Justin Wilson and his Andretti Autosport team led the way for Honda Sunday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in abbreviated qualifying for next weekend’s Indianapolis 500. The veteran posted the sixth-fastest average speed over his four-lap qualifying run, and will start next weekend’s “500” from the outside of the second row.
Rain on Saturday forced the cancellation of scheduled first-round qualifying, while a crash in the Sunday morning practice session for the Chevrolet of Ed Carpenter – the third time in the past week a Chevrolet IndyCar had spun and then flipped at Indianapolis – led to a decision by race officials to mandate that all teams reduce turbocharger boost pressure and make additional aerodynamic changes to the rear bodywork, impacting the qualifying efforts of all Honda teams.
Delays for the implementation of these changes, plus the addition of a second, 30-minute practice, resulted in a single qualifying session to set the first 30 starting positions, followed by a second session to set the final row of the 33-car starting field.
Two more Andretti Autosport drivers, Marco Andretti and Carlos Munoz, posted the eighth and 11th-fastest qualifying runs today, while Gabby Chaves posted the fastest qualifying run by an Indy rookie and will start 29th.
Verizon IndyCar Series activities continue on Monday with a practice session to aid teams in making pre-race preparations, followed by the traditional “Carb Day” final practice on Friday, May 22. Next weekend’s 99th running of the Indianapolis 500 takes place on Sunday, May 24, with live television coverage starting at 11 a.m. EDT on ABC.
Justin Wilson (#25 Andretti Autosport Honda) qualified 6th for the Indianapolis 500: “I was pushing really hard and it felt pretty good. It was a little bit tense the last couple of days, but it’s always nice to get out and run on your own with no one else on track; there is always more grip. Andretti Autosport is a very professional team; they just worked through all the decisions that were made today and gave me a great race car. I just have to thank everyone there who has worked so hard the last few months to put this deal together. It was a difficult decision that was made for all the teams and when something like that happens, you have to react. I also want to thank everyone at Honda for letting me have the opportunity to be here. I’m hoping today’s qualifying run is a good omen going into next weekend. We’ll see how it all works out; and I’m looking forward to bringing a decent result home.”