There is a lot of drama leading up to any Indy 500 race for weeks in advance. But it all comes down to how the racecars fare on the grid, with the Fast 6 finally determining who gets the pole position. Every year the track times are really tight, and this year was no exception. 2022 pole winner Scott Dixon, who won the race in 2008 and has been on the pole four times before, snagged it with the highest recorded lap for pole position in the history of the Speedway.
Speeds for 2022 Indy 500 qualifying hit 243+ mph
Lap times are slowly ramping up, which poses a problem for the Indycar racers, and the show in general. Things start getting intense when the race cars fly around the track at over 240 mph, which was common for the Fast 6 qualifiers on Sunday. On Fast Friday, Ed Carpenter Racing’s Conor Daly hit 243.724, aided by the 41 mph wind gusts. That potential for wind also poses scary scenarios for racers.
“Nothing prepares you for going into Turn 3 at 240 mph, Team Penske driver Scott McLaughlin told NBC News. “It’s not very pleasant for anyone.” Luckily, those winds were not around by Saturday.
Who starts the 2022 Indy 500 front row?
So Scott Dixon set the second-fastest four-lap average in Indy 500 history. Alex Palou and Rinus VeeKay will be alongside him in the front row for the 106th running of the Indy 500. This is the fastest front row in Indy 500 history as well.
Sunday’s Fast 6 took the top 12 qualifiers and had them qualify again on Sunday to determine the first two starting rows. Chip Ganassi Racing Team got four of the six top spots, including Dixon’s pole position. Of the five drivers on the team, only NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson didn’t make it into the Fast 6. He starts in 12th position.
How did NASCAR’s Jimmie Johnson do at the 2022 Indy 500 qualifying?
Racing for two decades in NASCAR, running the Indy 500 is a first for Johnson. He is a seven-time NASCAR champion, as well as winning the Daytona 500 twice. But this is his first time running in “the greatest spectacle in racing.” Johnson and Romain Grosjean are the only two rookies running this year. Grosjean qualified in ninth position.
But Johnson’s qualifying run on Saturday didn’t happen without drama. Starting into his four-lap run, he slid coming out of Turn 1, almost smacking the wall. He recovered and ended up with a 231.264 mph average for the four laps.
Unfortunately, with the televised race there isn’t the energy or the sense of speed like there is watching it live. Cameras mostly use long lenses, which lessens how dramatic these speeds actually are. Adding to the anticipation is the weather. If conditions worsen, it can make for a nail-biting experience.
2022 Indy 500 qualifying results – Top 12
- Scott Dixon (234.046 mph)
- Álex Palou (233.499 mph)
- Rinus VeeKay (233.385 mph)
- Ed Carpenter (233.080 mph)
- Marcus Ericsson (232.764 mph)
- Tony Kanaan (232.372 mph)
- Pato O’Ward (232.705 mph)
- Felix Rosenqvist (232.182 mph)
- Romain Grosjean (231.999 mph)
- Takuma Sato (231.670 mph)
- Will Power (231.534 mph)
- Jimmie Johnson (231.264 mph)