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Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Sunday shootout set at IMS

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The picture for the pole position at the 105th running of the Indianapolis 500 is a bit clearer after the field for Sunday’s “Fast Nine” has now been determined.

Defending NTT Indy Car Series champion Scott Dixon wasted little time establishing the pace as the first car on the track today when he posted the time to beat with an average speed of 231.828 mph. Colton Herta registered a 231.648 effort to secure second place, and 2014 Indianapolis 500 champion Tony Kanaan was third at 232.639 on a day when track temperatures and dense air played a major role in terms of the speeds drivers posted.

Ed Carpenter and teammate Rinus VeeKay locked down the fourth and fifth positions, while Helio Castroneves, Alex Palou, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Marcus Ericsson rounded out the nine participants for tomorrow’s dash for the top starting position and the $100,000 prize that’s awarded to the quickest driver.

Notes: The biggest development at 16th Street and Georgetown Road today was the dismal qualifying performance of Team Penske. Who would have thought rookie Scott McLaughlin’s 17th quickest speed would rank first among the greatest motorsports organization in the world? Teammate Josef Newgarden was 21st and Simon Pagenaud came in 26th.

While all of the aforementioned are securely in the field with their respective times, the same can not be said for 2018 Indianapolis 500 champion Will Power. The fourth member of the Penske quartet ended up 31st and now must compete against Simona De Silvestro, R.C. Enerson, Charlie Kimball and Sage Karem for one of the three starting positions left in tomorrow’s last chance qualifying session.

Notes: Gates at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway open at 9 a.m. May 23 with the last chance qualifying session beginning at 1:15 pm and the Firestone Fast Nine Shootout to determine the polesitter for the 105th Indianapolis 500 will be conducted from 3 p.m. to 3:45 pm.

Tickets are $20 and youth 15 and under are admitted free with a paid adult. All active military personnel are admitted free with a valid identification.

Danny Bridges can be reached at 317-70-8447 or at bridgeshd@aol.com.

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