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, including the first row of the Firestone Fast Nine qualifiers, who were the 9 fastest drivers on Saturday.
12th — Oriol Servia (#16 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda); The 42 year-old veteran returns to RLL after a one year detour to Schmidt Peterson Racing. The Spaniard looks to improve upon his best result of 4th with the now defunct Panther Racing in 2012. Servia, one of the more experienced drivers on the grid is one of the many former Indy Lights champions, his championship, of course coming in 1999. The RLL driver qualified his Honda on the outside of row 4 at a speed of 230.309 mph.
11th — Ed Jones (R) (#19 Dale Coyne Racing Honda); Jones, who had his worst finish of the season at the IndyCar Grand Prix of 19th has rebounded nicely at surprised many with an 11th place qualifying effort. The South African, who won the 2016 Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires Championship, has surprised many by solidly placing in or near the top 10 in the first 5 races, sans the IndyCar Grand Prix. The 22 year-old rookie will roll off in the middle of row 4 after posting an average speed of 230.578 mph.
10th — Ryan Hunter-Reay (#28 Andretti Autosport Honda); The 2014 Indianapolis 500 and 2012 Verizon IndyCar Series Champion has shown a lot of pace, but after a disappointing qualifying run on Saturday left him on the outside of the Fast Nine, the American will have to settle for the inside of row 4. Hunter-Reay, who won the race from 19th 3 years ago, has shown a lot pace throughout the month of May and posted a speed of 231.442 mph, which would have put him 4th had he put his Andretti Autosport Honda in the Fast Nine.
9th — Will Power (#12 Team Penske Chevrolet); The 2014 IndyCar champion was the fastest of the Team Penske Chevrolets, who have struggled throughout the month and looks to win his first 500 after being denied with only two laps to go in the 2015 Indianapolis 500 by teammate Juan Pablo Montoya. The Australian was able to put #12 Team Penske Chevrolet on the outside of Row 3 after being the slowest of the Fast Nine drivers on Sunday, at a speed of 230.200 mph, a speed which would have put him in 15th had he not qualified in the Fast Nine on Saturday.
8th — Marco Andretti (#27 Andretti Autosport Honda); After showing a lot of pace in last year’s Indianapolis 500, the “Andretti Curse” struck the Nazareth, PA native in the closing stages of the race as his pit crew had mistakenly put the front tires on the wrong side of the car. Andretti’s 2016 heartbreak was no match for his heartbreak 10 years earlier in which Sam Hornish, Jr. would pass the then 19 year-old Andretti for the victory on the final lap. The third generation racer qualified at an average speed of 230.474 mph, which put his Andretti Autosport Honda in the middle of row 3.
7th — Tony Kanaan (#10 Chip Ganassi Racing Honda); “TK” as the fans know him, the fan favorite Brazilian looks to add another “Baby Borg” to his trophy case after winning the race in 2013, which broke Honda’s 500 winning streak at 8 races. Now driving for the Japanese manufacturer, Kanaan has shown undeniable pace through the month and looks to cap it off with his 2nd Indianapolis 500 victory. Starting on the inside of row 3, the 42 year old veteran and 2004 Verizon IndyCar Series champion looks to rocket his Chip Ganassi Racing Honda to the front after qualifying at a four lap average of 230.828 mph.