Driver and car owner Ed Carpenter secured the top spot in Indianapolis 500 qualifying Sunday, clocking an average speed of more than 229 miles-per-hour.
Thirty-three drivers took to the track, but Carpenter was the only one who managed to clock a lap speed of 230.088 mph. Carpenter not only had the fastest single lap time, but managed to keep his speeds fast enough to win the front starting spot for race day.
Carpenter is one of a small number of drivers that has won Pole Day three times (2013, 2014 and 2018), though he’s only ever cracked the top five in race finish order once at the Brickyard. He says he is proud to be on the pole, but doesn’t want to just be known as the guy who does well in qualifying.
“I truly am focused on the race which we always are,” Carpenter says. “I just keep getting in the situation where my team gives me fast cars and when you’re in the position to go compete for polls it’s hard to not do it.”
Carpenter is not only a driver, but also the owner of his own Speedway, Indiana-based racing team, Ed Carpenter Racing. The team made its mark Sunday when all three drivers were in the Fast Nine shootout and competed for the top spot. Carpenter’s teammates Spencer Pigot and Danica Patrick will start sixth and seventh, respectively. In his media conference, an all-smiles Carpenter says he’s proud of those results.
“It’s one thing to build a fast car here, it’s a whole other thing to build three fast cars, especially one of them not being a full-time crew," Carpenter says. "It’s all you can ask for as a driver and a team owner. Really blessed to have great people in our organization.”
Carpenter is no new face to the speedway and the Hoosier state, having been here long enough to build a fan base that was heard Sunday while he raced on the track.
“I love this town and my wife, Heather, and I try to do as much as we can in the community,” Carpenter says. “We love this community and love being a part of it. So it’s nice to feel the support for us during the month of May and having the town behind us.”
The 102nd Indy 500 is slated for Sunday.