Ed Carpenter had all of 17 hours to savor the Verizon P1 Award he earned for the 97th Indianapolis 500 Mile Race before it was back to business. For it’s standing in Victory Circle following the May 26 race that supersedes the pole.
So, with one goal accomplished against a stout lineup in the fast nine shootout on Pole Day, Carpenter was back on the 2.5-mile racing ribbon at 2 p.m. May 19 in the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka car going through long runs in race trim. He added 29 laps to his month's total with a fastest of 221.538 mph.
Thirty-four driver/car combinations logged 2,762 laps without incident. Scott Dixon in the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing car topped the list with 171 laps. A final one-hour practice May 24 leads into the 200-lap race.
Click it: Practice 9 results || Combined practice results
“This is a good start," Carpenter said of the pole. "I want to make sure we keep the team focused. I hope this is part one of a really magical month, and we're here for Race Day. This is awesome, and it's bigger than our wins and it's huge for the team, huge for Fuzzy's Vodka. It's definitely a landmark day, but I don't want to get overly focused on this because we have a lot of work to do yet.”
Carpenter, owner/driver of the second-year IZOD IndyCar Series team, recorded a four-lap qualifying run of 228.762 mph in the shootout to outpoint Andretti Autosport teammates Marco Andretti and Indy 500 rookie Carlos Munoz. Carpenter was fifth through Segment 1 of qualifications.
“This is an incredible accomplishment for a new second-year team with a single car,” continued Carpenter, whose first earned pole came at Kentucky Speedway in 2010. “It's an honor to win this pole because it is a really competitive field.
“I think this pole has a lot to do with the work in the offseason, too. The wind tunnel tests, the shaker rig, the gearbox testing and the Dallara simulator. All of that combined for a super performance. Thanks to everyone and now we look to the bigger prize next Sunday.”