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INDIANAPOLIS -- When Ed Carpenter, Carlos Munoz and Helio Castroneves were pushed to the edge Saturday, each remained calm and came up with their best-qualifying runs of the day. Now they have to do it again one more time Sunday. The American, Colombian and Brazilian who have celebrated some of their biggest career moments at Indianapolis each made daring runs over the final 80 minutes Saturday to take the top three seeds heading into Sundays Indianapolis 500 shootout. Carpenter finished first with a four-lap qualifying average of 230.661 mph. Munoz was second at 230.460. "I wasnt sure we were going to go 230 in our first run, so I was relieved when we did," Carpenter said. "But to be honest, I didnt think going into qualifying I was going to exceed 230." Others drivers thought Carpenter would, and it only took one practice lap and one qualifying lap to assuage any doubts. Carpenter, the fifth car on the track, averaged 230.114 then sat around all day as other drivers tried to knock him off the top rung. Nobody caught him until a rain delay ended at 4:18 p.m. Then in a flurry of speed, Andretti Autosport driver James Hinchcliffe knocked Carpenter off the pole, Munoz knocked Hinchcliffe, his teammate, off the pole, and Carpenter retook the pole. He finished the day waiting 65 minutes to see if it would stand. Normally, the reward for surviving such tension would be celebrating a pole win. Instead, under the new qualifying format, all Saturday did was assure Carpenter and the other eight top cars of a top-nine starting spot on Indys traditional 33-car starting grid. Each of the top nine will have one qualifying run Sunday with the fastest claiming the coveted No. 1 starting spot for the May 25 race. The success of Carpenter, Munoz and Castroneves was hardly a surprise. Carpenter, last years pole winner, had one of the fastest cars in practice Thursday and Friday. If he wins the pole again Sunday on the track his stepfather, Tony George, once ran, Carpenter would be the second driver since 1990 to earn consecutive poles at Indy. Castroneves also did it in 2009 and 2010. Munoz, meanwhile, drives for Michael Andretti, whose team has consistently put four or five drivers in the top 10 all week. In 2013, Munoz made his IndyCar debut here and responded by qualifying second, finishing second and walking away as the 500 rookie of the year. "I was questioning myself, the team, everything before, but as soon as I hit the track I forgot everything," Munoz said. "The car was really fast, and its a shame we wasted that second outing. I think were looking strong, and well see what happens tomorrow." Castroneves owns three 500 wins and three pole wins at Indy -- all for team owner Roger Penske. But there was plenty of intrigue, too. Kurt Busch, the fourth driver to attempt "the double" by racing in Indy and Charlotte on the same day, May 25, nearly made it into the pole shootout, too. He was bumped with 39 minutes left in qualifying when 2000 Indy winner Juan Pablo Montoya surpassed Buschs speed of 229.960. Busch could have bumped his way back into the fast nine had he not already left for NASCARs All-Star race in Charlotte, North Carolina. He was scheduled to be back in Indy for Day 2 when the top 30 starting spots will be determined. Two other Andretti drivers, Hinchcliffe and Marco Andretti, overcame unusual circumstances to reach the shootout. Hinchcliffe was fourth (230.407) despite spending most of this week recovering from a concussion. Andretti actually withdrew his original qualifying time to move into a shorter line, then waved off on another attempt before making it back to No. 6. Frances Simon Pagenaud, who won the inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis last weekend, was seventh. Carpenters teammate, JR Hildebrand, and Sarah Fishers driver, Josef Newgarden, also made the shootout, though Chip Ganassis four drivers were shut out. "I think we need to find a little more speed," Charlie Kimball said. "As a team, the fact that we arent in the top nine would prove that. We all work toward that goal, having four of our cars in the top nine. It was a lofty goal, but that was the expectation within the team." This time, theyll all be watching Carpenter and the rest of the gang. "We came in with a good car and a good package from last year," Carpenter said. "Like I said, with the second car here, weve been able to try some more things than what we did last year." Zaza Pachulia Jersey . Ortiz hit a pair of two-run homers, including his 400th shot in a Red Sox uniform, and drove in a career high-tying six runs to power Boston past the Houston Astros 10-7 on Saturday night. Christian Laettner Jersey . -- All-Pro tight end Jimmy Graham and the New Orleans Saints met Tuesday for arbitration on his contract. https://www.pistonsrookiesshop.com/Bill-...on-Jersey/ .com) - Nathan MacKinnon scored the winning goal in the shootout as the Colorado Avalanche rallied for a 3-2 win over the Boston Bruins on Wednesday. Jameer Nelson Pistons Jersey . The flanker began his comeback from a right shoulder injury by coming off the bench on Saturday when Wales opened with a victory over Italy. Warburton replaces Justin Tipuric, one of three changes announced on Tuesday by coach Warren Gatland. Jerry Stackhouse Jersey . Portuguese sides Benfica and Porto also advanced to the last eight while Basel overcame an early red card to win 2-1 at Salzburg and progress from a last-16 second leg that was briefly suspended because of crowd trouble. Lyon, Valencia and AZ Alkmaar will also be in Fridays draw in Nyon, Switzerland, where the team to avoid will be Juventus -- even though the Italian champions made heavy work of their all-Italian last-16 match against Fiorentina.College Park, MD (SportsNetwork.com) - Dez Wells played for the first time in over a month and scored all 10 of his points in the second half, helping No. 15 Maryland hold off Oakland for a 72-56 win on Saturday. Wells, out since suffering a broken right wrist against Iowa State on Nov. 25, threw down an alley-oop dunk to spark a 9-0 Terrapins run to end the game. Everything feels good, he said. I felt fine and Im confident so Im ready to play. Maryland led by as much as 23 points early in the second half before Oakland clawed back to make it a game. Melo Trimble scored 17 points to lead the Terrapins (12-1), who have won five in a row since falling to nationally ranked Virginia on Dec. 3 to reach their highest ranking in the Associated Press poll since Jan. 2, 2006. Jake Layman added 15 points and 12 rebounds in the victory. Jalen Hayes scored 13 points to lead Oakland (4-10). Kahlil Felder added 12 points and Corey Petros and Dante Williams had 11 each for the Golden Grizzlies, who went scoreless over the last 4:15 of the game. Theyre ranked 15th in the country for a reason, said Oakland coach Greg Kampe. They have some great wins and we came at them and handled iit and they made plays.dddddddddddd. Thats what championship teams do when they get in trouble, they make plays and Wells did that. Wells, who remained Marylands leading scorer while he was sidelined, checked in at 14:12 and played 10 minutes in the first half, missing one shot. The Terrapins had a 37-19 lead at halftime following an 18-4 run highlighted by consecutive 3-pointers from Trimble. They extended the run to 23-4 by scoring the first five points in the second half for a 42-19 lead. Oakland followed with a 13-2 run to make it a game, but never got closer than seven down the stretch. This was a trap game for us, said Maryland coach Mark Turgeon. Its right after Christmas and (we only had) a day and a half of work. Im really pleased with our guys. I felt comfortable all game that we were in control. The last four minutes when Oakland made a little run at us, our guys stepped it up and it was good to see. The Terrapins begin their first season in the Big Ten on Tuesday at Michigan State. Game Notes It was the first-ever meeting between the programs ... Oakland opens Horizon League play on Friday against Valparaiso. ' ' '
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