Alex Palou wins Indy 500 pole position, Graham Rahal misses race (2024)

Scott HornerIndianapolis Star

Alex Palou wins Indy 500 pole position, Graham Rahal misses race (1)

Alex Palou wins Indy 500 pole position, Graham Rahal misses race (2)

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Pole position for the 2023 Indianapolis 500 will be determined Sunday, May 21. The best qualifier gets to lead the field at the start of the May 28 race. Rows 1-4 and 11 will be determined today. Rows 5-10 are set.

Felix Rosenqvist had the third-fastest qualifying run in Indy 500 history on Saturday, leading a strong Arrow McLaren contingent into the Fast 12. On the other end of the grid, three of the four Rahal Letterman Lanigan cars will try to avoid being the one car bumped from the field.

Scott Dixon's pole-winning 4-lap average of 234.046 mph from 2022 is the 2nd-fastest qualifying run in Speedway history. Arie Luyendyk set the qualifying record of 236.986 in 1996.

Please follow Nathan Brown all season for IndyCar news and analysis. We'll have every qualifying run here, so please remember to refresh.

Saturday's play-by-play: Indianapolis 500 qualifying at IMS

Insider: Christian Lundgaard's situation is one of many nail-biters at IMS

5:50 p.m.: Alex Palou wins Indy 500 pole position

Alex Palou, who won the GMR Grand Prix on the IMS road course last weekend, will start the Indy 500 from the pole position.

His 4-lap run run of 234.217 mph edged Rinus VeeKay's 234.211 effort by .006 mph. Felix Rosenqvist completes Row 1 at 234.114, making this the closest front row in race history. Palou's run is the fastest pole run in race history and the 2nd-fastest qualifying run to Arie Luyendyk in 1996 (236.986).

The second row is Santino Ferrucci, Pato O'Ward and Scott Dixon, who was trying for a record third-straight Indy 500 pole.

Things to know: Palou wins Indy 500 pole, Rahal bumped by teammate

Palou will be in his fourth 500. He finished 2nd in 2021 and started 2nd in 2022. Palou and Dixon drive for Chip Ganassi Racing, which has the 1st, 6th, 8th (Takuma Sato) and 10th (defending race champion Marcus Ericsson) starters. They use Honda engines.

The rest of the top 14 starters use Chevrolet engines. Arrow McLaren has the 3rd, 5th, 7th (Alexander Rossi) and 9th (Tony Kanaan) starters. A.J. Foyt Racing has Ferrucci and Benjamin Pederson (11th) among the first four rows.

VeeKay is a great Indy 500 qualifier. He starts 2nd this year after starting 3rd in 2021 and '20, and 4th in '19.

Rosenqvist is making his first front row start in his fifth Indy 500 start.

5:15 p.m.: Fast Six Indy 500 qualifying

Driver, 4-lap qualifying average in mph

Felix Rosenqvist, 234.411; Alex Palou wins pole position

Santino Ferrucci, 233.661

Rinus VeeKay, 234.211, .006 mph behind Palou

Alex Palou, 234.217, better than Felix Rosenqvist's run from earlier Sunday

Scott Dixon, 233.151

Pato O'Ward, 233.158

5 p.m.: Row 11 for the 2023 Indy 500 is set

11th row: Christian Lundgaard, Sting Ray Robb, Jack Harvey. Graham Rahal is out.

Graham Rahal: "Everybody put a lot into this. We just came up short. ... This place, it doesn't come easy and it doesn't just happen."

"I knew from the start (of the week) we were in trouble."

Jack Harvey: "You don't want to knock a teammate out. The goal was to get all three cars in."

4 p.m.: Last chance qualifying for the 2023 Indy 500

Driver, 4-lap qualifying average in mph

Jack Harvey, 229.166, just ahead of Graham Rahal's 229.156. Rahal is out.

Jack Harvey, 228.929. He improves almost one-half mph, but isn't fast enough to break into the field.

Team owner Bobby Rahal on what he anticipates with Jack Harvey's strategy: "You wait as long as you can so you keep someone else from going out." If Harvey bumps back in, Graham Rahal – Bobby's son – is out. Harvey, Rahal and Christian Lundgaard are Rahal Letterman Lanigan teammates.

After one round of LCQ, Jack Harvey is out of the field. Drivers have until 5 p.m. ET to make qualifying attempts.

Graham Rahal, 229.159

Jack Harvey, 228.477

Sting Ray Robb, 229.549

Christian Lundgaard, 229.649

Conditions: 78 degrees (124 degrees track temperature), sunny, light north wind.

2:55 p.m.: Fast Six are set

Moving on to the Fast Six: Felix Rosenqvist, Santinio Ferrucci, Rinus VeeKay, Alex Palou, Scott Dixon and Pato O'Ward. Ferrucci, driving for A.J. Foyt Racing, is the biggest mover after qualifying 9th on Saturday.

Row 3: Alexander Rossi, Takuma Sato, Tony Kanaan; Rossi had qualified 2nd on Saturday.

Row 4: Marcus Ericsson, Benjamin Pedersen, Will Power; all of these maintain their spots from Saturday.

2 p.m.: Indy 500 Fast 12 qualifying

Driver, 4-lap qualifying average in mph

Felix Rosenqvist, 234.081 mph, faster than Dixon's 2022 pole speed.

Alexander Rossi, 233.110

Alex Palou, 233.779

Rinus VeeKay, 233.801; his practice earlier today ended early with a mechanical issue, but the team recovers and he is in the Fast Six.

Scott Dixon, 233.430; he earns a spot in the Fast Six. He is trying to become the first driver in race history to win the pole position in three straight years.

Tony Kanaan, 233.076

Takuma Sato, 233.098

Pato O'Ward, 233.229; "I think we'll right on the bubble (for Fast Six)."

Santino Ferrucci, 233.911, 1+ mph faster than the previous 3 qualifier. "I want to break history and I want a damn pole."

Marcus Ericsson, 232.889; "We did OK, but I did too much sliding (in the turns)."

Benjamin Pedersen, 232.671 (fastest rookie qualifier since Tony Stewart in 1996)

Will Power, 232.635

Conditions: 74 degrees (121 degrees on the track surface), sunny, light wind

12:30 p.m.: Indy 500 qualifying practice for Row 11

∎ Fastest simulated qualifying runs in this practice: Christian Lundgaard is 1st, followed by Sting Ray Robb, Graham Rahal and Jack Harvey.

∎ Sting Ray Robb takes a 4-lap simulated qualifying run at 230.033 mph.

∎ Jack Harvey takes a 4-lap simulated qualifying run at 229.912 mph, slower than his Saturday qualifying attempt.

∎ Christian Lundgaard takes a 4-lap simulated qualifying run at 230.563 mph. "It feels pretty similar to yesterday. ... It's a little frustrating."

∎ Here's an update from Top 12 qualifier Rinus VeeKay:

∎ Team owner Bobby Rahal on his three cars still seeking qualifying speed – Graham Rahal, Christian Lundgaard and Jack Harvey: "We need to find some more pace. ... We'll just keep at it." The elder Rahal knows the feeling: He won the 1986 Indy 500 as a driver but failed to make the race in 1993.

∎ Graham Rahal takes a 4-lap simulated qualifying run at 229.946 mph, faster than his Saturday qualifying attempts but not necessarily safe to make the race.

∎ Sting Ray Robb takes a 4-lap simulated qualifying run at 229.827, slower than his Saturday qualifying attempts. Here's what team owner Dale Coyne has to say:

∎ Christian Lundgaard takes a 4-lap simulated qualifying run at 230.440 mph, slower than his Saturday qualifying attempts.

11:30 a.m. ET: Indy 500 qualifying Fast 12 practice

∎ Eleven of the 12 drivers register hot laps. Tony Kanaan is content to gather information from Arrow McLaren teammates and let it fly in Fast 12 qualifying. One of Kanaan's teammates, Pato O'Ward, believes a lot of drivers will eclipse Dixon's 2022 pole-winning speed, considering the favorable driving conditions.

∎ Rookie Benjamin Pedersen has a single no-tow lap at 235.026 mph. "That's fast. Holy cow," he said upon learning of the speed. "That thing is a rocket ship right now."

∎ NBC reported that Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing considered swapping chassis after Saturday's qualifying, but IndyCar rules prohibit such a move during the qualifying weekend. Juncos Hollinger Racing changed the chassis on Callum Ilott's car on Friday, which is permitted, and he qualified 28th on Saturday.

∎ Rinus VeeKay's sputters during a run, forcing him into the garage for repairs. Team owner Ed Carpenter tells NBC the crew has diagnosed the issue and VeeKay should be able to make a Fast 12 attempt. VeeKay is guaranteed a top-12 spot.

∎ Santino Ferrucci has a simulated 4-lap qualifying run of 234.649 mph just a few minutes into the session, and Pato O'Ward is also over 234.

∎ The air temperature is 70 degrees and the track temperature is 98 under sunny skies and almost no wind. Drivers like the conditions.

Borg-Warner Trophy and Stanley Cup on display

Fast 12 Indianapolis 500 qualifiers

With car number, driver, engine, team and 4-lap speed average; all cars use Dallara chassis and Firestone tires

One round of qualifying will cut this group to the Fast Six, and a second round will determine the top six starters

(6) Felix Rosenqvist, Chevrolet, Arrow McLaren, 233,947 mph

(7) Alexander Rossi, Chevrolet, Arrow McLaren, 233.528

(10) Alex Palou, Honda, Ganassi, 233.398

(21) Rinus VeeKay, Chevrolet, Carpenter, 233.395

(9) Scott Dixon, Honda, Ganassi, 233.375

(66) Tony Kanaan, Chevrolet, Arrow McLaren, 233.347

(11) Takuma Sato, Honda, Ganassi, 233.322

(5) Pato O'Ward, Chevrolet, Arrow McLaren, 233.252

(14) Santino Ferrucci, Chevrolet, Foyt, 233.147

(8) Marcus Ericsson, Honda, Ganassi, 233.030

(55) Benjamin Pedersen, Chevrolet, Foyt, 232.739

(12) Will Power, Chevrolet, Penske, 232.719

Breaking it down: Play-by-play of Indianapolis 500 qualifying at IMS

Last chance qualifying

Three of these drivers will comprise Row 11, and one will not make the race

(45) Christian Lundgaard, Honda, Rahal Letterman Lanigan

(30) Jack Harvey, Honda, Rahal Letterman Lanigan

(51) Sting Ray Robb, Honda, Coyne

(15) Graham Rahal, Honda, Rahal Letterman Lanigan

Row 5

The positions for Rows 5-10 were established Saturday

13. (33) Ed Carpenter, Chevrolet, Carpenter, 232.689

14. (3) Scott McLaughlin, Chevrolet, Penske, 232.677

15. (27) Kyle Kirkwood, Honda, Andretti, 232.662

Row 6

16. (20) Conor Daly, Chevrolet, Carpenter, 232.433

17. (2) Josef Newgarden, Chevrolet, Penske, 232.402

18. (23) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Chevrolet, Dreyer & Reinbold, 232.133

Row 7

19. (28) Romain Grosjean, Honda, Andretti, 231.997

20. (06) Helio Castroneves, Honda, Meyer Shank, 231.954

21. (26) Colton Herta, Honda, Andretti, 231.951

Row 8

22. (60) Simon Pagenaud, Honda, Meyer Shank, 231.878

23. (18) David Malukas, Honda, Coyne, 231.769

24. (98) Marco Andretti, Honda, Andretti, 231.682

Row 9

25. (24) Stefan Wilson, Chevrolet, Dreyer & Reinbold, 231.648

26. (29) Devlin DeFrancesco, Honda, Andretti, 231.353

27. (78) Agustin Canapino, Chevrolet, Juncos Hollinger, 231.320

Row 10

28. (77) Callum Ilott, Chevrolet, Juncos Hollinger, 231.182

29. (50) R.C. Enerson, Chevrolet, Abel, 231.129

30. (44) Katherine Legge, Honda, Rahal Letterman Lanigan, 231.070

Alex Palou wins Indy 500 pole position, Graham Rahal misses race (2024)
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