INDIANAPOLIS — Ed Carpenter turned Pole Day into a family celebration.
The stepson of IndyCar founder Tony George became the first member of the Hulman family to win the biggest pre-race event in the series – the Indianapolis 500 pole.
Carpenter produced a stunning finish to a day that was rife with suspense. His four-lap average of 228.762 mph was quick enough to break up what appeared to be a Team Penske-Andretti Autosport lock on the front three rows in the nine-car shootout for the pole.
“To be a single-car team in this Chevy shootout, I am going to call it fighting with the Penske and Andretti guys,” said Carpenter, whose pit crew carried him off pit road on their shoulders.
The soft-spoken Carpenter grew up around the world-famous 2.5-mile Brickyard, dreaming of the moment he could stand in Victory Lane. Perhaps that will happen May 26.
Carpenter was followed by three of Michael Andretti’s five drivers – rookie Carlos Munoz, Marco Andretti and E.J. Viso took the next three spots. Munoz’s average of 228.342 was just a tick better than Marco Andretti’s 228.261.
Another Indy rookie, AJ Allmendinger will start fifth, the highest qualifier for Roger Penske’s team.
Will Power went into the shootout as the favorite after going 228.844 but wound starting sixth, the outside of Row 2 after slowing to 227.246 mph on the final run of the day.
TRUCK SERIES: In Concord, N.C., Kyle Busch snapped a seven-race drought on the NASCAR Truck Series by winning Friday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Busch dominated early, but had to overcome a penalty that sent him to the back of the pack midway through the race. However, he battled back from 19th place in the No. 51 Toyota for his first Truck victory since since Sept. 24, 2011, at Loudon, N.H.
good on lap 123 after a four-car wreck brought out the caution flag and held on for his 31st career Truck Series win, fifth at Charlotte and 113th win in NASCAR’s top three series.
Brendan Gaughan finished second, and Max Gresham had his best finish ever, taking third. Series points leader Matt Crafton was fourth, followed by Ty Dillon.