May 19, 2024 | By IndyCar PR

McLaughlin Wins Indy 500 Pole

Photo by IndyCar photo

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Get out the brooms – for Team Penske and Chevrolet.

Scott McLaughlin won the NTT P1 Award in Firestone Fast Six qualifying for the 108th Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge on Sunday, leading only the second front row sweep by one team in the history of “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.” Team Penske first achieved the feat in 1988, with Rick Mears on the pole, Danny Sullivan starting second and Al Unser third.

SEE: Starting Lineup | Qualifying Results

It was the first career Indianapolis 500 pole for McLaughlin, who also set the fastest four-lap average pole speed in the history of the race of 234.220 mph in the No. 3 Pennzoil Team Penske Chevrolet. McLaughlin’s best qualifying position in three previous Indianapolis 500 starts was 14th in 2023.

“Welcome to the party,” McLaughlin said. “The Pennzoil Chevy was unreal. There’s so much pride in being able to do it. I’m working hard. Indy hasn’t been kind to me, and a lot of it was my doing. I need to work on things. This is the first step. The Thirsty 3’s, baby, we’re coming.”

Two-time NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion and 2018 “500” winner Will Power will start second after his run of 233.917 in the No. 12 Verizon Business Team Penske Chevrolet. Reigning “500” winner and two-time series champion Josef Newgarden will round out the front row after his run of 233.808 in the No. 2 Shell Powering Progress Team Penske Chevrolet.

It was the record-extending 19th Indianapolis 500 pole for Team Penske in the hottest day of this year’s event, with air temperatures reaching 91 degrees and track temperatures topping out at 129 degrees.

Chevrolet-powered drivers swept the top eight spots in the 33-car field for the race Sunday, May 26.

Among other qualifiers in the Firestone Fast Six were Alexander Rossi, who will start fourth at 233.090 in the No. 7 Arrow McLaren Chevrolet, rookie and 2021 NASCAR Cup Series champion Kyle Larson fifth at 232.846 in the No. 17 Hendrickcars.com Arrow McLaren Chevrolet and Santino Ferrucci sixth at 232.692 in the No. 14 Homes For Our Troops Chevrolet fielded by A.J. Foyt Enterprises.

Felix Rosenqvist was the fastest Honda-powered qualifier, starting ninth after a run of 232.305 in the No. 60 AutoNation/SiriusXM Honda of Meyer Shank Racing.

Katherine Legge, Marcus Ericsson and Graham Rahal earned the final three starting spots in Last Chance Qualifying.

Legge qualified 31st at 230.092 in the No. 51 e.l.f. Cosmetics Honda. 2022 “500” winner Ericsson qualified 32nd at 230.027 in the No. 28 Delaware Life Honda of Andretti Global, and Rahal avoided being bumped from the field for the second consecutive year by earning the final starting spot at 229.974 in the No. 15 United Rentals Honda of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing.

“I've been there – last year, it still stings,” Rahal said. “It's not much better being 33rd, I can tell you that. At least we're in the field, and we're going to go racing.”

Rookie Nolan Siegel failed to qualify. INDY NXT by Firestone standout Siegel, who was bumped earlier during Last Chance Qualifying, crashed in the No. 18 Dale Coyne Racing Honda on the final attempt of the session. He was unhurt.

“I wish we could have shown that we deserve to be in the ‘500,’” Siegel said. “But we've had a difficult couple of days, and we pulled through it as a team. We did everything we possibly could. I feel like we maximized the runs today. That's all you can do.”

The 33-car field average speed is 231.943, the second fastest in history. Last year’s record field average was 232.184.

Up next is a practice session for the 33 starters from 1-3 p.m. ET Monday, with live coverage on Peacock.

The 108th Indianapolis 500 is scheduled for Sunday, May 26 (11 a.m. ET, NBC, Peacock, Universo, INDYCAR Radio Network).


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2024 INDIANAPOLIS 500 PRESENTED BY GAINBRIDGE

FIELD NOTES



INDIANAPOLIS (Sunday, May 19, 2024) – Facts and figures about the starting field for the 108th Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge on Sunday, May 26 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Scott McLaughlin earned his first career Indianapolis 500 pole. He is the first New Zealand native and the second New Zealand citizen to win a pole for “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.” Scott Dixon, who is a New Zealand citizen but was born in Australia, has won five Indianapolis 500 poles.

Scott McLaughlin’s best qualifying position in three previous Indianapolis 500 starts was 14th in 2023.

Scott McLaughlin produced the fastest four-lap average speed in history for an Indianapolis 500 pole winner, 234.220 mph. The previous record was 234.217 set in 2023 by Alex Palou. Arie Luyendyk set the all-time four-lap qualifying average speed record of 236.986 in 1996, but his run came on the second day of qualifications and wasn’t eligible for the pole.

Team Penske earned its record-extending 19th Indianapolis 500 pole. The team’s last pole was delivered by Simon Pagenaud in 2019. Team Penske also has a record 19 Indianapolis 500 victories.

Team Penske swept the front row for the Indianapolis 500 for just the second time in Indianapolis 500 history, with Scott McLaughlin on pole, Will Power second and Josef Newgarden third. Team Penske first achieved the feat in 1988 with Rick Mears on pole, Danny Sullivan second and Al Unser third.

In 1988, pole sitter Rick Mears drove a yellow Pennzoil-sponsored car, No. 2 starter Danny Sullivan was a one-time winner of the Indianapolis 500, and No. 3 starter Al Unser was the defending winner of the “500.” This year, Scott McLaughlin drives a Pennzoil-sponsored car, No. 2 starter Will Power is a one-time winner of the Indianapolis 500, and No. 3 starter Josef Newgarden is the defending winner of the “500.”

Chevrolet-powered drivers earned the first eight starting spots this year. The last time one manufacturer earned as many of the top starting spots was 2013, when Chevy took the top 10 starting positions.

This is the 10th time car No. 3 has won the Indianapolis 500 pole. The last time was 2010 with Helio Castroneves of Team Penske. Car No. 1 has won the pole a record 13 times.

This is the second-fastest starting field in Indianapolis 500 history, with an average speed of 231.943 mph. The record of 232.184 mph was set last year.
This is the second-fastest front row in Indianapolis 500 history, with an average speed of 233.981 mph. The record of 234.181 mph was set last year.
Kyle Larson turned the fastest qualifying lap by a rookie in Indianapolis 500 history, 233.453 mph on the first lap of his Top 12 Qualifying attempt. The previous record was 233.297 by Benjamin Pedersen in 2023.

Kyle Larson recorded the second-fastest four-lap qualifying average by a rookie in Indianapolis 500 history, 232.846 mph. The record is 233.100 set by Tony Stewart in 1996.

There are eight former Indianapolis 500 winners in the starting field: Helio Castroneves (2001, 2002, 2009, 2021), Scott Dixon (2008), Ryan Hunter-Reay (2014), Alexander Rossi (2016), Takuma Sato (2017, 2020), Will Power (2018), Marcus Ericsson (2022) and Josef Newgarden (2023). Between them, they have 12 victories. The record for most former winners in the field is 10, in 1992. The fewest, other than the inaugural race in 1911, is zero in 1912.

There are six rookies in the field: Kyle Larson (starting fifth), Marcus Armstrong (16th), Kyffin Simpson (18th), Christian Rasmussen (24th), Tom Blomqvist (25th) and Linus Lundqvist (27th).

Other than the six rookies, Pietro Fittipaldi is the only driver in the field who didn’t start the race in 2023. Fittipaldi’s last start was in 2021.
Helio Castroneves is the most experienced driver in the field, with 23 previous Indianapolis 500 starts. The record is 35, set in consecutive years from 1958-1992 by A.J. Foyt.

Scott Dixon has led 665 career laps in the Indianapolis 500, the all-time event record. The only other driver in the field who has led more than 200 laps is Helio Castroneves (326).

The oldest driver in the starting field is Helio Castroneves, 49 years, 16 days on Race Day. The youngest driver is Kyffin Simpson, 19 years, 230 days. A.J. Foyt is the oldest driver to start the Indianapolis 500. He was 57 years, 128 days old when he made his last start in 1992. A.J. Foyt IV is the youngest driver to start the Indianapolis 500. His 19th birthday was on Race Day, 2003.

Helio Castroneves will be older on Race Day than Al Unser when he became the oldest winner of the Indianapolis 500 in 1987 at age 47 years, 360 days old.
Kyffin Simpson will be younger on Race Day than Troy Ruttman when he became the youngest winner of the Indianapolis 500 in 1952 at age 22 years, 80 days old.

Twenty different drivers in this year’s field have led a total of 2,279 laps in previous Indianapolis 500s.

There are a combined 222 previous Indianapolis 500 starts among the 33 drivers in this year’s field. The record is 260 years of experience, set in 1987 and 1992. There were 235 years of combined experience in last year’s field.

The most-experienced row in this year’s starting lineup is Row 7, with a combined 62 career starts (Marco Andretti 18, Helio Castroneves 23, Scott Dixon 21). The least-experienced rows are Rows 8 and 9, with two combined career starts (Row 8: Agustin Canapino 1, Sting Ray Robb 1, Christian Rasmussen 0; Row 9; Tom Blomqvist 0, Romain Grosjean 2, Linus Lundqvist 0).

There are seven former Indianapolis 500 Rookies of the Year in this year’s field. The record is nine, in 1991 and 2021.

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