Rinus VeeKay Leads First Day of Qualifications for Indianapolis 500; Advances to Sunday

By Christian Koelle, Staff Writer

Ed Carpenter Racing’s Rinus VeeKay led the way in Saturday’s qualifying session at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. VeeKay, the winner of the 2021 GMR Grand Prix on the Indianapolis Road Course, has two starts in the Indianapolis 500 with the best start of third last season. By leading the way Saturday, VeeKay will battle with 12 others for the pole position on Sunday. 

Pato O’Ward, Felix Rosenqvist, Alex Palou, Tony Kanaan, Jimmie Johnson, Ed Carpenter, Marcus Ericsson, Romain Grosjean, Scott Dixon, Will Power, and Takuma Sato will join VeeKay in the top-12 to run for the pole Sunday.

Power is the sole Team Penske driver that’ll run on Sunday as both Josef Newgarden and Scott McLaughlin qualified outside the top-12. Both drivers moved into the fast lane to attempt another run with McLaughlin successfully making another run but relegating him to 26th. Newgarden was saved by Zeus as many said as he began his reset lap when lightning halted on-track action and his lap was given back to him.

Other notables outside the top-12 include Alexander Rossi (20th), Graham Rahal (21st), defending Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves (27th), and Juan Pablo Montoya (30th). 

Colton Herta’s team had to change engines but was able to make a lap. He will start next Sunday’s Indy 500 in the 25th position. Stefan Wilson also had to change engines but they weren’t able to get him out to make a qualifying run.

Top-12 qualifications for next Sunday’s Indianapolis 500 will be shown live on NBC tomorrow, May 22nd, starting at 3 p.m. ET. Firestone Fast Six will follow and will also be shown live on NBC as 12 drivers chase the pole and set the remainder of the starting lineup. 

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