• Colton Herta, Alexander Rossi and Sebastien Bourdais all advance to “Fast Nine” pole qualifying Sunday
  • Six drivers will battle for final three starting positions in “Bump Day” session
  • Starting positions 10-30 locked in during today’s first-round qualifying

 

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (May 18, 2019) – Colton Herta, Alexander Rossi and Sebastien Bourdais led the way for Honda today at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in a drama-filled day of first-round qualifying in preparation for next weekend’s Indianapolis 500.

 

Herta paced the 18-driver Honda field on a clear, hot and sometimes windy day, posting a four-lap average speed of 229.478 miles per hour to advance to Sunday’s final qualifying round to determine the top-nine starting positions for the 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500.  Rossi also moved on to pole qualifying after his run of 229.268 mph, as did Bourdais with a four-lap average of 228.800 mph in a tight and competitive field.

 

Qualifying positions 10 through 30 were also set today.  Drivers in those positions are not eligible for Sunday’s pole runs, but are locked into the starting field, with Andretti Autosport teammates Marco Andretti and Conor Daly the top Honda qualifiers.  They will start 10th and 11th, respectively, as 17 of the 18 Honda-powered drivers made their way into the “500” as a result of today’s efforts.

 

In addition to pole run qualifying, the 11th and final starting row will be determined tomorrow, with six entries vying for the final three staring positions on “Bump Day”.  Escaping without serious injury after a heavy crash during his first qualifying run, James Hinchcliffe will attempt to qualify a backup Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda tomorrow.  Other drivers still working to find the speed to qualify include two-time Formula One World Champion Fernando Alonso, veteran ‘500’ drivers Max Chilton, Sage Karam and Kyle Kaiser, and rookie Patricio O’Ward.

 

Live coverage of final day qualifying action – to determine both the pole position and the final three qualifiers – starts Sunday at 12 p.m. EDT on NBC.  Additional coverage will be provided on the NBC Sports Network starting at 3 p.m., while NBC Gold will offer continuous coverage throughout the day. 

 

The 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500 takes place on Sunday, May 26, with live television coverage on NBC starting at 11 a.m. EDT.

 

Quotes:

Colton Herta (Harding Steinbrenner Racing Honda) Fifth fastest in first-round qualifying, advances to Sunday Pole Shootout: “I knew we could make the ‘Fast Nine’ if we did it perfect. I didn't think we were going to be fifth. I thought maybe seventh, eighth, ninth was more realistic. Yeah, kind of blew my mind. We trimmed it on that last run and just kind of went for it, and yeah, the car was even a little better than it was on my first run.”

 

Sebastien Bourdais (Dale Coyne Racing Honda) Ninth fastest in first-round qualifying, advances to Sunday Pole Shootout: “The SealMaster #18 was fantastic. The crew gave me a brilliant car, spot on. The Honda engine was great. We had a ton of speed. I just blew it. I made one procedural mistake and almost washed into the wall in Turns 1 and 2 on the third lap. I didn’t hit the right [chassis adjustment] button. That was all on me. I really thought we weren’t going to make the ‘Fast Nine’. Fortunately, we did, so the consequences were not as bad as they could have been. I’m just really happy for the guys and our sponsors. So, let’s see where we end up tomorrow.”

 

James Hinchcliffe (Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda) on his qualifying crash: “The car was on the edge for sure.  We were a little loose in [Turns] 3 and 4, but 1 and 2 were solid. I was sort of planning to dial in some understeer in the north side of the track on that lap. Something just got me in Turn 2 — I don’t know if it was a gust of wind or what. We’ve been pretty aggressive on the setup and with a gusty day, that happens.  It’s pretty much our nightmare. It’s sub-optimal, to use engineering parlance, but I’ve got a lot of faith in the #5 Arrow guys. We’re going to get another car and take another shot tomorrow.  That’s what it’s like being on the edge at Indy — that’s what it’s all about. We obviously overstepped today, which was unfortunate. I think the Arrow car was going to be good. It’s a shame. I don’t know what to say. It’s tough.”

 

 

Indianapolis 500 First Round Qualifying

Circuit:             Indianapolis Motor Speedway (2.5-mile oval), Indianapolis, IN

2018 Winner:   Will Power (Team Penske) 166.935 mph average

Weather:         Warm, windy, high 85 degrees F

 

Indianapolis 500 First-Round Qualifying Results:

Ps.

Driver

Team

Manufacturer

Avg. Speed

Notes

1.

Spencer Pigot

Ed Carpenter Racing

Chevrolet

230.083

Advances to Fast Nine

2.

Will Power

Team Penske

Chevrolet

230.081

Advances to Fast Nine

3.

Simon Pagenaud

Team Penske

Chevrolet

229.854

Advances to Fast Nine

4.

Josef Newgarden

Team Penske

Chevrolet

229.749

Advances to Fast Nine

5.

Colton Herta-R

Harding Steinbrenner Racing

Honda

229.478

Advances to Fast Nine

6.

Ed Jones

Ed Carpenter Racing

Chevrolet

229.440

Advances to Fast Nine

7.

Ed Carpenter

Ed Carpenter Racing

Chevrolet

229.349

Advances to Fast Nine

8.

Alexander Rossi

Andretti Autosport

Honda

229.268

Advances to Fast Nine

9.

Sebastien Bourdais

DCR with Vasser-Sullivan

Honda

228.800

Advances to Fast Nine

10.

Marco Andretti

Andretti Autosport

Honda

228.756

 

11.

Conor Daly

Andretti Autosport

Honda

228.617

 

12.

Helio Castroneves

Team Penske

Chevrolet

228.523

 

13.

Marcus Ericsson-R

Arrow Schmidt Peterson

Honda

228.511

 

14.

Takuma Sato

Rahal Letterman Lanigan

Honda

228.300

 

15.

James Davison

Dale Coyne Racing

Honda

228.273

 

16.

Tony Kanaan

A.J. Foyt Racing

Chevrolet

228.120

 

17.

Graham Rahal

Rahal Letterman Lanigan

Honda

228.104

 

18.

Scott Dixon

Chip Ganassi Racing

Honda

228.100

 

19.

Oriol Servia

Arrow Schmidt Peterson

Honda

227.991

 

20.

Charlie Kimball

Carlin Racing

Chevrolet

227.915

 

21.

JR Hildebrand

Dreyer & Reinbold Racing

Chevrolet

227.908

 

22.

Ryan Hunter-Reay

Andretti Autosport

Honda

227.877

 

23.

Santino Ferrucci-R

Dale Coyne Racing

Honda

227.731

 

24.

Matheus Leist

A.J. Foyt Racing

Chevrolet

227.717

 

25.

Jack Harvey

Meyer Shank Racing

Honda

227.695

 

26.

Jordan King-R

Rahal Letterman Lanigan

Honda

227.502

 

27.

Ben Hanley-R

DragonSpeed Racing

Chevrolet

227.482

 

28.

Zach Veach

Andretti Autosport

Honda

227.341

 

29.

Felix Rosenqvist-R

Chip Ganassi Racing

Honda

227.297

 

30.

Pippa Mann

Clauson-Marshall Racing

Chevrolet

227.244

 

 

Final Qualifying “Bump Day” Competitors

 

Fernando Alonso

McLaren Racing

Chevrolet

 

Not yet qualified

 

Max Chilton

Carlin Racing

Chevrolet

 

Not yet qualified

 

James Hinchcliffe

Arrow Schmidt Peterson

Honda

 

Not yet qualified

 

Kyle Kaiser

Juncos Racing

Chevrolet

 

Not yet qualified

 

Sage Karam

Dreyer & Reinbold Racing

Chevrolet

 

Not yet qualified

 

Patricio O’Ward-R

Carlin Racing

Chevrolet

 

Not yet qualified