The first ever all-234mph front row in Indy 500 history also resulted in the closest gap between 1st & 3rd spot. The 4-lap averages of Alex Palou & Felix Rosenqvist were just 0.103mph apart, beating the previous record of 0.112mph between James Hinchcliffe, Josef Newgarden and Ryan Hunter-Reay in 2016.
Palou’s & Rinus VeeKay’s gap of 0.006mph is the second-smallest gap between 1st & 2nd in Indy500 history, the narrowest difference being 0.003s between Ryan Briscoe & Hinchcliffe in 2012.
The result means that the 3 front-row starters come from 3 different teams and both of IndyCar’s engine manufacturers, Honda & Chevrolet, are represented. While neither of those stats are unusual, what is remarkable is the fact that the trio’s combined number of Indy500 starts is only 10. That’s the lowest since 2004, when Buddy Rice, the late Dan Wheldon and Dario Franchitti started 1-2-3 and had only 3 starts between them.
A not-surprising corollary of that stat is that this is the 3rd-youngest front row in history. The only younger ones are 2013 – Ed Carpenter, Carlos Munoz and Marco Andretti (26 years and 9 months) – and 1930 – Billy Arnold, Louis Meyer and Shorty Cantlon (25 years, 7 months).
It is also the first time Indy 500 history that the front row consists entirely of European-born drivers; Palou is from Spain, VeeKay from the Netherlands and Rosenqvist from Sweden.