|Can Will Power add a third Grand Prix of Indianapolis victory to his résumé?|
Robert Wickens will start in second position in his Grand Prix of Indianapolis debut. He missed pole position by 0.0870 seconds. This is Wickens' second career front row start after he won pole position on debut at St. Petersburg. This is only the second time a Honda has started on the front row for the Grand Prix of Indianapolis. Jack Hawksworth started second for the inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis driving the #98 Honda for Bryan Herta Autosport. Wickens won at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Formula BMW USA in 2006. The other two drivers on the podium that day were Stefano Coletti and Simona de Silvestro. Coletti would win the second Formula BMW USA race the next day with Wickens in second and de Silvestro in third.
Sébastien Bourdais will start the Grand Prix of Indianapolis from third position. This is Bourdais' best career start in the Grand Prix of Indianapolis but he has started in the top ten in all five editions of this race. James Hinchcliffe rounds out row two. This is the first time Hinchcliffe has started a season with five consecutive top ten starts. He is looking to start a season with five consecutive top ten finishes for the first time since his sophomore season in 2012. Jordan King will start fifth in his Grand Prix of Indianapolis debut despite brake issues nearly kept him from participating in the qualifying session. This is the first time an Ed Carpenter Racing car has started in the top five for the Grand Prix of Indianapolis. Josef Newgarden rounded out the top six. Newgarden has never finished in the top ten in the Grand Prix of Indianapolis. Excluding Portland, it is the only track on the IndyCar schedule that Newgarden has not had a top ten finish.
Simon Pagenaud starts seventh, matching his career worst starting position in this race. He started seventh last year but finished fourth. Pagenaud has never finished on the podium from seventh on the grid but he has finished fourth four times in his previous eight starts from seventh on the grid. Alexander Rossi joins Pagenaud on row four. This is the second consecutive race Rossi has started in eighth position and it his career best starting position for the Grand Prix of Indianapolis. He finished eighth in last year's race, his career best finish in the event. Spencer Pigot will start a career best ninth. Pigot's previous career best starting position was 13th. This is the first time Ed Carpenter Racing has had two cars starting in the top ten for a road/street course since Mid-Ohio 2015. Hélio Castroneves makes his IndyCar return from tenth on the grid. It matches his worst starting position in the Grand Prix of Indianapolis. He finished third after starting tenth in the inaugural race.
Takuma Sato and Tony Kanaan will start on row six. This is Sato's career best starting position in this race while Kanaan will start 12th, matching his career worst finish in this race after he started 12th last year. Neither driver has led a lap nor finished in the top five for this race. Sato is responsible for the two top ten finishes A.J. Foyt Racing has had in this race. Kanaan won from 12th position in the 2013 Indianapolis 500. Ryan Hunter-Reay and Marco Andretti will start on an all-Andretti Autosport row seven after both drivers missed out on advancing to round two by a fraction of a second. Despite the result, this is only Hunter-Reay's third-worst and third-best qualifying effort for the Grand Prix of Indianapolis. Hunter-Reay won from 13th on the grid at Iowa in 2014. This is also Andretti's third-worst and third-best qualifying effort for the race. In 13 starts from 14th on the grid, Andretti has only finished in the top ten four times.
Former Carlin Indy Lights teammates Ed Jones and Max Chilton will start on row eight. These are their worst starting positions for this race. All six of Jones' top ten finishes have come after he started outside the top ten while three of Chilton's eight top ten finishes have come after he started outside the top ten. Graham Rahal will start 17th. This is Rahal's fourth start outside the top ten in the first five races of the season. Rahal has three consecutive top ten finishes in this race and he has started outside the top ten in all three races. He finished second in the 2015 race from 17th on the grid. Scott Dixon joins his former Ganassi teammate on row nine. His previous worst starting position for this race was seventh. This is the first time Dixon has started outside the top fifteen multiple times in the first five races of the season since 2013 when he started outside the top fifteen three times. He would go on to win the championship that year.
IndyCar history will be made in this race as for the first time in IndyCar history two drivers named Zach will start on the same row. Zachary Claman De Melo and Zach Veach will share row ten. Claman De Melo is looking to improve his career best finish of 17th in his fifth career start. This is the first time Claman De Melo has qualified ahead of Veach. Veach has finished ahead of Claman De Melo in all three races they have started together. In 18 starts together in Indy Lights, Veach finished ahead of Claman De Melo in 16 of 18 races. Matheus Leist makes it three consecutive rookies on the grid. The Brazilian will start 21st for the second consecutive race. The best finish for the 21st starter in the Grand Prix of Indianapolis was 13th by Carlos Muñoz in 2015. Gabby Chaves rounds out row eleven. This is Chaves' worst starting position of the season. He finished 15th and 17th in his two Grand Prix of Indianapolis starts in 2015 and 2016 respectively.
Charlie Kimball will start 23rd in the #23 Chevrolet. He finished 23rd at Barber two weeks ago after he was spun in the race by Ed Jones. This is the fourth time in five races Kimball has started outside the top twenty. Kyle Kaiser rounds out the grid in 24th. Juncos Racing has started in one of the bottom two positions in every road/street course race this season. Kimball and Kaiser started on row twelve at Long Beach.
ABC's coverage of the Grand Prix of Indianapolis begins at 3:30 p.m. ET with green flag scheduled for 3:50 p.m. ET. The race is scheduled for 85 laps.