Carpenter Joins Elite Company

Posted: May 19, 2014 in Uncategorized

May 18, 2014Walt Kuhn

By: Jeff Majeske 

Special Correspondent to 

Before jumping into today’s topic, a quick thank you and an apology.

First, thank you for reading my articles over the past two days when I was trackside. I had a lot of fun doing them, and I hope you found them informative, interesting or entertaining. (Hopefully all three at once.)

Sorry for not being out at the track on Sunday, but I had to get back to Michigan and get back to my day job.

Looking back at my Fast Nine predictions, I got six of the nine (missing badly on the Ganassi boys). I picked Helio Castroneves for the pole (wound up fourth) and had Ed Carpenter second.

After a rocky start to his Indy career (lots of crashes), Carpenter has settled down and found the fast way around the Brickyard. Only 10 others drivers have won the pole back to back for the Indianapolis 500. They are:

Ralph DePalma, 1920-21

Rex Mays, 1935-36 (these were 10-lap runs)

Eddie Sachs, 1960-61

Parnelli Jones, 1962-63

Mario Andretti, 1966-67

A.J. Foyt, 1974-75

Tom Sneva, 1977-78

Rick Mears, 1988-89

Scott Brayton, 1995-96

Helio Castroneves, 2009-10

Some pretty impressive company, to say the least, with some true legends on that list.

Only Mays, Sachs and Brayton never won the 500. Mays was runner-up in consecutive years (1940-41) while Sachs was second in 1961. Brayton’s best finish was sixth (twice).

Carpenter’s win in 2012 at Fontana suggests he could win at Indianapolis as well. His best finish is fifth in 2008. Like Tony Kanaan’s last year, it would be a popular victory.

Photo credit: Walter Kuhn/Indianapolis Motor Speedway

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