Canada’s James Hinchcliffe secured pole for the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 Saturday, averaging 230.760 mph over the course of four laps to take the Verizon P1 Award and a $100,000 prize.
The Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda driver beat out Ed Carpenter Racing’s Josef Newgarden by just 0.0407 of a second to claim the top spot. The result, Honda’s first Indy 500 pole position in five years, comes just one year after Hinchcliffe nearly lost his life in a wreck at Indy.
“I came into this month hoping we’d have a new story to talk about after what happened last year and I think we did it,” Hinchcliffe told IndyCar.com “I can’t believe it. I’m honestly at a loss for words, which everyone knows is rare for me.”
“The Arrow Electronics car was an absolute smoke show out there,” he added. “It was right on the edge. (Lead engineer) Allen McDonald and all my engineers did such a great job, everybody at Schmidt Peterson Motorsports. Sam Schmidt and Ric Peterson put me in the car and gave me the car to do it. Three Schmidt Peterson cars (qualifying) in the top 10 is incredible.”
Newgarden will find himself in a Honda sandwich come race day, with Andretti Autosport’s Ryan Hunter Reay, Townsend Bell and Carlos Munoz qualifying third, fourth and fifth. Will Power will represent Chevy from sixth, while Hinchcliffe’s teammate Mikhail Aleshin will start seventh. Team Penske’s Simon Pagenaud and Helio Castroneves will start eighth and ninth, respectively.
Click here for full results from qualifying for the 100th Indy 500.