SPEEDWAY – A rising sun over the 2-and-a-half mile oval made for on-track stakes to rise as a warm Saturday drew on.
That’s how its been since Tony Kanaan made a qualifying run just after 11 A.M. on Saturday as the added heat on the track continues to be an issue.
But in the end it was Ryan Briscoe who rose about the steamy day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for one of the biggest moments of his career. Yet it wasn’t by much.
The Penske driver was able to get his Izod machine .003 miles per hour faster than James Hinchcliffe to pick up his first career pole for the Indianapolis 500.
Hinchcliffe settled for second while Andretti teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay completed the front row.
Already the qualifications have seen three accidents and times slow progressively throughout the race for the pole position for the 96th Indianapolis 500.
Despite the early afternoon heat, Hinchcliffe came out with the fastest speed of the day, compiling a four-lap average of 225.746 miles per hour.
Brian Clauson and Oriol Servia saw their qualfying runs end with hits to the wall while the Chevrolets are showing strength over the Honda’s in the first engine competition time trials in nearly a decade.
Many drivers have said during the qualifying session that the Chevrolet engines have benefitted from the extra boost given to the cars for Fast Friday and pole day.
One of those not so lucky is Ed Carpenter, whose first pole day as an owner-driver was plagued with slow speed and eventually a hard wreck. After qualifying in the 220’s in his first attempt, Carpenter made another after 3 P.M. and went hard into the turn two wall on his second lap.
Carpenter emerged OK but was upset with the performance of his car for the month.