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Pole Day Report

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Qualifying Gallery

James Hinchcliffe, No. 27 United Fiber & Data Honda

  • Matches career best qualifying at the 2.5-mile oval with P2, his second front row start

 

“It’s tough to be upset. We knew Ed (Carpenter) was going to be tough to beat anyway, and it wasn’t until the first three laps that I’d run that I thought, ‘Well, maybe we do have a shot at this!’ The car was a huge handful, but it needed to be-it was fast. That’s not a criticism of the car at all. Going into Turn 3 on that last lap, I was working on the tools like crazy and the thing stepped out a bit on entry. I had to take some wheel out of it, creating understeer on exit and I had to crack the throttle. I don’t think anybody’s ever been on pole at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway cracking the throttle over four laps, so I kind of knew right then and there. I was screaming in my helmet. At the same time, if the worst we’re going to start is second, then that’s awesome. Huge credit to Andretti Autosport and United Fiber & Data.  I’m so happy to be on the front row again, just so disappointed we missed it again, but it is what it is. Congrats again to Ed.”


On being in the hospital last week to being on front row this week:

“I’ll get over this real quick because in the grand scheme of things, this has still been an awesome day; it’s been an awesome couple of days since being cleared to drive. I’m just so thankful that it all worked out. Big thanks to the team for all the work they did over the week; I really had very little to do with this. It kind of sucks that we’re the highest car on the team, because all these guys did all the work over the week, so huge thanks to Ryan (Hunter-Reay), Marco (Andretti), Carlos (Munoz), E.J. (Viso) and Kurt (Busch).  We’ll see what we’ve got next Sunday.”

 

 


Carlos Muñoz, No. 34 Cinsay Honda

  • Will start his second Indianapolis 500 from the inside of Row 3
  • Started and finished in the second position for 2013’s Indy 500
  • Reigning Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year

 

“The car wasn’t as good as yesterday like we thought it would be – we have a few small issues we’ll go back and figure out. Anyways, we were aggressive and you have to go for it. Now we’ll focus on the race, see where we can do better in traffic. With the conditions changing from this morning, it’s hotter now… it definitely affects your run. We’re starting from the third row, so we’ll see what happens in the race.”

 Marco Andretti, No. 25 Snapple Honda

  • 2014 marks the third-generation racer’s ninth Indianapolis 500
  • Will start from the outside of Row 2 – his second consecutive Fast 9 appearance

 

“I was just trying to give feedback to my teammates to see if they could do any better. That felt like the Indy 500 right there. It seemed like that run in the Snapple car was never-ending; we were hanging on for sure.”

 

Kurt Busch, No. 26 Suretone Honda

  • For his first Indianapolis 500 start, the NASCAR champion will start from the outside of Row 4
  • Fastest qualified Indy 500 rookie
“Looking at that pylon and seeing my number up there from the Andretti Autosport team is a dream come true. A lot of hard work has been put in place; I was trying to deliver. I’m a little out of my element, and the challenge of doing this double and everything going back and forth… I think I can be satisfied with 12th place. It’s not quite the top third of the field.  If I could have stayed yesterday would I have been able to pick up speed? I would have loved to roll the dice and try it, but these competitors in this paddock, it’s truly a matter of respect. These IndyCar guys, the open-wheel world is just as competitive as ever. There’s going to be 20 of us, I think, in that lead draft come Sunday next week.”
Ryan Hunter-Reay, No. 28 DHL Honda
  • Will start the 500-mile race from the 19th grid position
  • The 2012 IndyCar Champion’s best finish came last year with third-place finish

“We don’t know where the speed went. We have the same trim as our teammates right now, and we’re going a mile an hour slower at least. I don’t know… it’s a head-scratcher, but the race is the only thing that counts, so we’ll focus on that.”