Hinchcliffe fastest in Indy on Saturday
INDIANAPOLIS – The bedlam at the close of first-day qualifying for the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil was exemplified by Mikhail Aleshin, who left pit lane for his third attempt of the day precisely one second before the end of the session.
Aleshin made the last of his nail-biting four laps around Indianapolis Motor Speedway count, bumping the No. 7 SMP Racing Schmidt Peterson Honda back into the top nine for the third time. Aleshin’s run today climaxed a frenetic final 90 minutes of qualifying that saw the fast nine change eight times.
The significance is that those nine drivers – James Hinchcliffe, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Will Power, Helio Castroneves, Townsend Bell, Josef Newgarden, Carlos Munoz, Simon Pagenaud and Alsehin – advance to Sunday’s Fast Nine Shootout to compete for the pole position for the epic race May 29.