Dixon takes Indianapolis 500 pole as fastest qualifier since 1996

The Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS — Scott Dixon had the fastest lap and the fastest four-lap qualifying average in 21 years Sunday to win his third Indianapolis 500 pole.

Dixon, driving for Chip Ganassi Racing, finished with a qualifying speed of 232.164 mph, the best since Arie Luyendyk’s track record of 236.986 in 1996. Dixon’s first lap of 232.595 was the fastest in the 21 years since Luyendyk set the record of 237.498.

“Seriously, I don’t know where that came from,” Dixon said after becoming the fifth three-time pole winner in race history. “It’s fast, really fast. I actually thought there was something wrong with my dash to start with, (I thought) ‘232? Wow!’ I knew that big lap, the first one, was going to be tough to beat.”

Ed Carpenter, a two-time pole winner, qualified second for next Sunday’s race at 231.664. Defending race winner Alexander Rossi will start on the outside of Row 1 after going 231.487.

Takuma Sato (231.365) will start from the inside of Row 2. Two-time Formula One champion Fernando Alonso (231.200) will start fifth.

Also on Sunday, Dale Coyne Racing announced that Sebastien Bourdais will likely miss the rest of the season after suffering multiple fractures in his pelvis and a fractured hip in qualifying Saturday. James Davison will replace Bourdais in the race.