February 4, 2023
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2022 Indianapolis 500 qualifying, starting grid: Scott Dixon captures fifth career pole with track record

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Scott Dixon saved his best for last and put the youth movement on pause Sunday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, running a four-lap average of 234.046 mph to win the pole for the 106th Indianapolis 500 on May 29. It is the fifth Indy 500 pole for Dixon, 41, who also started from the top spot on the grid in 2021, 2017, 2015 and 2008 — when he won the race.

Sharing the front row with the New Zealander will be his Chip Ganassi Racing teammate, defending series champion Alex Palou, 25, and Rinus VeeKay, 21, of Ed Carpenter Racing.

Going out first in the Fast 12 segment, Dixon proved quickest as the field down was whittled down to the top six fastest who would go for the pole, and he was able to make the subtle adjustments needed to stay ahead of the changing track conditions to stay fastest in the final group, where he was the final driver to make an attempt.

Consistency is key at the Brickyard, where the average of four laps is taken, and the veteran displayed the quiet, quick hands and cool demeanor that he is known for on his way to setting the fastest four-lap average in Indy 500 qualifying history, breaking Scott Brayton’s mark of 233.718 from 1996.

“From the first run to the second, I knew it was going to get easier because of the weather conditions,” Dixon said, “and the weather held up. It’s a privilege to be on the pole, but it don’t feel as good as I felt when I won in 2008. All 32 drivers want that feeling. Some of us have felt it before, and it just makes you want to feel that again.

“It’s all about winning the 500, man. Winning the pole does give you confidence, but it’s no guarantee of anything. You just keep knocking on that door, and I hope it opens up for me this year.”

Before Dixon’s run, Palou was looking pretty comfortable at the front after his 233.499 mph when VeeKay’s 233.385 failed to bump him from the top spot. 

It was a successful day for Chip Ganassi Racing, who not only took the top two spots on the grid with Dixon and Palou, but have all five of their cars starting in the top 12 with Marcus Ericsson fifth quickest overall, Tony Kanaan sixth and Jimmie Johnson 12th.

“I wish they were just there to back me up,” Dixon cracked when asked if he felt more comfortable with so many teammates around him. “I’m pretty sure Alex will be trying to pass me at the start.”

It was also a return to form for Honda, who powered seven of the top 12 fastest cars and four of the top six.

Starting grid for the 106th Indianapolis 500

  1. Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing, Honda, 234.046 mph four-lap average
  2. Alex Palou, Chip Ganassi Racing, Honda, 233.499
  3. Rinus VeeKay, Ed Carpenter Racing, Chevrolet, 233.385
  4. Ed Carpenter, Ed Carpenter Racing, Chevrolet, 233.08
  5. Marcus Ericsson, Chip Ganassi Racing, Honda, 232.764
  6. Tony Kanaan, Chip Ganassi Racing, Honda, 232.372
  7. Pato O’Ward, Arrow McLaren SP, Chevrolet, 232.705
  8. Felix Rosenqvist, Arrow McLaren SP, Chevrolet, 232.182
  9. Romain Grosjean, Andretti Autosport, Honda, 231.999
  10. Takuma Sato, Dale Coyne Racing with RWR, Honda, 231.67
  11. Will Power, Team Penske, Chevrolet, 231.534
  12. Jimmie Johnson, Chip Ganassi Racing, Honda, 231.264
  13. David Malukas, Dale Coyne Racing with HMD Motorsports, Honda, 231.607
  14. Josef Newgarden, Team Penske, Chevrolet, 231.58
  15. Santino Ferrucci, Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, Chevrolet, 231.508
  16. Simon Pagenaud, Meyer Shank Racing, Honda, 231.275
  17. J.R. Hildebrand, A.J. Foyt Enterprises, Chevrolet, 231.112
  18. Conor Daly, Ed Carpenter Racing, Chevrolet, 230.999
  19. Callum Ilott, Juncos Hollinger Racing, Chevrolet, 230.961
  20. Alexander Rossi, Andretti Autosport, Honda, 230.812
  21. Graham Rahal, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, Honda, 230.766
  22. Sage Karam, Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, Chevrolet, 230.464
  23. Marco Andretti, Andretti Herta Autosport w/Marco and Curb-Agajanian, 230.345
  24. Devlin DeFrancesco, Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport, Honda, 230.326
  25. Colton Herta, Andretti Autosport with Curb-Agajanian, Honda, 230.235
  26. Scott McLaughlin, Team Penske, Chevrolet, 230.154
  27. Helio Castroneves, Meyer Shank Racing, Honda, 229.63
  28. Kyle Kirkwood, A.J. Foyt Enterprises, Chevrolet, 229.406
  29. Dalton Kellett, A.J. Foyt Enterprises, Chevrolet, 228.916
  30. Juan Pablo Montoya – #6, Arrow McLaren SP, Chevrolet, 228.622
  31. Christian Lundgaard, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, Honda, 227.053
  32. Jack Harvey, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, Honda, 226.851
  33. Stefan Wilson, DragonSpeed/Cusick Motorsports, Chevrolet, no attempts

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