Expectations High for Front Two Rows — 101st Indianapolis 500 Rows 1-2 Preview

Victor Vallee

The 101st Indianapolis 500 is less than 12 hours away, and with that said, it is finally time to get to know the fastest 6 drivers in the field of 33.

 

ROW 2

6th — JR Hildebrand (#21 Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet); The 29 Year-Old American looks to add his name to Indy glory, after coming within one lap of winning the race in his rookie year in 2011. While not driving at over 200 mph, the Sausalito, CA native teaches at Stanford University With multiple top ten finishes already to his name, Hildebrand has shown pace in the past and has shown pace throughout this month. This pace put him on the outside of Row 2 at an average speed of 230.889 mph.

 

5th — Fernando Alonso (R) (#29 Andretti Autosport Honda); The 2005 and 2006 Formula One Drivers’ World Champion looks to Indianapolis to add another victory to his already legendary career in motorsports. With that said, it may be unfair to call Alonso a rookie, although this is his first appearance in the 500 and on the oval at IMS, as his experience in Formula One has already paid dividends to put the Spaniard in the middle of row 2 at a speed of 231.300 mph.

 

4th — Takuma Sato (#26 Andretti Autosport Honda); Sato, who crashed on the final lap of the 2012 running of the race while attempting a pass for the lead, looks to become the first Japanese-born driver to win the 500. Sato has shown his car is fast, and stable, using less track than his competitors on both Bump Day and Pole Day last weekend. The former Formula One driver will start next to his former rival-turned-teammate, Fernando Alonso, on the inside of row 2 after qualifying at an average pace of 233.365 mph.

 

ROW 5

3rd — Alexander Rossi (#98 Andretti Autosport Honda); The defending champion of the Indianapolis 500 has shown IndyCar that the 500 win that came on fuel milage was not just a fluke, after having very solid runs throughout the entire IndyCar season thus far. Rossi, who grew up In Auburn, CA and formerly raced for the Manor Racing Formula One team, looks to become the first back-to-back winner in his first two starts since Helio Castroneves did it in 2001 and 2002. His chances of doing so were bolstered after qualifying on the outside of the first row with an average speed of 231.487 mph.

 

2nd — Ed Carpenter (#20 Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet); As a native Hoosier, Ed Carpenter has grown up in Speedway at the track for nearly his entire life. His stepfather, Tony George is the chairman of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and former president of the Brickyard. Carpenter, though, looks to write his own legacy after winning two poles in 2013 and 2014 for his own race team, which is located less than 500 yards away from the Speedway, and finally put his face on the Borg Warner trophy. Carpenter’s success in qualifying after he ran a four lap average of 231.664 mph, which was good enough for the middle of row 1.


1st — Scott Dixon (#9 Chip Ganassi Racing Honda); The polesitter of the 101st Indianapolis 500 looks to add his face to the Borg Warner Trophy for a second time after winning the pole for the third time. Dixon, whose team finally picked up sponsorship after winning the pole from Camping World, has been the driver to beat and enters the race second in the points standings, only behind the defending series champion Simon Pagenaud. The 2008 winner looks to repeat his success he had 9 years ago, and looks to do so from the same position he started the 2008 ‘500 from. The average speed of 232.164 mph, put him and on pole and made him the fastest driver since 1996 at the speedway.



Categories: Indy 500

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