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Scott Dixon wins second consecutive Indy 500 pole position and fifth on the IMS oval

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INDIANAPOLIS. Scott Dixon toppled his teammate Alex Palow to take pole position in the 106th Indy 500 as Chip Ganassi Racing dominated qualifying on Sunday.

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Dixon earned his fifth pole position at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval with a four-lap average of 234.046 mph, the second-fastest qualifying mark in Indy 500 history behind Arie Luyendyk, who hit 236.896 mph in 1996.

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Dixon has the fastest four-lap pole average in Indy 500 history and is second in Indy 500 pole history behind Rick Mears (six, 1979, 82, 86, 88, 89, 91). ).

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INDI 500 PRIMER: Important details, viewing schedule on NBC

For the second consecutive year, six-time NTT IndyCar Series No. 9 champion Dallara-Honda will start first in the Indy 500 on May 29 (11:00 AM ET, NBC).

“That’s what this place is about,” Dixon told NBC Sports’ Marty Snyder. “It’s so amazing. The ups and downs that you have in just one day is crazy.

“Hard work and people. I am one of the lucky ones who are part of this team that got to drive this and bring it to the finish line. The amount of effort back to the store and through HPD and Honda, the speed they bring. And a huge thank you to all my teammates. We’ve been working very hard to put this team together and try to get the most out of it.”

Palu qualified second with 233.499, followed by Rinus VK (233.385 as the top Chevrolet) as the front row posted three of the top five qualifying speeds in Indy 500 history, taking advantage of the 90 horsepower extra turbo added for qualifying. It is the fastest front row in Indy 500 history, surpassing the 26-year mark.

In terms of speed, Palow and VeKay were behind the late Scott Brighton, who had the third fastest qualifying speed (233.718) with 1996 pole position.

Dixon, the first multiple pole position since Ed Carpenter in the 2013–2014 season, earned his only Indy 500 victory in 2008 when he qualified first on the 2.5-mile course for the first time. In other pole starts, he finished fourth (2015), 32nd (2017) and 17th (2021).

“This is Stage 1,” Dixon said. “Obviously, this does not mean that there will be nothing next Sunday. We are starting in the right place. We have not had good results in staying in the right place, but we will definitely try next Sunday.”

Chip Ganassi Racing placed four of their five Hondas in the top two ranks but fell short of the first Indy 500 shutout in the front rank since 1988 (Team Penske with Rick Mears, Danny Sullivan and Al Unser). This is Ganassi’s first 1-2 start in the Indy 500 since Dixon and Dan Weldon in 2008.

Ed Carpenter (233.080), Markus Eriksson (232.764) and Tony Kanaan (232.372) qualified on the second row on Sunday.

Pato O’Ward, Felix Rosenquist, Romain Grosjean, Takuma Sato, Will Power and Jimmie Johnson took over the next two rows after being eliminated in the first round on Sunday.

While there have been no major crashes on the track in the past week during the past five days, the two famous rookies had some heartbreaking moments on Sunday.

Johnson starts 12th in his Indy 500 debut after a few inches from hitting the first move wall with his number 48 Dallara-Honda on the first lap of the green.

“The track is a little different than it was this morning,” seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Dave Burns of NBC Sports said with a laugh. “The same approach will not work. We, of course, tried for this. This is the biggest car tuning and trim setup effort we’ve had. Just decided to run one apartment and it was so easy at the top of the track. At this point I was wide and tried to keep him away from the fence.

“Inexperience, after all. I think the sunlight on the track and the temperature of the track is getting closer and these conditions. Just trying to find the right balance in a racing car. These guys are so good at what they do in these difficult conditions. I just need a little more experience.”

Grosjean also had an important moment and almost marked the wall of the first move during the second round of his qualifying.

“It was scary,” F1 veteran Kevin Lee told NBC Sports with a laugh. “Conditions on the track have changed a lot since morning.

We tried everything to go fast to get up to speed in the car, but it definitely wasn’t an easy ride. To be honest, I used every tool in the car and wasn’t (fast enough) so I’m glad it’s behind me. I’m proud of what we’ve done so far.”

At least they had good company on Sunday when IndyCar introduced a new format that required the pole sitter to complete three four-lap runs — two in two hours — on the 2.5-mile oval.

Dixon exaggerated the shaking of his right hand before starting the interview with NBC Sports, highlighting how much courage it took for the six-time IndyCar Series champion to hit a top speed of 233.510 mph in the first round.

“This place does it to you every time,” Dixon said. with a smile to Kevin Lee of NBC Sports.


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