In recent years, the drama of the first day of Indianapolis 500 qualifying hasn’t been high due to only 33 cars entering, but this year, 35 entrants attempted to make the 33-car field. The two who miss out just happen to be fan favorites of the IndyCar Series.
Hinchcliffe, who won the pole for the 100th running in 2016, sits fifth in the championship and 31 points behind leader Josef Newgarden. But with “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” being a double point-paying event, not racing across the bricks will essentially wipe him out of title contention.
Mann, one of two female drivers attempting to race, has competed with Dale Coyne Racing since the 2012 Indy 500. A native of London, Mann has run in the British Formula Renault Championship, Formula Renault 3.5 Series, and Indy Lights. In 2010, she won an Indy Lights race at Kentucky Speedway driving for Sam Schmidt Motorsports.
On Sunday, the Fast Nine will go for the pole. Among the nine drivers are Hélio Castroneves, Ed Carpenter, Simon Pagenaud, Will Power, Sebastien Bourdais, Spencer Pigot, Newgarden, Scott Dixon, and Danica Patrick.