Ed Carpenter leads first-day qualifying for Indy 500; Sebastien Bourdais fractures pelvis & right hip in crash

Youtube download / Highlights of day 1 qualifying from Indianapolis Motor Speedway. 
Headline Surfer illustration / Top: Sebastien Bourdais makes hard contact with the SAFER Barrier in Turn 2 during qualifying Saturday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the 101st running of the Indiapolis 500 on May 28. Middle: His car absorbds most of the energy. Bottom: Bourdais suffers fractures to his pelvis and hip, causing him to undergo surgery Saturday night..  
 
By HENRY FREDERICK
Headline Surfer

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind  -- Ed Carpenter once again displayed his prowess on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval, leading first-day qualifying for the 101st Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil. 

The team owner/driver posted a four-lap qualifying run at 230.468 mph in the No. 20 Fuzzy's Vodka Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet to lead 31 drivers who completed attempts. Carpenter and the next eight fastest qualifiers from today advance to Sunday's Fast Nine Shootout that will determine the Verizon P1 Award pole sitter for the epic race on May 28

."It feels like 2013 right now," said Carpenter, who won the Indianapolis 500 pole in 2013 and '14. "I wasn't expecting that. I thought I could run a 230 (lap), but not four of them. Thanks to Chevrolet for giving me a good bullet and for making the best aero out here right now." 

Ed Carpenter, qualifying leader for Indy 500 / Headline SurferEd Carpenter once again displayed his prowess on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval, leading first-day qualifying for the 101st Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil. 

The team owner/driver posted a four-lap qualifying run at 230.468 mph in the No. 20 Fuzzy's Vodka Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet to lead 31 drivers who completed attempts. Carpenter and the next eight fastest qualifiers from today advance to Sunday's Fast Nine Shootout that will determine the Verizon P1 Award pole sitter for the epic race on May 28.

"It feels like 2013 right now," said Carpenter, who won the Indianapolis 500 pole in 2013 and '14. "I wasn't expecting that. I thought I could run a 230 (lap), but not four of them. Thanks to Chevrolet for giving me a good bullet and for making the best aero out here right now." 

Four-time Indy car champion Sebastien Bourdais was involved in the lone incident of qualifying when he lost control of his No. 18 GEICO Honda, which made hard contact with the SAFER Barrier in Turn 2. 

Bourdais had completed the fastest two laps of qualifying until the incident on the third lap.

The Dale Coyne Racing driver was transported to IU Health Methodist Hospital where, according to Dr. Geoffrey Billows, INDYCAR medical director, he was diagnosed with multiple fractures to his pelvis and a fracture to his right hip.

"Sebastien is in good hands here at IU Methodist Hospital with the staff and now we just wait for him to recover," team owner Dale Coyne said. Bourdais was scheduled to undergo surgery on the pelvis last night. 

Sebastian Bourdais injured in Indy 500 qualifying / Headline SurferFour-time Indy car champion Sebastien Bourdais was involved in the lone incident of qualifying when he lost control of his No. 18 GEICO Honda, which made hard contact with the SAFER Barrier in Turn 2. Bourdais had completed the fastest two laps of qualifying until the incident on the third lap.

The Dale Coyne Racing driver was transported to IU Health Methodist Hospital where, according to Dr. Geoffrey Billows, INDYCAR medical director, he was diagnosed with multiple fractures to his pelvis and a fracture to his right hip.

" Sebastien is in good hands here at IU Methodist Hospital with the staff and now we just wait for him to recover," team owner Dale Coyne said. Bourdais was scheduled to undergo surgery on the pelvis last night. 

Joining Carpenter in the Fast Nine Shootout will be Takuma Sato, Scott Dixon, JR Hildebrand, reigning Indy 500 winner Alexander Rossi, Will Power, Fernando Alonso, Tony Kanaan and Marco Andretti.

Sato benefited from being the last of six Andretti Autosport drivers to qualify, taking his teammates' input and putting four laps together at an average speed of 230.382 mph in the No. 26 Andretti Autosport Honda. The 40-year-old veteran's run missed out on top honors by less than six-hundredths of a second.

"It was great, the car was working good," Sato said. "Usually lapping through the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for qualifying, I'm not enjoying. But the car was very, very stable. I was starting to really enjoy after Turn 1 and the green-flag lap. Very free off the corner, so I think the car was really good. Tremendous support from all the team effort."

Dixon, the 2008 Indy 500 winner, was eighth in line to qualify, putting together four laps at 230.333 mph despite sunshine bathing the track. Later attempts were run under cloudy skies.

"I think we were in the tougher kind of conditions," Dixon said. "The track temp was definitely very high when we did our attempt, the sun was out. We're happy with our time and we're pleased with the laps we ran. There is still tomorrow, of course, so doing the best we can on Sunday is what really matters."

In his first oval-track qualifying attempt, two-time Formula One champion Alonso qualified seventh in the No. 29 McLaren-Honda-Andretti Honda. 

"It gets stressful, it gets difficult, tricky," Alonso said. "But at the same time, huge adrenaline when you cross the line (to conclude the run). Today was all about being in the fast nine. We did it and tomorrow is the real thing, so let's see."

Rain delays Saturday's qualifying for 5 hours

Qualifying was delayed five hours Saturday after heavy rain saturated the 2.5-mile oval at the time the session was slated to begin. Rookie Ed Jones was among the early qualifiers after qualifying started and impressed with a four-lap run at 229.717 mph in the No. 18 Boy Scouts of America Honda for Dale Coyne Racing.

Jones remained in the fast nine until Hildebrand, the next-to-last qualifier, completed a run at 230.205 mph in the No. 21 Preferred Freezer Service Chevrolet that put the Ed Carpenter Racing driver in the fourth spot.

Jones slipped to 10th on Saturday's qualifying chart, meaning he will be the final driver to make an attempt in Group 1 qualifying today to determine race starting positions 10-33.

All times from first-day qualifying are erased and drivers in Group 1 will each make a single attempt in reverse order of where they qualified today. That sessions runs from 2:45-4:45 p.m. ET.

The Fast Nine Shootout follows from 5-5:45 p.m. Also with times from first-day qualifying erased, drivers will each make a four-lap attempt in the reverse order of where they finished today to decide the pole winner. Verizon IndyCar Series championship points are also on the line in qualifying, ranging from 42 to the pole winner down to one point for the 33rd-fastest qualifier.

First-Day Qualifying Results
May 20 qualifying for Indy 500 / Headline SurferQualifying Times Today
Second-day qualifying airs from 2:30-4 p.m. ET today on WatchESPN and from 4-6 p.m. on ABC. The 101st Indianapolis 500 airs live at 11 a.m. Sunday, May 28 on ABC and the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network. In between the television blocks, qualifying live streaming can be found on Youtube by searching with keywords like "2017" "Indy 500 Qualifying" "Live Streaming" or some combination there of.  

 

 

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Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet news outlet covering the Daytona Beach-Sanford-Orlando metro area via HeadlineSurfer.com. A longtime cops & courts reporter focused on breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most experienced reporters, having amassed dozens of journalism-industry awards. Frederick is enrolled online at Full Sail University in Winter Garden, FL, where he's a third of the way though the Master of Arts program in New Media Journalism. His graduation will be in March 2018.