Indianapolis, IN – May 22, 2016 – Schmidt Peterson Motorsports (SPM) driver James Hinchcliffe earned the coveted Pole Position for the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race on Sunday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
During the first day of qualifications, Hinchcliffe topped the charts in his No. 5 Arrow Electronics car with a four-lap qualifying average of 230.946, giving him the final run in the “Fast Nine Shootout.” On Sunday, the Canadian fan favorite’s four-lap qualifying average of 230.760 was just 0.6 seconds faster than the second-place spot.
“This is just so huge for the Schmidt Peterson Motorsports team,” said Hinchcliffe. “To have all three cars in the top ten, no other team can say that. SPM did it. They did their homework.
“The Arrow Electronics car was just killer. It was fast, but it was consistent. Josef [Newgarden] had the quicker lap time but we had the consistency over the four laps. The Honda power was incredible too. It’s just crazy to think about where we were a year ago, and now my first-ever pole comes at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, a year out from what happened last year, in the 100th running of the biggest race in history.
“To get the Verizon Pole Award here, it’s just so special. I’ve come close twice, I’ve been second twice, been robbed. That’s what I was just joking about with Josef. I know how he felt and I kind of felt bad, but not that bad. I was okay with it. I’m just really happy for the Arrow boys and all the SPM teams.”
All three SPM drivers will start in the top ten for the Greatest Spectacle in Racing.
Teammate Mikhail Aleshin, in the No. 7 DOOM/SMP Racing, will start the race in seventh, on the inside of row three, after his four-lap average of 229.562.
In SPM’s third entry, Oriol Servia earned the top spot for the qualifying group outside of the Fast Nine. His four-lap average of 229.060 earned him a tenth-place spot on the starting grid. He will start on the inside of row four.
One week from today is the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race. The Greatest Spectacle in Racing will take place on Sunday, May 29. The Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires will compete in the Freedom 100 on Friday, May 27. Fans can get more information at IndianapolisMotorSpeedway.com or catch all the action live on ABC starting at 11 a.m. ET.