Chevrolet's IndyCar drivers say their domination of Indianapolis 500 qualifying was the ideal response to the recent controversy over the series' turbocharger rules. Seventh-place qualifier Josef Newgarden (Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing) is the only Honda-powered driver in the top 10 on the Indy grid, as Chevrolet monopolized the leading positions.
Chevrolet recently protested IndyCar's decision to allow Honda to modify its compressor cover in the interests of ensuring parity between the Japanese manufacturer's single turbocharger layout and Chevy's twin turbo. The protest was rejected twice under appeal, leading to fears from the Chevrolet contingent that Honda would dominate at Indianapolis – but so far the opposite has been true.
Pole winner Ryan Briscoe admitted that Chevrolet's qualifying results had been particularly satisfying in light of the dispute.
"We have not been happy about the outcome of the 'Turbogate'," said the Team Penske driver. "Seemed like a bit of an unfair rule change, but Chevy has worked hard.
"We just kept our heads down. I can't tell you how proud I am to run with the Bow Tie here. The history of Chevrolet and their involvement... they are there, every step of the way. They continually are giving us updates and they just don't stop working. They are certainly the motor to have today – and they have been, I believe, all year long."
Ryan Hunter-Reay, who qualified third between his Andretti Autosport teammates James Hinchcliffe and Marco Andretti, admitted he had been concerned that the turbo ruling would leave his Chevy-engined team struggling at Indy.
"Of course you're worried," he said. "Honda is a very able engine manufacturer. They know how to win races and any time they can add anything, you're thinking, 'Oh boy, what's it going to be like?' But Chevy has done a tremendous job."
Graham Rahal was the top qualifier for Honda's flagship Ganassi team in 12th place. He conceded that Chevrolet was currently in a commanding position.
"Chevy certainly has a little bit of an advantage at this point," Rahal said. "When they turned the wick up [on Friday], the speeds were almost two miles per hour more than most Hondas could go.
"The Chevy just, right now, has more power. It's as simple as that," he added. "But the car definitely moves around. I'm not going to tell you it's easy. [Qualifying was] the hardest four laps I think I've driven around here."
2012 Indianapolis 500 grid:
Pos Driver Team/Car Speed
1. Ryan Briscoe Penske DW12-Chevy 226.484
2. James Hinchcliffe Andretti DW12-Chevy 226.481
3. Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti DW12-Chevy 226.240
4. Marco Andretti Andretti DW12-Chevy 225.456
5. Will Power Penske DW12-Chevy 225.422
6. Helio Castroneves Penske DW12-Chevy 225.172
7. Josef Newgarden Fisher DW12-Honda 224.037
8. Tony Kanaan KV DW12-Chevy 224.751
9. EJ Viso KV DW12-Chevy 224.422
10. Rubens Barrichello KV DW12-Chevy 224.264
11. Alex Tagliani Herta DW12-Honda 224.000
12. Graham Rahal Ganassi DW12-Honda 223.959
13. Ana Beatriz Andretti/Conquest DW12-Chevy 223.920
14. Charlie Kimball Ganassi DW12-Honda 223.868
15. Scott Dixon Ganassi DW12-Honda 223.684
16. Dario Franchitti Ganassi DW12-Honda 223.582
17. James Jakes Dale Coyne DW12-Honda 223.482
18. JR Hildebrand Panther DW12-Chevy 223.422
19. Takuma Sato Rahal DW12-Honda 223.392
20. Townsend Bell Schmidt DW12-Honda 223.134
21. Justin Wilson Dale Coyne DW12-Honda 222.929
22. Michel Jourdain Jr Rahal DW12-Honda 222.893
23. Simon Pagenaud Schmidt DW12-Honda 222.891
24. Sebastian Saavedra AFS/Andretti DW12-Chevy 222.811
25. Sebastien Bourdais Dragon DW12-Chevy 223.760
26. Wade Cunningham Foyt DW12-Honda 223.258
27. Oriol Servia Panther/DRR DW12-Chevy 222.393
28. Ed Carpenter Carpenter DW12-Chevy 222.324
29. Mike Conway Foyt DW12-Honda 222.319
30. Katherine Legge Dragon DW12-Chevy 221.624
31. Bryan Clauson Fisher DW12-Chevy 214.455
32. Simona de Silvestro HVM DW12-Lotus 214.393
33. Jean Alesi Fan Force DW12-Lotus 210.094