Castroneves fastest on Carb Day as another Honda engine goes

Honda has suffered multiple engine failures in the lead-up to this year's 500.

Scott Dixon, the 2008 victor, grabbed pole position last weekend on a Sunday full of drama that began with him taking P1 and ended with a gun pointed to his head during a robbery while he was buying fast food at at a drive thru restaurant.

Like almost everyone else in the Team Penske stable, Castroneves has been fighting to find speed ever since road-course setups used during the Grand Prix of Indianapolis were kicked aside and practice on the big oval began. It was his first victory on the circuit since the 2015 season at Kentucky, a span of 14 races without a win.

"So, (I'm) lacking experience, for sure, because it's my first time in everything that's going to happen - the rolling starts and (pit) stops - all these things", Alonso said.

Neither did anyone else in The Captain's ship. Still, starting middle of the front row isn't the worst thing in the world, and Carpenter is as savvy a guy as there is when it comes to getting around Indianapolis, and he's among the favourites for Sunday.

"It's been brutal, no way to sugarcoat it", said Howard about his past at Indianapolis. "It's what makes this place legendary". Newgarden qualified 22nd in the 33-car field, and one of his teammates, three-time Indy 500 victor Helio Castroneves, qualified 19th. Eight more failed at Phoenix.

Yet the hottest team has suddenly cooled off.

"Obviously, I would love to race every week if we can", he said.

Several Penske drivers pointed their fingers at Chevrolet, which has spent the past couple weeks chasing Honda around the Brickyard. The Chevy's don't seem to have the raw pace, but they seem to have reliability.

The New Zealander had the fastest qualifying effort in 21 years to win the pole, and he'd like to drink the victor's milk for the second time.

When Penske announced last October that Newgarden was joining his team, he said that "when you look at the top talent in the series, both from a driving and commercial perspective, Josef is near the top of the list". We'll take it with a grain of salt. "I think it has to happen in the spur in the moment".

"With any Penske plan", Team Penske president Tim Cindric said, "it evolves over time".

One of his team-mates is also making his Indy 500 debut but for Britain's Jack Harvey just taking to the track alongside his childhood hero is the stuff of dreams. Foyt has been a presence since the 1950s, winning four times before becoming a team owner, and Penske has been coming since the '60s, reaching victory lane 16 times with his venerable team.

Perhaps more noteworthy, the team has won from everywhere on the starting grid. Such was the case two years ago as he held a firm grasp of the lead until bad luck struck late when his vehicle collected a stray chip bag that had floated onto the track and derailed his chances.

"The big difference is the engine. So we are hoping for small incremental improvements over the course of the season and do the best with what we have".

But he has never been one for his focus swaying too much from the here and now. "You don't want to have any surprises on Carb Day because all the work you've done in the last week, this is the result".

While Dixon was in Toronto to promote the Indianapolis 500, the July race right here is also on his mind.

For many race fans the voice of Paul Page is associated indelibly with the Indianapolis 500.

There was only one incident during Friday's final tune-up.

"Sometimes even ignorance is bliss at this race", said Andretti.

Montoya has been flying under the radar this month in Indianapolis, and that's much different than previous years. A year ago he snuck up on everyone to win the 100th running by using remarkable strategy and the ability to save fuel like it was going out of fashion, but this year Rossi's been at or near the top of the charts all month. "There are years you think you shouldn't and you do".

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