other competitors in the Fast Nine Shootout to take the top spot. As the only driver in the shootout who was connected with Andretti Autosport or Team Penske, the win was no doubt even more satisfying for the Indianapolis-born star.

The statistics show that his pole time was done in blistering pace, and he therefore deserves his chance to lead the field in the prestigious race.

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Whether he'll be able to lead until the final lap still remains to be seen, and given the talent behind him, it does seem unlikely. However, that shouldn't minimize just how strong his performance in qualifying was here and how much he deserves the top spot.

2. Carlos Munoz

Making just his first appearance in the league, Carlos Munoz showed no signs of nerves during qualifying here and chalked up a very impressive front-row finish. The rookie was very quick at times and was ecstatic after finding out he'd finished on the front row, posting via his Twitter account:

As Dave Lewandowski notes, the rookie picked up an additional $50,000 for making the front row, which he also posted a photo of via his Twitter.

A very strong day out for the Colombian indeed.

22. Townsend Bell

Finishing down in 22nd position might not seem like a laudable achievement, but given the problems that Townsend Bell was experiencing, to finish inside the top 24 was still a very strong drive.

He finished in 20th position on his first attempt but then scrapped that and finished outside of the top 24 on his second attempt. That would no doubt have rattled many drivers, but Bell was able to keep his composure despite there being next to no time remaining in qualifying and was able to piece together a time that put him back inside the starting 24 and into 22nd position.

It won't get recognized, but it was a great bit of composure from Bell, who stated afterwards via his Twitter account that he wasn't sure why pace was such an issue.

If it's all figured out by May 26, Bell could be a big player from the back of the field and could be one of the big movers to watch for in the prestigious event.

2013 Indy Car Qualifying: Full Results for Entire Field

* Note: All positions and averages via IndyCar.com

Pos. Driver Four-Lap Average
1 Ed Carpenter
2 Carlos Munoz 228.342
3 Marco Andretti 228.261
4 EJ Viso 228.150
5 AJ Allmendinger 228.099
6 Will Power 228.087
7 Ryan Hunter-Reay 227.904
8 Helio Castroneves 227.762
9 James Hinchcliffe  227.070
10 J.R. Hildebrand 227.441
11 Alex Tagliani 227.386
12 Tony Kanaan 226.949
13 Oriol Servia 226.814
14 Justin Wilson 226.370
15 Sebastien Bourdais 226.196
16 Scott Dixon 226.158
17 Dario Franchitti 226.069
18 Takuma Sato 225.892
19 Charlie Kimball 225.880
20 James Jakes 225.809
21 Simon Pagenaud 225.674
22 Townsend Bell 225.643
23 Ryan Briscoe 225.265
24 Simona de Silvestro 225.226
25 Josef Newgarden 225.731
26 Graham Rahal 225.007
27 Sebastian Saavedra
28 Tristan Vautier 224.873
29 Ana Beatriz 224.184
30 Pippa Mann 224.005
31 Conor Daly 223.582
32 Buddy Lazier 223.442
33 Katherine Legge 223.176

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