Rookie Zach Veach was the first car on the track. He did not turn a time on Saturday, putting his AJ Foyt Racing car at the beginning of the queue. Veach unfortunately did not advance, ending the day dead last. The only car that will start after him is the #19 car of Bourdais, driven by James Davison. Davison will be driving Bourdais’ road course car, converted to oval trim, though without the weeks of preparation described in our opener.
Pippa Mann ensures that 2017 marks the 25th consecutive year a woman has started in the Indy 500. 2017 also marks 40 years since Janet Guthrie became the first woman to ever qualify for Indianapolis. 2017 marks Pippa’s 7th Indy 500 attempt. She will start 28th in the field.
Buddy Lazier may be 49th, but the winner of the 1996 Indy 500 is still going for it. Last year, his Lazier Family Racing car was a bit of a mess. The car only had one set of wings, which were damaged in Friday practice. Duct tape and sheet metal screws had to hold them together for qualifying and the race, and he was the slowest car on the grid. He spent 30 laps of the 2016 500 in the pits with a bad throttle, and once he finally got going, dropped out after his second pitstop when a wheel fell off the car. 2017 has been tough, with the Lazier car only making its way onto the track for Fast Friday. On Sunday though, he placed his Chevy powered car 30th on the grid. Not bad for an old timer!
Colombian driver, Sebastian Saavedra, puts his Juncos Racing entry through its paces. Considering it has been two years since he was a full-time driver, and with a brand new car and team, placing himself in 31st is an expected result. His Juncos teammate, Pigot, starts slightly better in 29th. Juncos is happy to be at the 500, but he will be expecting better results in the race. Juncos has won races and championships in every other step of the MRTI ladder and one day hopes to do the same in IndyCar.
Moving on up the field, we get to some real surprises. Simon Pagenaud has had some great results in the Indy GP, but the Indy oval has always been a bit of a trouble spot for him. He’s never finished better than 10th and has only started on the front row once. While he is leading the points championship, Simon will be starting Indy in a lowly 23rd, the worst of the Penskes.
Does this young Pagenaud fan care Simon is starting in 23rd? Nope!