18 May 2015

Dixon takes pole for Indy 500

10:55 am on 18 May 2015

The New Zealand Indy Car driver Scott Dixon has taken pole position for next Monday's 99th running of the Indianapolis 500 in the United States.

The New Zealand Indy Car driver Scott Dixon with his wife Emma.

The New Zealand Indy Car driver Scott Dixon with his wife Emma. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Dixon, a three-time Indy Car Series champion, won the 2008 Indy 500 from the pole and has five top-five finishes in his 12 "500" starts.

Dixon's 22nd career pole broke a tie with Gil de Ferran for 13th on the Indy Car list.

"We're starting in the right place but it's still a long race."

"Hopefully, we can replicate what we did in 2008," said Dixon, who won $134,000 for qualifying fastest.

"We're starting on pole for the Indianapolis 500 and now we just have to finish first."

Dixon, driving the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi car, recorded a four-lap average speed of 226.760 mph on the 2.5-mile oval and will lead the 33-car field to the green flag in the 200-lap race.

Reigning Indy Car Series champion Will Power (226.350 mph) and Team Penske teammate Simon Pagenaud (226.145 mph) qualified for their initial front-row starts under a revised format prompted by a lengthy delay for track repairs following a crash involving CFH Racing driver Ed Carpenter during a morning practice session.

The scheduled two-day, multi-tier qualifying format was altered by rain yesterday after only two of the 34 entries made qualifying runs.

The scheduled "Fast Nine Shootout," in which the top entries were slated to return to the track after their initial qualifying attempts for a single four-lap run was cancelled.

Instead, each entry took one qualifying attempt to lock in positions 1-30.

Positions 31-33, contested among four drivers, were determined in a separate session.