Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser Sullivan Racing’s Sebastien Bourdais in the No.18 SealMaster Honda will start Sunday’s 102nd running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil from 5th place on the grid after a four lap qualifying average speed of 228.142MPH.
The Frenchman is the highest placed Honda powered driver for the race and it is also a fantastic result for the four time champion considering that last season he was in a hospital bed following a serious crash during qualifying for the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil.
Speaking following the session, Bourdais commented by saying:
It was just a great weekend for the SealMaster Honda No. 18. We are the top Honda car. I’m starting fifth in the middle of Row 2. I am really proud of everything the guys have done. I think it speaks volumes about their work, their passion and their dedication to this program, Dale (Coyne), Jimmy (Vasser) and Sulli (James Sullivan) and everybody from top to bottom. I can’t thank them enough for the opportunity, for the support. It has probably been the hardest weekend and the hardest thing I have ever had to do in my life. I am glad it is over.
Zachary Claman DeMelo in the No.19 Paysafe Honda starts his first Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil from 13th place on the grid. The Canadian set a four lap average qualifying speed of 226.999MPH.
Speaking following the session, Claman DeMelo commented by saying:
I’m really excited for the race in the No. 19 Paysafe car. I struggled a little bit with the no-tow speed and we really picked it up today and made some big improvements. It’s great to see how well we’re working together. It’s extremely encouraging as a rookie to do what we’ve done this weekend. Especially with our struggles earlier this week and yesterday in the first day of qualifying. It shows what a relentless team we are. We worked really hard, we stayed at the track late most nights and we got a good qualifying car. I’m super happy to end up where we are as a rookie. I believe in my ability in the race, more so than qualifying, that’s something that I need to work on, so to start so far forward makes my life easier as a driver. It’s been surreal to be here as rookie. I’m a bit at a loss for words. The fans, driving around this place, being with the team, everything is amazing. I have a great engineer, a great group of experienced mechanics at Dale Coyne Racing
Conor Daly in the No.17 US Air Force Honda starts the race from 33rd place on the grid after setting a four lap average speed of 224.429MPH. When asked following qualifying if he would step aside to allow James Hinchcliffe to enter the race Daly said he wouldn’t as there was too much riding on the race in relation to his partnership with the US Air Force.
Speaking following qualifying, Daly commented by saying:
No dramas today but we’re fighting for miles an hour. All I can do is put my foot down and do the best we can for our incredible partners at the U.S. Air Force. It’s incredible to be here with them and at this point, I’m just thankful to be in the field. I’d like to be a lot quicker, but we’ll see what we can do in practice tomorrow to improve our race car.