Sage Karam, Will Power, and Simona De Silvestro have filled the final row of the 105th Indianapolis 500. A.J. Foyt Racing’s Charlie Kimball in the No. 11 Chevy and Top Gun Racing’s RC Enerson in the No. 75 Chevy were bumped out of the field of 33.
Dreyer & Reinbold Racing’s Karam earned P31 in the No. 24 Chevy (229.156mph), with Power close behind in the No. 12 Chevy (228.876mph) and Paretta Autosport’s de Silvestro completing the grid in the No. 16 Chevy (228.353mph).
Of the five in the Last Chance Qualifying session, Power was the big surprise. Hitting the wall on his final lap with the right-rear wheel only added to the drama.
“It’s very nerve wracking,” Power said. “Even the run, halfway through, started going loose and having little moments everywhere, so just held onto it and walked it all the way to the wall — and hit the wall — and then just took a chance. Just over the moon — big relief, honestly, more than anything to get in the race.”
Karam was first to make his LCQ run, rolling out at 1:16 p.m. to produce a run of 229.156mph on a toasty track surface over 120F and an ambient of 82F.
Power was next, and his first lap was only 0.020mph faster than Karam’s first. Lap 2 was slower, as was Lap 3. Lap 4 was way down, almost 0.8mph, as his car slid high and brushed the exit wall at Turn 2, to achieve an average of 228.876mph.
De Silvestro was the third to qualify, and her first lap was slower than the first from Karam and Power by nearly 1.2mph. Once complete, her average was 228.353mph for P3.
Kimball met the track at 1:30 p.m. and finished his run in the order of those who went out, taking P4 with a 227.811mph average.
Enerson went out at 1:35 p.m. and completed the trend by earning P35 at 227.298mph.
With De Silvestro holding the line in P33, Karam and Power had no immediate need to withdraw their speeds and run again. Especially for Power, whose right-rear wheel was damaged in the hit and right-rear suspension was adversely modified against the wall with toe-out, which makes the back of the car want to turn hard.
A second run by Enerson as the session wound down to its last 15 minutes proved to be slower at 226.813mph. Kimball was next to take a shot at De Silvestro, but was slower as well, finishing with a 227.584mph, which brought an end to the session.