101st Indianapolis 500 – Rows 5-6 Preview (Victor Vallee)

The 101st Indianapolis 500 is now only three days away as we continue the preview of the 33 cars in 11 rows of 3 that will make up the field in the 500 mile sweepstake.

ROW 6

18th — Juan Pablo Montoya (#22 Team Penske Chevrolet); The 2000 and 2015 winner of the Indianapolis 500 looks to cap off his first 500 one-and-done in IndyCar since he won the race in 2000 for Chip Ganassi. Now driving for Team Penske, the same team he won his 2nd 500 with, he looks to add his name to the elite group of 3-time winners at the Speedway, which includes his teammate Helio Castroneves and former teammate Dario Franchitti. The 41 year old Colombian qualified at a speed of 229.565 mph, which places him on the outside of Row 6.

17th — James Hinchcliffe (#5 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda); After winning this year’s edition of the Long Beach Grand Prix and the pole for last year’s Indianapolis 500, Hinch looks to win the 500 and complete his heroic comeback story. This coming after a 2015 practice crash at the Speedway, which sidelined the Canadian for the rest of the 2015 season. The 30 year-old qualified at a speed of 229.860 mph, placing him on the middle of Row 6 for Sunday’s edition of the 500 mile sweepstakes. 

16th — Charlie Kimball (#83 Chip Ganassi Racing Honda); The California native looks to improve upon his 3rd place finish in 2015, where he had the best seat in the house of the duel between Team Penske veterans Juan Pablo Montoya and Will Power. He also had the best seat in the house to JR Hildebrand’s accident on the final lap in the 2011 edition of the race, which cost Hildebrand’s his chance to win the race as a rookie. Kimball’s Honda engine powered him to a starting spot on the inside of Row 6 with a pace of 229.956 mph.

 

ROW 5

15th — Max Chilton (#8 Chip Ganassi Racing Honda); The 2nd-year Briton has shown signs of greatness this May, although overshadowed by his teammates’ and other former Formula One drivers’ success. Chilton would win the award for most improved driver at the speedway, as last year Chilton was unable to break into the top 10 in last years event, let alone start within the top 20. The former F1 driver looks to build off his season-best performance of 7th in the IndyCar Grand Prix earlier this month. The 26 year-old Briton will start from the outside of Row 5, with an average speed of 230.068 mph.

14th — Graham Rahal (#15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda); After winning the rain-delayed race at Texas Motor Speedway last year in August, Graham Rahal established himself as a likely candidate to dethrone 2016 winner Alexander Rossi and put his face on the Borg Warner Trophy, like his father, Bobby, did 21 years ago. The 28 year-old American looks to better his best finish of 3rd in 2011, after qualifying his Honda in the middle of row 5 at a speed of 230.253 mph.

13th — Mikhail Aleshin (#7 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports); The Russian, who is taking the green flag of his 3rd 500 in 4 years, has gotten a reputation as being a fearless, dauntless pilot. Especially after his 2016 qualifying run to put him in the Fast Nine one year ago. This year the Russian looks to become the first driver from Russia to win the Indianapolis 500, and will be a driver to keep an eye on, likely making daring moves early in the race to leapfrog his way to the front. The 30 year-old Russian was fast enough to take the inside of row 5, qualifying at a speed of 230.271 mph.



Categories: Indy 500

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