Photo: Dana Garrett/INDYCAR

Carpenter Tops Saturday Indianapolis 500 Qualifying as Fast 9 Advance

By Christopher DeHarde, IndyCar & Road to Indy Writer

INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana — In an Indianapolis 500 qualifying day marred by bad weather and a serious accident from a top qualifying contender, Ed Carpenter Racing’s eponymous team owner came out on top.

Ed Carpenter’s No. 20 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka Chevrolet was one of the last five cars to qualify for a chance to win the pole for the 101st Running of the Indianapolis 500 and poked the nose of his car to the top of the speed chart with a four lap average of 230.468 mph.

Second fastest was Andretti Autosport’s Takuma Sato at 230.382 mph with Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon third fastest at 230.333 mph.

However, all was overshadowed by an accident just before 4:30 in the afternoon. Sebastien Bourdais’s No. 18 GEICO Insurance Honda had the fastest warmup lap of the day at over 230 mph and the two fastest laps of the day that were both over 231 mph.

Bourdais was on his third lap when he lost control in Turn 2 and hit the SAFER Barrier with the right front corner of the car. The car flipped over on the backstretch, landing right side up. Bourdais was awake and alert and went via ambulance to Methodist Hospital. He never lost consciousness.

The track was cleaned up and Alexander Rossi went out to qualify. He would end up fifth fastest on the day with a 230.148 mph average. Zach Veach never made an attempt to qualify following his accident on Friday.

After all drivers made their runs, the Fast Nine Shootout drivers are as follows:

Ed Carpenter
Takuma Sato
Scott Dixon
J.R. Hildebrand
Alexander Rossi
Will Power
Fernando Alonso
Tony Kanaan
Marco Andretti

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A 2012 graduate of LSU, Christopher DeHarde primarily focuses on the NTT IndyCar Series and the WeatherTech Sports Car Championship. DeHarde has actively covered motorsports since 2014.