Indy 500 Qualifying 2019: Pole Results, Starting Grid and Pre-Race Storylines

Elizabeth FinnyContributor IIMay 19, 2019

Simon Pagenaud, of France, climbs into his car during practice for the Indianapolis 500 IndyCar auto race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Wednesday, May 15, 2019 in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Michael Conroy/Associated Press

Sunday's Indy 500 qualifying was one of the most exciting the sport has seen, with the closest field in the history of the event with a four-lap average differential of 2.62 mph between the first and last qualifier.

Simon Pagenaud won the pole position as the fastest of the Fast Nine with a four-lap average speed of 229.992 mph for next Sunday's Indianapolis 500.

"It's just amazing," Pagenaud told NBC Sports following his pole run. "Obviously, last week was amazing, but this is even more special. Team Penske has been phenomenal at giving me the best equipment. I can't thank them enough."

Pagenaud exceeded 230 mph on his first three laps, finishing out the fourth lap around 229.7, which brought his average down just below 230 for all four laps.

Last year's pole winner and thee-time career pole winner, Ed Carpenter, was a mere .103 mph behind Pagenaud with a four-lap average of 229.889 mph.

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2018 Indianapolis 500 winner Will Power will start in the third position of the second row alongside Ed Jones and Colton Herta. Power was not able to crack 229 mph on any of his four laps, averaging 228.645 mph on all four, placing him firmly as the sixth-fastest car.

Here's a look at the lineup for the Indianapolis 500 on May 26 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Speedway, Indiana, per the Speedway's official website:


Indy 500 Lineup (all times in mph)

Row 1

1. No. 22 Simon Pagenaud, Chevrolet, 229.992

2. No. 20 Ed Carpenter, Chevrolet, 229.889

3. No. 21 Spencer Pigot, Chevrolet, 229.826


Row 2

4. No. 63 Ed Jones, Chevrolet, 229.646

5. No. 88 Colton Herta, Honda, 229.086

6. No. 12 Will Power, Chevrolet, 228.645


Row 3

7. No. 18 Sebastien Bourdais, Honda, 228.621

8. No. 2 Josef Newgarden, Chevrolet, 228.396

9. No. 27 Alexander Rossi, Honda, 228.247


Row 4

10. No. 98 Marco Andretti, Honda, 228.756

11. No. 25 Conor Daly, Honda, 228.617

12. No. 3 Helio Castroneves, Chevrolet, 228.523


Row 5

13. No. 7 Marcus Ericsson, Honda, 228.511

14. No. 30 Takuma Sato, Honda, 228.300

15. No. 33 James Davison, Honda, 228.273


Row 6

16. No. 14 Tony Kanaan, Chevrolet, 228.120

17. No. 15 Graham Rahal, Honda, 228.104

18. No. 9 Scott Dixon, Honda, 228.100


Row 7

19. No. 77 Oriol Servia, Honda, 227.991

20. No. 23 Charlie Kimball, Chevrolet, 227.915

21. No. 48 JR Hildebrand, Chevrolet, 227.908


Row 8

22. No. 28 Ryan Hunter-Reay, Honda, 227.877

23. No. 19 Santino Ferrucci, Honda, 227.731

24. No. 4 Matheus Leist, Chevrolet, 227.717


Row 9

25. No. 60 Jack Harvey, Honda, 227.695

26. No. 42 Jordan King, Honda, 227.502

27. No. 81 Ben Hanley, Chevrolet, 227.482


Row 10

28. No. 26 Zach Veach, Honda, 227.341

29. No. 10 Felix Rosenqvist, Honda, 227.297

30. No. 39 Pippa Mann, Chevrolet, 227.244


Row 11

31. No. 24 Sage Karam, Chevrolet, 227.740

32. No. 5 James Hinchcliffe, Honda, 227.543

33. No. 32 Kyle Kaiser, Chevrolet, 227.372


Spencer Pigot, another driver for Ed Carpenter Racing alongside Carpenter himself, will close out the front row in the third position.

The second row features Jones in the interior, Herta in the middle and last year's winner Power in the exterior. Power just beat out Sebastien Bourdais by .024 mph for the last position in the second row, so Bourdais will start in the interior of the third row. He is joined by Josef Newgarden and Alexander Rossi to finish out the Fast Nine.

The 103rd Indianapolis 500—in a shocking turn of events—will not feature big racing name Fernando Alonso.

Kyle Kaiser bumped the two-time F1 champion with McLaren Racing from the Indy 500 field—squeezing into Spot 33 with an average of 227.372 mph and one of the smallest teams in IndyCar. Alonso was just behind him with an average of 227.353 mph, getting beaten out in the final run of the Last Row Shootout.

Another big name in the Indy 500 qualifying, Helio Castroneves, came in outside of the Fast Nine, earning the third position in Row 4. Castroneves raced faster than the bottom two of the Fast Nine with a four-lap average of 228.523 mph.

All the drivers put their all into the qualifying Sunday, which bodes well for the race itself next week.

Any of the drivers, especially the Fast Nine, have the potential to come away with the Indianapolis 500 title, as the field is full of experienced drivers and past winners. The 103rd Indianapolis 500 will commence at 12:45 p.m. ET on May 26, preceded by a morning of music, parades and warm-ups.