For the third time in his career, racing driver and team owner Ed Carpenter scored pole position for the Indy 500, becoming just the tenth driver to qualify in first at three different runnings of the legendary race. Team Penske drivers Simon Pagenaud, Will Power, and Josef Newgarden qualified second through fourth, meaning that each of the top four drivers in Qualifying were propelled by Chevrolet power.
The 2018 Indy 500 – the race’s 102nd running – is scheduled to take place on Sunday, May 27th at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indiana.
Two other drivers for Ed Carpenter Racing – Spencer Pigot and Danica Patrick – also participated in the Fast Nine Shootout, qualifying sixth and seventh, respectively. Patrick is ending her professional racing career with a bang, choosing the 2018 Indy 500 as her final race before hanging up her helmet. She has a long history with the race, her best performance coming in 2009 when she finished third.
That’s two positions better than Ed Carpenter’s best Indy 500 result: a fifth place finish in 2008. But with pole position in the bag, and a leading 229.618-mph speed average over four laps in the Fast Nine Shootout, Carpenter is feeling optimistic about this weekend’s race.
“That first lap blew my mind,” he said, referring to a 230.1-mph lap around the Indianapolis oval. “I figured we could run a 229 based on last night. My run last night wasn’t very good. The car wasn’t nearly as good as we have been. I knew we had more left, but I wasn’t expecting a 230.
“The whole ECR team, especially the guys on the [No.] 20 car, they put so much love into this car.”
Carpenter said that of the three pole positions he’s accomplished at the Indy 500, “this one, believe it or not, came the easiest.”