Qualifying order || Qualifications info
Persistent afternoon rain canceled the remainder of scheduled track activity May 16 on the first day of qualifications for the 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race.
A revised May 17 Old National Armed Forces Pole Day schedule includes the 34 entries making one four-lap qualifying attempt on the 2.5-mile oval (10 a.m.-1 p.m. ET), followed by the “Fast Nine Shootout” in which the top nine cars return to determine the Verizon P1 Award and the first three rows for the May 24 race (1:45-2:30 p.m. on ABC). Finally, positions 31-33 will be determined (3-3:45 p.m.) with multiple attempts allowed time permitting.
The four-lap average qualifying speeds of Ryan Hunter-Reay (229.845 mph) and Carlos Huertas (228.235), who were the only drivers to beat the rain, were deleted. Two groups of cars will be accorded practice time from 8-8:20 a.m. and 8:20-8:40 a.m. (ET) May 17.
Tickets sold for May 16 will be honored May 17.
In the morning practice, Helio Castroneves recorded a lap of 233.474 mph, which was the fastest lap since Eddie Cheever Jr.'s 236.103 mph in the 1996 race.
“That 233 mph number was pretty cool, but it was with a little bit of help," said Castroneves, driving the No. 3 Shell V-Power Nitro+ Team Penske Chevrolet. "The guys have really done an amazing job over the last couple of days since the (May 13 crash). To lose a day and still be on top of the practice speeds is a testament to how hard they worked. The weather, there is nothing we can do about the weather. We’ll just come back and see what’s in store.”
Castroneves will seek to join A.J. Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears as four-time Indy 500 winners, and he's in contention for pole history, too. Castroneves, with No. 1 qualifying efforts in 2003, 2007, 2009 and 2010, is tied with Foyt and Rex Mays. A fifth would put him second among all-time pole winners, one behind Team Penske consultant Mears.
Castroneves also could give team owner Roger Penske a record-extending 18th pole position.
In 2014, Ed Carpenter earned the Verizon P1 Award in the Fast Nine Shootout with a four-lap average speed of 231.076 mph. It was the second consecutive year that Carpenter started from the pole and the 11th time overall. He’ll be seeking to become the first to earn the pole in three consecutive years. Twenty drivers have won from the pole – most recently Castroneves in 2009.
"Last year we we're pretty solid so I think we can get in (to the Fast Nine Shootout), but we got to play our cards right and find a little bit," said Carpenter, driver of the No. 20 Fuzzy's Vodka CFH Racing Chevrolet. "The thing we've got to figure out is how to make the fourth lap still be good."
A half-second separated the top 30 cars on the speed chart during “Fast Friday” when six cars surpassed a lap speed of 230 mph in humid and windy conditions. Teams also were experimenting with the new superspeedway aerodynamic bodywork packages from Chevrolet and Honda, adding and removing options and even using the 2014 Dallara rear wing main plane.
“This weekend is about being comfortable when you're uncomfortable. Aero-wise, the car is on edge the whole four laps and as the tires fall off that edge gets sharper,” said Verizon IndyCar Series rookie Gabby Chaves of Bryan Herta Autosport with Curb-Agajanian, who recorded the seventh-fastest lap of 229.891 mph on May 15.