A spectacular last gap run from Jack Harvey gave him the final starting spot in the Indianapolis 500, bumping out his team-mate Graham Rahal.
With all four of the Indy 500-only entries qualifying, it was always going to be tough for one of the full-time season entries to go home, with three Rahal Letterman Lanigan cars and a Dale Coyne entry fighting it out for the final three spots.
Christian Lundgaard went first – IndyCar’s most recent polesitter! – and was just 0.0686s faster than the next runner, the only non-Rahal in the group, Sting Ray Robb.
Jack Harvey looked totally out of the window 0.8s off Lundgaard, and Graham Rahal concluded the runs with 30 minutes on the clock and on the cut zone in 33rd despite having a broken weight jacker that controls the car’s rake.
It was a dire scenario for RLL as it needed to wait for Harvey’s car to cool, but also wanted to leave enough time to give Rahal a chance to respond with a second run if Harvey improved.
Any doubts over whether they would let Harvey attempt to bump out Rahal – whose dad Bobby co-owns the team – were dispelled when Harvey went out for a lap to cool the engine and then made one last attempt late on with a spring change and aero balance shift.
It wasn’t good enough, but against all the information we’re told by manufacturers about engines needing to cool, Harvey went again almost immediately after and laid down a last run that will surely go down as one of the most spectacular on the Speedway.
Despite being slower on his first two laps, his time tailed off less than his team-mate and he bumped him by 0.0044s over four laps and 10 miles.
“We weren’t good enough.”
Graham Rahal was overcome with emotion after being bumped by Jack Harvey. #INDY500 pic.twitter.com/FJeeTjcOUx
— INDYCAR on NBC (@IndyCaronNBC) May 21, 2023
It’s the biggest bump day shock since Juncos Hollinger knocked Fernando Alonso out of the field in 2019.
Christian Lundgaard (starting 31st) was the fastest of the Last Chance qualifying ahead of Dale Coyne’s Sting Ray Robb who will start one spot behind.
A bittersweet moment for @jack_harvey93.
Listen to the in-car radio when the No. 30 team knew they secured an #Indy500 spot.#INDYCAR // @RLLracing pic.twitter.com/ASSnBtigEj
— NTT INDYCAR SERIES (@IndyCar) May 21, 2023