Iceman cool under pressure to claim 4th Indy 500 pole

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May 23—INDIANAPOLIS — With all the marbles on the line, the "Iceman" stayed cool under pressure to capture the Indianapolis 500 pole Sunday.

Scott Dixon, driving for Chip Ganassi Racing, turned the fastest lap Sunday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway at 232.757 mph and a four-lap average of 231.685 mph.

It was enough to beat Colton Herta's run of 231.655 mph.

For Dixon, it was his fourth career pole at Indianapolis. He won from the pole position in 2008 and captured the top spot in 2015 and 2017.

"It was pretty hairy," Dixon said of his qualifying run. "When I saw how fast the ECR (Ed Carpenter Racing) went and Colton's (Herta) lap, for our car it was a guess.

"I did see the mechanics adjusting the wing. I knew we would have to be aggressive. On the first lap, the car was loose. So I knew I would be holding on for the third and fourth laps."

All four of Ganassi Racing's cars were in the Fast Nine, with Tony Kanaan and Alex Palou starting in the second row. Marcus Ericsson will start ninth.

Palou's run was particularly impressive, as the team worked through the night to repair the NTT Data car after a crash Saturday.

Herta driving for Andretti Autosport said they could have trimmed the car out further for qualifying.

"Second place is not a bad place to start for a 500-mile race," he said. "The balance of the car was good. Our speed dropped off a little more than Scott's.

"Guys were just going faster with every run," Herta said. "It was a consistent run, could have been a tiny bit faster on the second lap. We were very close."

Veekay, a first-time winner a week ago in the Indianapolis Grand Prix, posted four solid laps to start on the outside of the front row.

The only two Chevrolet-powered cars in the Fast Nine for Ed Carpenter Racing showed lots of speed.

Veekay will start third after averaging 231.551 mph, and Ed Carpenter will start fourth.

Veekay admitted he should have lifted off the throttle on his second lap when the car wiggled.

"But I didn't," he laughed. "The entire four laps were at the limit. I couldn't have gone any faster. Starting on the front row is special."


Will Power added some drama during qualifying for the last row of the Indianapolis 500 when he brushed the Turn 2 wall on the third lap of his qualifying run.

Power completed the run with a qualifying speed of 228.876 mph, and the 2015 champion will start in the middle of the 11th row.

The contact with the wall impacted the tow-in of Power's car but didn't damage the right-rear suspension.

The fact Power failed to lock into the starting field Saturday was a surprise, but all the Team Penske teams struggled to find speed.

"We're scratching our heads," Power said before this qualifying effort. "We just don't know."

Power would have been the first Team Penske car not to make the Indy 500 since 1995.

His teammates all qualified no better than the 17th posted by rookie Scott McLaughlin. Josef Newgarden followed at 21st, and Simon Pagenaud will start 26th.

Sage Karam, driving for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, posted the fastest speed of 229.156 mph and a quick lap at 230.032 mph and will start 31st.

Simona De Silvestro, driving for Paretta Autosport, will start her sixth Indy 500.

"I had faith in the team," De Silvestro said of her consistent qualifying run.

After the initial qualifying runs, it became a waiting game as veteran Charlie Kimball and rookie RC Enerson were waiting for cooler track temperatures to attempt to bump into the field.

Enerson made a second attempt, but his four-lap average was slower than his initial effort.

Kimball made the final run in last-row qualifying but didn't find the necessary speed to bump De Silvestro from the starting grid.

Follow Ken de la Bastide on Twitter @KendelaBastide, or call 765-640-4863.

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