INDIANOPOLIS (AP) – Scott Dixon used an exciting run of over 234 miles per hour to publish the fastest 500-pole run in history in Indianapolis. The New Zealander for the fifth time in his career will lead the field to the green in the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing”.
Considered the best driver of his generation, Dixon made four laps on Sunday averaging 234.046 miles per hour around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. His average broke the record of Scott Brighton, who won the pole in 1996 at 233.718 miles per hour.
Arie Luendyk holds a qualifying record for four laps of 236.986 miles per hour, also set in 1996, but not in the pole race. This means that Dixon’s qualifying race was the second fastest in 106 races of the most prestigious race in the world.
Dixon’s first lap accelerated to 234,437 miles per hour and caused a roar of fans. His second lap was 234,162, and Emma’s wife leaned over the box in amazement, covering her mouth with her hands. Dixon’s outing from there was minor: his fourth and final lap was 233,726, as his stability brought Chip Ganassi Racing the seventh pole in India 500.
Dixon also kicked off the pole in 2008 when he scored his only win in the Indy 500, as well as in 2015, 2017 and last year.
“That’s what this place, the ups and downs you have in just one day, is crazy about,” Dixon said. His hands were shaking after the first run on Sunday.
Ganassi advanced all five of his riders to a two-level qualifying shoot to determine the starting order for the first three rows of the race next week. Seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmy Johnson needed a massive save in the first turn of his first lap and didn’t make it to the 1/8 finals.
But Dixon did it along with three of his other teammates working for Honda. This made Dixon, reigning IndyCar champion Alex Palu, Marcus Erickson and Tony Canaan in the “Fast Six” shootout against Chevrolet teammates Ed Carpenter and Rinus Vikey.
“That’s what real competitors want, that’s what real competitors want,” Ganassi said before the session. “This is a moment created for champions.”
VeeKay on Saturday released the third-fastest qualifying race in track history, but that wasn’t enough for Dixon’s big and big laps. Palau, who averaged 233,499, qualified second with his teammate, and VeeKay was third with 233,385.
Carpenter was fourth, followed by Eriksson and Canaan, who with a score of 232,372 was the slowest in the final six shots. But even the slowest cars have been flying around India, which has not seen such speeds since 1996.
The Canaan circuit would be the eighth fastest qualifying race in the record books recorded before the riders rewrote history this weekend.
Scott Dixon of New Zealand celebrates winning the pole during qualifying for the Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday.