Hinchcliffe Earns Pole for 100th Running

James Hinchcliffe was last to qualify for the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil in a battle of Honda versus Chevrolet and prevailed over American phenom Josef Newgarden to earn the pole with a four-lap average of 230.760 mph.

At 2:45 p.m. EDT, the process of setting the grid for positions 10 through 33 began. Each driver in Group 1 received a single attempt comprised of four laps ranked by average speed.

Oriol Servia was the fastest qualifier in Group 1 with a four-lap average of 229.060 mph placing him 10th on the grid. Alexander Rossi, who topped morning practice, was second fastest with an average speed of 228.473 mph and will start 11th. Takuma Sato was third fastest with an average of 228.029 mph, locking out the fourth row for Honda.

Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon, who made his run with a fresh engine after the No. 9 crew was forced to make a change just prior to qualifying, had the fourth-fastest average and will start 13th.

Juan Pablo Montoya qualified 17th on his second attempt after striking debris on his first run. The Colombian driver hit what appeared to be a trash bag and was forced to back off his third and fourth laps, averaging just 213.968 mph. He was granted a fresh qualifying attempt by INDYCAR during he which he placed the No. 2 Chevrolet 17th on the grid.

Alex Tagliani was the only competitor to not make an attempt. The French Canadian driver spun in Turn 4 at the conclusion of his warm-up lap, avoiding the outside wall but making contact with the attenuator at pit in. The No. 35 Honda spun several more times before coming to a rest with Tagliani able to climb out of the car without assistance. He was later checked, cleared and released from the care center.

The Fast Nine Shootout began at 5:05 p.m. with the top nine from Saturday qualifying making four-lap attempts in order from slowest to fastest.

Josef Newgarden turned the fastest single lap of the Fast Nine Shootout at 231.551 mph, but his four-lap average of 230.700 was just short of James Hinchcliffe’s stunning attempt as the final car to qualify for the historic event, relegating the young American driver to the middle of the front row rather than the pole.

James Hinchcliffe turned four consistent laps in the No. 5 Honda for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports averaging 230.760 mph, fast enough to surpass Newgarden and claim the Verizon P1 Award for the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500.

Ryan-Hunter Reay will be the second Honda on the front row, qualifying third with a four-lap average of 230.648 mph. Townsend Bell, Carlos Munoz and Will Power will start in the second row while Mikhail Aleshin, Simon Pagenaud and Helio Castroneves will start in Row 3.

The 2016 Indianapolis 500 will go green at 12:04 p.m. on Sunday, May 29 with coverage beginning on ABC at 11 a.m.

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