New York: Saturday, June 05, 2021
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Scott Dixon slams brakes on youth movement with Indy 500 pole

INDIANAPOLIS — Scott Dixon noticed his crew tinkering with his race automobile however requested no questions. When his three teammates made their Indianapolis 500 qualifying makes an attempt, he didn’t wish to hear their suggestions.

The six-time IndyAutomobile champion and biggest driver of his technology wished to be left alone to organize for his personal gutsy run round Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Two of IndyAutomobile’s budding younger stars sat atop the leaderboard in Sunday qualifying and “The Iceman” was decided to push them apart.

Dixon did simply that and slammed the brakes on IndyAutomobile’s present youth movement by profitable his fourth Indianapolis 500 pole by a mere 0.03 seconds, or roughly six toes over the 10-mile qualifying run.

“It was pretty hairy, glad it’s over. It was definitely pretty tense,” Dixon mentioned. “I could see the mechanics working on the car as we rolled through, adjusting the wings. I asked them not to tell me. It’s definitely a roller coaster of emotions for everybody and I’m actually really relieved that that’s all over.”

Dixon was the ultimate driver on the monitor within the Fast Nine portion of qualifying that units the primary three rows for subsequent Sunday’s race. Chip Ganassi Racing has been constantly robust all week at Indy and all 4 of its automobiles have been a part of the Fast Nine competing for the pole.

The Ganassi group appreciated its possibilities and Dixon was snug going out final. But then Rinus VeeKay and Ed Carpenter, the one two Chevrolet drivers competing towards seven Honda groups within the Fast Nine, posted a pair of monster laps and VeeKay landed a spot on the entrance row.

Next got here Colton Herta, the 21-year-old American who simply final week earned a contract extension at Andretti Autosport. Herta held it vast open to bump VeeKay, the 20-year-old Dutchman who final week scored his first profession IndyAutomobile win, from the pole.

Dixon, the 2008 Indy 500 winner who additionally has three runner-up finishes that features final 12 months’s race, instantly wished it wasn’t as much as him to beat the children.

“I’d prefer going last, for sure. But then I didn’t after I saw the ECR and Herta runs. I was definitely pretty nervous,” Dixon mentioned. “You’re simply attempting to remain as calm as attainable. For me, I feel in all probability for all of us, one of the best state of affairs for us is definitely simply being within the automobile and doing what we actually take pleasure in, what we love.

“The nerves are all about just that competition level is just through the roof right now.”

Dixon‘s average four-lap speed of 231.685 mph knocked Herta to second after Herta’s 231.665 put him on high of the leaderboard for roughly 10 minutes. VeeKay at 231.511 earned the ultimate spot on the entrance row.

Dixon turns 41 in July — the mixed age of the 2 drivers beginning subsequent to him within the Indy 500.

“It’s a whole new generation,” VeeKay mentioned.

Herta, who’s quickly turning into a star within the sequence, didn’t complain about being bumped by Dixon.

“I just can’t wait for next Sunday, we’ve got a good race car,” Herta mentioned. “Second place is not too bad of a place to start.”

Honda rolled into the Fast Nine qualifying session with seven drivers in comparison with two for rival Chevrolet. But the Chevy energy appears simply high quality as VeeKay and crew proprietor Carpenter certified third and fourth and sat atop the leaderboard till Herta and Dixon made the ultimate two runs of the day.

Lining up subsequent to Carpenter on the second row might be Tony Kanaan, at 46 the oldest driver within the area, and Alex Palou. Kanaan and Palou are Dixon‘s teammates at Ganassi, as is Marcus Ericsson, who certified ninth.

Ryan Hunter-Reay for Andretti was seventh and Helio Castroneves eighth for Meyer Shank Racing.

“If I was a fan, I’d be really excited with that Fast Nine qualifying. Guys just kept going faster every single run,” mentioned Herta, who then muttered a curse phrase when he realized his beginning place earned him an 8 a.m. Monday photograph sho-ot for the front-row qualifiers.

The first three rows account for six Indy 500 wins and eight sequence championships amongst 4 drivers — proving veteran expertise nonetheless issues at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

“It’s very weird that the guy starting ahead of me was wearing diapers when I started my first Indy 500,” Kanaan mentioned of VeeKay, who turns into the youngest front-row starter in 105 runnings of the race.

In a 75-minute shootout for the ultimate three spots within the area held proper earlier than the Fast Nine session, Sage Karam, Will Power and Simona de Silvestro made the race. Charlie Kimball and R.C. Enerson have been knocked from the 33-car area.

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