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Scott Dixon Takes Tops 2021 Indianapolis 500 Starting Grid

Photo Credit: Chris Owens/IndyCar



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The 33-car starting grid for the 2021 Indianapolis 500 is now set ahead of the May 30th event with drivers representing 17 countries. Perhaps the most coveted single pole position in auto racing, the prime starting spot for the Indianapolis 500 is something a driver has a week to bask in the honour. For what will be the 105th running of the greatest spectacle in racing, New Zealander superstar Scott Dixon claimed the prestigious pole at the 2.5-mile speedway.


His fourth time taking the first place spot, Scott Dixon and his #9 PNC Bank-sponsored Chip Ganassi Racing car succeeded in topping competitors in the contentious Fast Nine Qualifying session. In his four-lap/ten-mile time trial run, Dixon sailed around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway with an average lap speed of 21.685 miles per hour or total time of 2 minutes and 35.3837 seconds. Dixon’s 19th showing in the Indianapolis 500 has the 40-year-old, six-time IndyCar Series champion narrowly beating 21-year-old Colton Herta for the pole position for the 2021 race. The pole position is the sixth for the Chip Ganassi Racing organization with the team’s first coming in 1993 with Arie Luyendyk.


Photo Credit: Chris Owens/IndyCar




With the Honda-powered #9 car being the fastest entry prior to the Fast Nine Qualifying competition, Scott Dixon was assigned the last qualifying attempt for which is he was .0197 seconds quicker than the #26 Andretti Autosport entry of Colton Herta over the four-lap final run. Though Dixon’s final two laps were slower than Herta, the #9 car’s blistering fast first lap of 38.6669 seconds (average lap speed of 232.757 miles per hour) would largely cement the pole position for the New Zealander. The gap between Dixon and Herta is broader than last year’s qualifying results where Marco Andretti claimed pole with a 0.0113-second advantage. The record for the closest margin of all-time between the first and second place cars is set in 2012 where Ryan Briscoe edged out James Hinchcliffe for pole by a slim 0.0023 seconds on the stop watch.


Being the Indianapolis 500, the third fastest qualifier also earns the right to start on the front row of the race. This year, Dutch driver Rinus VeeKay concludes to impress in his sophomore performance on the NTT IndyCar Series by qualifying third on the grid. The strong effort netting the front row starting spot for the driver of the #21 Ed Carpenter Racing car came a week after he won his first series victory in the GMR Grand Prix held on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s road course. VeeKay will be the highest Chevrolet-powered starter for Sunday’s Indianapolis 500 and was only one of two entered in the Fast Nine Qualifying session. The other vehicle running a Chevrolet engine in the top-nine at Indy is VeeKay’s team owner Ed Carpenter who will take the green flag in fourth place.


In addition to presiding as the car owner of the pole-winning car, Chip Ganassi had a lot to be happy about relating to his superteam as a whole. Tony Kanaan placed in fifth, Alex Palou in sixth and Marcus Ericsson are ninth on the grid for the 2021 Indianapolis 500.

 

Other notable drivers starting in the middle of the field include Alexander Rossi in tenth place and reigning Indy 500 winner Takuma Sato who will start the 2021 edition of the race in 15th spot one spot ahead of Canada’s James Hinchcliffe. Sato’s Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing teammate Graham Rahal was 18th fastest, Josef Newgarden is 21st and Marco Andretti is 25th. Two rookies will start the 2021 Indianapolis 500 with Pietro Fittipaldi (grandson of two-time race winner Emerson Fittipaldi) starting highest on the grid in 13th place. Scott McLaughlin will take the field for his first Indy 500 in 17th place and is the highest-placed Team Penske entry on the starting grid.


Photo Credit: Joe Skibinski/IndyCar




Through Last Chance Qualifying, Sage Karam for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, Will Power for Team Penske and Simona de Silvestro driving the car for Paretta Autosport secured the final row of the 33-car grid. Missing the 2021 Indianapolis 500 will be Charlie Kimball and R.C. Enerson.

  


2021 Indianapolis 500 Starting Lineup

Starting Spot Car # Driver Driver's Home Country Team/Organization Engine
1 9 Scott Dixon New Zealand Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
2 26 Colton Herta United States Andretti Autosport Honda
3 21 Rinus VeeKay Netherlands Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet
4 20 Ed Carpenter United States Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet
5 48 Tony Kanaan Brazil Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
6 10 Alex Palou Spain Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
7 28 Ryan Hunter-Reay United States Andretti Autosport Honda
8 06 Helio Castroneves Brazil Meyer Shank Racing Honda
9 8 Marcus Ericsson Sweden Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
10 27 Alexander Rossi United States Andretti Autosport Honda
11 18 Ed Jones United Arab Emirates Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser Sullivan Honda
12 5 Pato O'Ward Mexico Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet
13 51 Pietro Fittipaldi Brazil Dale Coyne Racing with Rick Ware Racing Honda
14 7 Felix Rosenqvist Sweden Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet
15 30 Takuma Sato Japan Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda
16 29 James Hinchcliffe Canada Andretti Autosport Honda
17 3 Scott McLaughlin New Zealand Team Penske Chevrolet
18 15 Graham Rahal United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda
19 47 Conor Daly United States Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet
20 60 Jack Harvey United Kingdom Meyer Shank Racing Honda
21 2 Josef Newgarden United States Team Penske Chevrolet
22 1 J.R. Hildebrand United States A.J. Foyt Enterprises Chevrolet
23 45 Santino Ferrucci United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda
24 86 Juan Pablo Montoya Columbia Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet
25 98 Marco Andretti United States Andretti Autosport Honda
26 22 Simon Pagenaud France Team Penske Chevrolet
27 14 Sebastian Bourdais France A.J. Foyt Enterprises Chevrolet
28 25 Stefan Wilson United Kingdom Andretti Autosport Honda
29 59 Max Chilton United Kingdom Carlin Chevrolet
30 4 Dalton Kellett Canada A.J. Foyt Enterprises Chevrolet
31 24 Sage Karam United States Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Chevrolet
32 12 Will Power Australia Team Penske Chevrolet
33 16 Simona de Silvestro Swizerland Paretta Autosport Chevrolet

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