Indianapolis, IN – May 17, 2017 – After a rained-out Pole Day and a chaotic Sunday morning, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports drivers James Jakes, James Hinchcliffe and Conor Daly qualified 20th, 24th and 25th, respectively, for the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 24.
Despite being the fastest of SPM’s three-car stable, Jakes felt that weather played a factor in track conditions, and his No. 7 MediaTech car had a bit more in it that results reflected.
“It was kind of a disappointing day for the SPM MediaTech Honda,” said Jakes. “It’s not really what we wanted but we’re in the show so hopefully we can work on the race car a little bit more tomorrow. I know we’ve got a good car – we just have to fine tune it and look forward to the race this weekend. It’s not been an ideal qualifying situation so far but we’ll take it.”
Teammate James Hinchcliffe echoed Jakes’ comments about weather, wind specifically.
“It was kind of a disappointing day,” said Hinchcliffe. “We obviously hoped for a lot more. We had a much quicker car than that in practice but unfortunately luck of the draw put us at one of the windier times of the day.
“It’s just tough. We work so hard to make these cars really good for qualifying – everybody at Schmidt Peterson and all the guys on the Arrow car put in a lot of effort to really make this thing slippery and a gust of wind can really change your day. I’m a big annoyed, I guess, but not at all disheartened. We have a great race car. This Sunday is nice but it’s really next Sunday that matters so we’ll keep working and rubbing on the Arrow Electronics car tomorrow, and hopefully we can put it in a good position next Sunday.”
Hinchcliffe’s No. 5 Arrow Electronics Indy car also features new associate sponsorship from Amazon.com, SiriusXM, and the iconic Canadian rock band, Rush. The Amazon.com, SiriusXM, and Rush logos will adorn the Honda-powered SPM entry for the 99th running of the famed race.
SPM newcomer Daly expressed excitement to participate in the Greatest Spectacle in Racing for the second time in three years.
“We’ve qualified for the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500,” said Daly. “I’m happy to be in it and happy to have Smithfield here along with us at the Schmidt Peterson Motorsports team. I would’ve liked to have a bit more speed but I think the conditions are getting worse and we did the best we could with what we have. Now we move forward to the race.”
The end of qualifying weekend will signal the start of a fan-centered week for Daly, Hinchcliffe and Jakes. After one more practice day on Monday, the drivers will participate in a media tour and community outreach in Indianapolis, followed by Carb Day and Legends Day, all leading up to the Greatest Spectacle in Racing.
The 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race will take place on Sunday, May 24. The 200-lap race on the legendary 2.5-mile oval will be broadcast live on ABC, with pre-race ceremonies beginning at 11 a.m. ET. Schmidt Peterson Motorsports aims to add another race win to the history books.