Welcome to another edition of the Morning Lap, a daily feature here at Beyond the Flag. Along with The Hub we want to bring you not only our original content but a collection of all the best racing news. News links include NASCAR, IndyCar, Formula One and more!
Jimmie Johnson won his record setting 4th All-Star Race Saturday night after passing Kasey Kahne for the lead with about 8 laps remaining. There was some good, hard racing throughout the event but 5-time was able to steal the show from the Busch brothers in the final 10 lap dash.
In his first start in the IZOD Indycar series Carlos Munoz became the first rookie since Danica Patrick 2005 to qualify on the front row.
If there has ever been a chance for a Trevor-Bayne-winning-the-Daytona-500 style upset in the Indy 500 it would be Munoz this year. He was the fast Andretti Autosport car in qualifying and Andretti has won three of the first four races. Watching Munoz run he’s incredibly consistent and calm for a driver whose turning his first laps in the IZOD Indycar series, he has speed and if his race craft holds up he could be a threat in the closing laps of the 500.
Pole day is over, Bump Day is finished, the Fast 9 shootout is complete and when the dust settled Ed Carpenter was the driver on top. In somewhat of an upset, Carpenter who acts a driver/owner in a single car operation took on the titans of Indycar and won the pole for the 97th running of this legendary race with a speed of 228.762mph. Andretti Autosport teammates Carlos Munoz and Marco Andretti make up the rest of the front row with Munoz being the highest rookie qualifier. Ed has a best start of 8th in the Indy 500 which he has done three times and in 132 Indycar starts, this is just his second career pole.
Indycar rookie AJ Allmendinger out-qualified both of his Penske teammates putting his No.2 5th on the grid while Power was 6th and Castroneves 8th. What a story it would be if AJ could pull this victory off next Sunday considering everything he has gone through. Not a single Ganassi Honda was in the Fast 9….not a single Honda from any team qualified inside the top 10 for that matter. The Ganassi cars start 16th, 17th, 19th and 23rd with Scott Dixon being the highest qualifier.