Drivers follow unique maps for speed in qualifying

Speeding around the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the qualifying run for the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge looks pretty cool to the uninitiated. But the difficulty and danger are more challenging than most people think.

Qualifying is more than just riding 10 miles. With 34 cars competing for 33 spots in the starting field, one goes home on Sunday. Careers are made here, and missing the show can derail one’s progress.

Qualifying at Indianapolis is not for the faint of heart.

The challenge of qualifying begins the moment the car fires out of the pits for this weekend’s PPG-sponsored Armed Forces Qualifier.

A lot of confusion can happen in four rounds. The way drivers attack each lap is what makes them unique.

So which of them is the most important fold?

Lap 1: „Honestly, you have to keep the car a little bit spicy, so lap 1 and 2 you get a better average speed,” said Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing driver Pietro Fittipaldi.

Lap 2: „You can put a heater down on that first lap, but I feel like that drop-off after the first lap is really important,” said Ed Carpenter Racing driver Rinus Weike, who has three consecutive Indianapolis 500 front-row starts. „Usually you see the difference between second place on the second lap.” VeeKay was part of last year’s Indianapolis 500 record-setting time gap between the first two qualifiers (.0040 of a second) and the second-tightest speed limits in „500” history (.006 mph), 1-2. .

Lap 3: „I think laps 3 and 4 are tough,” said Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing driver Graham Rahal. „Laps 1 and 2 are tires. Even if you’re a little unbalanced, you win through (laps) 3 and 4, especially if you’re loose like I was qualifying for my first run last year. Yeah, it’s a little *h. Five times at the Indianapolis 500 NTT P1 Award-winning Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon echoed Rahal’s sentiments, saying laps 3 and 4 were crucial laps to get right.

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Lap 4: Arrow McLaren driver Pado O’Ward said the final lap was „very bad” from inside the car. „That last one is the most important because if you get a bad one, it’s going to destroy your average.” Three-time Indianapolis 500 pole sitter Ed Carpenter agreed. „What’s really unique about qualifying here is that it’s an average of four laps. The first two laps are always easier than the last two. I think my first two poles were the fastest single lap among the other guys on the front row. It all came down to that fourth lap, so it’s always fourth. Conor Daly of Trier & Reinbold Racing said the fourth lap has taken him from the fast 12th to 18th or 19th.

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