Indianapolis 500 Qualifying Report: Round 1

What a difference a year makes! With 34 drivers making a record 84 attempts to qualify for the 107th Running of the Indianapolis 500, it took only two runs from AJ Foyt Racing’s Santino Ferrucci and Benjamin Pedersen to qualify in the Fast 12 Saturday afternoon at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Rookie Pedersen was the first […]
May 20, 2023

What a difference a year makes! With 34 drivers making a record 84 attempts to qualify for the 107th Running of the Indianapolis 500, it took only two runs from AJ Foyt Racing’s Santino Ferrucci and Benjamin Pedersen to qualify in the Fast 12 Saturday afternoon at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

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Rookie Pedersen was the first of the Foyt camp to wheel his No. 55 Sexton Properties Chevrolet onto the 2.5-mile speedway. He wowed the crowd when he posted the third-fastest speed of the 11 cars that took time. His first lap of 233.297mph set a new track record for the fastest lap by a rookie and his four-lap average speed of 232.739 mph was second only to rookie Tony Stewart’s qualifying run in 1996. Ironically, in 1958, A.J. Foyt was the fastest rookie qualifier with a speed of 143.13mph.

“Honestly, the car is just working fantastic,” Pedersen said after his run. “The team has put so much effort into this event and into giving us a great car. And, you know, the engineers and everyone on the team just really, really delivered so hats off to them. I’m just doing my part and driving the race car but it’s really a true full-team effort. And without a good car it’s hard to go anywhere, I’m just very grateful.

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“We only did two runs yesterday and I just knew going into qualifying this thing’s gonna be hooked up. And it was. I was actually the most relaxed on this run, because I just knew we had such a great car. It was just a dream with how good it was. But I’m just so happy for the whole team, they did a great job.”