Newsstand » Verizon IndyCar Series Qualifying Report: Indianapolis 500

Verizon IndyCar Series Qualifying Report: Indianapolis 500


Verizon IndyCar Series
Qualifying Report: Indianapolis 500

Day One of qualifying from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is in the books for the five Andretti Autosport drivers. All speeds from today will be cleared before tomorrow’s qualification session begins at 10:15 a.m. ET when Kurt Busch and Ryan Hunter-Reay will take the track to fill the spots in positions 10 – 33 group. Carlos Munoz, James Hinchcliffe and Marco Andretti will all compete to nab the pole position in the Fast Nine qualifying starting at 2 p.m. ET. The Andretti Autosport trio will be vying for their first pole for this year’s 98th Running of the Indianapolis 500.

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United Fiber & Data
James Hinchcliffe, No. 27 United Fiber & Data Honda

  • Was seen fourth fastest at 230.407 mph average
  • Qualified in the Fast Nine after only 17 laps of practice this month
  • 2014 marks Hinchcliffe’s fourth Indianapolis 500 start


“It’s great to be back here, obviously in a much better position than we were in a week ago. Huge thanks to the team to have the United Fiber & Data car in the Fast Nine is great. The track got quicker; we definitely improved form run one to run two. Really proud of the boys and looking forward to tomorrow.”

Carlos Muñoz, No. 34 Cinsay Honda 


  • Colombian qualified first of the 33-car field and was seen in the top nine for most of the morning
  • Made three qualifying runs with a best four-lap average speed of 230.460 mph
  • Second quickest overall and advances to tomorrow’s Fast Nine qualifying as the highest qualified Honda-powered machine


“After the second run, I was really disappointed. During the first run, the Cinsay car was really good, but during the second run, we just completely lost the balance of the car. My team, my engineer – they did exactly what I asked, and we had a great third run. I was questioning myself, the team, everything before, but as soon as I hit the track I forgot everything (about the second run). The car was really fast, and it’s a shame we wasted that second outing. I think we’re looking strong, and we’ll see what happens tomorrow.”


Marco Andretti, No . 25 Snapple Honda

  • Posted a best qualifying average speed of 230.134 mph placing him securely inside the Fast Nine at the sixth position
  • His best start at the 2.5-mile oval came last year from the outside of the front row


“It’s a huge weight off my back (to make the Fast Nine). I’m actually going to be able to sleep tonight knowing the worst we can start from is the third row. It was an extremely taxing day, and I feel for Ryan (Hunter-Reay) there at the end. It’s just circumstantial and he’s not out of the field. We were just lucky to be on the better side of things and collect some points at the same time; it was definitely worth the struggle right now to be able to decompress a little bit.”

On erasing lap times to qualify again:


“It wasn’t as bad as 2011 but it was pretty close. Not knowing what was going to happen during that run… I didn’t know if I was going to be getting a last row ring or be going to the Last Row Party. A lot goes through your head, so you just try to keep your mind on the run that you’re about to do, the tools… we’re all just wringing these things out at their limit, so it was a pretty crazy day.”



Kurt Busch, No. 26 Suretone Honda

  • Made two qualifying attempts today with a best four-lap average speed of 229.960 mph
  • Fought his way into the Fast Nine on his second attempt, but was unable to defend his position due to NASCAR obligations and later fell to 10th late in the day
  • Was eclipsed from the Fast Nine by only 0.067 of a second for his first Indianapolis 500 qualifying attempt
“The Andretti team has taken the steps to help me get to a comfortable place to be able to go out there. We could have camped on our 12th-place run from our earlier outing and been back out heretomorrow. But why not go for it? We didn’t have to withdraw our time, so why not go for it and try to get into that final group. I gave my heart a run at it. If we end up outside of the Top Nine, I know I gave it my all and that was really a neat experience – not to withdraw the time, but go to up against the car and myself to pick up speed.
“The way you have to challenge a track for a NASCAR run is you have the most downforce and the car is going to be the most at its grip level. Here at Indy you take all the grip away and you take all the downforce – you make the car as uncomfortable as you can make it. And then they tack on three extra laps, so you’re doing 10 miles. So I’ve qualified a Pro Stock car a quarter-mile at a time, I’ve qualified a stock car for 15 years – qualifying at Indy you have to do it over 10 miles and you have to do it in the most unnerving conditions with the car; the car is not ready to go 230 (mph) but you have to handle it.”
Ryan Hunter-Reay, No. 28 DHL Honda
  • Drew late in the line up for his first qualifying attempt and posting a time good enough, at the time, for the Fast Nine
  • Was bumped from the Fast Nine late in the day and made a second attempt moments before the gun went off, signifying the end of qualifications, placing him 11th

“Luckily we’re talking about missing the Fast Nine, but we made the wrong call there… This place though, you can go out 15 minutes later and it will be different and it’s just – that’s how it is. So you just have to grin and bear it and on to tomorrow; more work to do. It’s frustrating because we were in the top nine all day. That first run, I thought, was going to be good enough to at least make it on that, but went quick at the end of the day – everybody did, and we didn’t have enough to pull it off.”