Indianapolis, Indiana - With just minutes remaining in qualifying on Saturday, James Jakes left no doubt he deserved to be in next Sunday’s Indianapolis 500. After narrowly missing qualifying for last year’s race, he was able to find an extra mile-an-hour of speed on his second qualifying attempt of the day. The Indy rookie locked himself into the 33-car field for the 96th running of the Indianapolis 500 next Sunday afternoon.
Justin Wilson needed only one qualifying attempt on the day as he posted an average speed of 222.929 mph, which was good enough to put the 33-year old on the outside of row seven for the Indianapolis 500.
With a half-hour remaining in qualifying, Jakes was sitting on the bubble when he was bumped from the field by Townsend Bell. Jakes then went back onto track for his second attempt of the day and posted a four-lap average speed of 223.482 mph, which put his No. 19 Boy Scouts of America Honda in the middle of row six.
“I am very happy with the results of today,” said Jakes. “It is very exciting to make the Indianapolis 500 for the first time, but even sweeter to do it on the first day. Now the team can start working on the race-day setup. The entire Boy Scouts of America team has done a great job giving me a fast car all week long. Hopefully, we can bring home a great finish in the race.”
“Overall it was a pretty good day for the No. 18 Sonny’s Bar-B-Q car,” said Wilson. “It was great that we could get the car locked into the field on the first day. We’ll get right into preparing for the race because I I think we can find even more speed.”
The top 24 cars to qualify on Saturday are automatically locked into the starting field for the Indianapolis 500.
“Justin and James both performed brilliantly today,” said team owner Dale Coyne. “I can’t say enough good things about what a fantastic job the team and drivers have done all week. Now we can focus on the race and hopefully bring home a win next weekend.”
The 96th running of the Indianapolis 500 will be on Sunday, May 27 and can be seen live on ABC-TV starting at 11 a.m. (EDT).
Dale Coyne Racing
Chris Gallas, Director of Public Relations