Dixon takes 3rd Indy pole with fastest speeds in 21 years

Carpenter takes top spot in crash-marred Indy 500 qualifying

Chip Ganassi Racing driver Scott Dixon claimed his 26th Indy vehicle pole today in thrilling fashion, posting a four-lap average of 232.164 miles per hour to earn the Verizon P1 Award and pole position for the 101st Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil. It says much about the present plight of McLaren that the decision to skip Formula One's blue riband event was taken without a blinking.

"I thought maybe the dash had broken on the steering wheel and brought up a fake number", Dixon said. "So thanks to the teamwork, I was able to go out". Everything is very adjustable, and they push to the limit, as we've seen throughout the year, and it's a fun environment to be involved with. I don't know whether it's because I'm getting older and emotion is becoming stronger, but it's definitely tough.

For a few minutes, Alonso was on top of the IndyCar world.

Carpenter topped Japan's Takuma Sato and New Zealand's Scott Dixon to lead qualifiers.

He will hope to capture his second Indy 500 victory after winning the race in 2008 when he also had pole position.

The two-time F1 world champion clocked an impressive 231.300mph to secure the fifth place on the grid, with New Zealander Scott Dixon taking pole with an average speed of 232.164mph. "So tomorrow I will try to do better and find more speed".

It could have been even better, too, Alonso citing an engine issue for a slowing in pace toward the end of qualifying.

"I didn't actually appreciate it until I retired ... my job before that was to completely block all that out so to actually enjoy it was something incredible".

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But even with one of IndyCar's best career drivers leading the way, there are no sure things at Indy.

Then came a rain delay that pushed the start of qualifying from late morning to the hottest part of the afternoon and forced the first drivers in qualifying line to make their only allowed attempt on a hot surface that lacked the grip needed to contend for the pole speeds. He finished eighth a year ago and fourth in 2015.

Will Power has won poles at all three odd-numbered IndyCar races this season.

Carpenter, a two-time Indy pole victor, will start from the inside of the front row after going 231.664.

Rossi's four-lap average was 231.487 miles per hour in his Andretti Autosport Honda and it put him on the outside of the front row of the starting grid. Due to missing qualifying, Davison will be the thirty-third and final starter. At one point, when two other drivers tried to make it three wide in a first turn Alonso had previously described as narrow, he backed out. Power was slowest in the Fast Nine Shootout and starts on the outside of Row 3.

Rounding out the top nine qualifiers were JR Hildebrand (No. 21 Preferred Freezer Service Ed Carpenter Chevrolet) in sixth, 2013 Indy 500 victor Tony Kanaan (No. 10 NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) seventh and Will Power (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet) ninth.

The Frenchman's first two laps in yesterday's qualifying were nearly 1mph faster than Dixon's at that time.