Johnson uses huge saves in Indy to prevent a 230mph crash

Indianapolis (AP) — Jimmie Johnson used a fast hand to wrestle a car from a skid that appeared to be heading for a major collision at 230 mph. He saved his car, but his Indianapolis 500 qualifying was ruined.

The seven-time NASCAR champion was trapped in his first Indy 500, but had a chance to win a pole on Sunday. The first three rows of the May 29 race were determined by two shootouts. Johnson, who made some of the fastest laps in Indianapolis Motor Speedway history this week, definitely sent it as soon as the Green Flag was waved for his attempt. ..

He sailed the car on the first turn of the first lap, but was too close to the outer wall. Johnson bobbed to avoid contact, the car shot sideways to the left, and his in-car camera showed his hands desperately wrestling the steering wheel to prevent the car from colliding. rice field.

Romain Grosjean, who made his Indy 500 debut like Johnson, was shocked to drop his chin while watching a save on the monitor from the pit lane.

Johnson passed the turn and finished the lap, but was far from the pace needed to advance to the “Fast Six” shootout, which would determine Paul Winner from the 12th round. He rebounded to hit 232mph on the next lap, but his four-lap average of 231.264 was at the end of the session.

Johnson starts in 12th place on his first Indianapolis 500.

“The track is a little different this morning,” Johnson said with a laugh in the pit lane after running. “The same approach didn’t work. We were certainly trying it.”

He was the third fastest in a two-hour practice session on Sunday under cloudy skies and cool track temperatures. However, about an hour before the shootout began, the sun came out and heated the truck considerably.

“I just promised to run one flat and it was very light on the track,” he said. “I was wide and at that point I was trying to keep it away from the fence.”

He even chalked his bobble to “eventually inexperienced.”

“I think the sun on the track and the temperature on the track will rise. These conditions are just trying to find the right balance in the race car,” Johnson said. “These guys are very good at what they do in these tricky situations. I need a little more experience.”

With all four Chip Ganassi Racing teammates advancing to “Fast Six,” Johnson certainly has a car that can win the race, but he needs to overtake Scott Dixon, Alex Palou, Marcus Ericsson, and Tony Kanaan. there is. His dash was powerless, without telemetry, and had to be qualified by the senses.

The four Ganassi drivers faced team owner Carpenter and Ed Carpenter Racing, who won the last two spots of 21-year-old Linus Vikay and Chevrolet.

Vee Kay, who set the third fastest qualifying average in track history on Saturday, hit 234.099 on his first lap. However, the drop-off knocked him behind Dixon, and last year’s pole sitter averaged 233.510, ending his first session at the top. The average for VeeKay was 233.429.

Speed ​​has been astronomical since Friday, when IndyCar shook hands after allowing a boost in horsepower prior to qualifying and shaking hands after six series champions and 2008 Indianapolis 500 winner Dixon ran. bottom.

“Oh man. This place does it to you every time. What a hell,” Dixon said.

Grosjean, who survived the 2020 F1 crash, even rattled.

“It was scary,” said Grosjean, who said that orbiting Indy at 230mph earlier this week would create a “tight ass” moment.

The race will be Grosjean’s first Indianapolis 500 — he has only been seen on television so far.

“I saw it from Europe, I was like,’Yes, you know, it’s turned left and flattened,'” Grosjean said.

Grosjean starts from 9th place.


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