Skip to content

Indy 500 rookie Carlos Munoz hits front row

May 18, 2013, 9:31 PM EDT

Andretti Autosport driver Munoz races during qualifying for the Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Reuters

So far, Indianapolis 500 rookie Carlos Munoz is making this IndyCar thing look easy.

Munoz is making his big-league debut in the 97th running of The Greatest Spectacle in Racing, but there’s been no sign of first-time jitters for the young Colombian. Driving a fifth car for Andretti Autosport (the team he races for in IndyCar’s top feeder series, Firestone Indy Lights), he carried over the impressive speed he had in this week’s practice sessions and shot to the inside of the front row for next week’s “500” with an average of 228.342 miles per hour.

“I don’t have too many words to describe how happy I am, just a rookie to be in the front row, [it's] just a dream,” said Munoz, who will be joined on the front row by another Andretti Autosport teammate, Marco Andretti (third, 228.261 mph). “I was like crossing my fingers that it rained [so] we can stay in the front row. I was happy with the car in the first qualifying [session], but we did a couple of changes and it worked out.

“…We didn’t expect [pole winner Ed] Carpenter to go so fast. He just did really good laps out there. I can’t say anything – just front row is perfect for the race. I have my teammate just on the side of me, I have great people around me with a lot of experience.”

Next weekend will be a busy one for Munoz as he’ll be migrating back and forth between his “500” duties and the Indy Lights series. On Thursday, the Lights camp will practice and qualify in preparation for their biggest race of the year, the Firestone Freedom 100, which will take place during Friday’s Carb Day festivities (Noon ET, NBC Sports Network). As the current FIL championship leader, Munoz will be participating.

However, while he admits that the weekend will be a trying one for him, he remains confident that he’ll be able to start up front in both events and perform well when it’s time to go racing.

“It’s going to be tough doing 600 miles in one weekend, but I think we have perfect cars in both Indy Lights and IndyCar, so I’m going to be hopefully in the front row in both categories,” he said.

Latest Posts
  1. NASCAR: Toyota working to find more horsepower for engines

    Aug 19, 2014, 9:09 PM EDT

    Pure Michigan 400 Getty Images

    Last year, reliability was the problem for Toyota’s engines, not power. This year, the situation has been reversed, and Toyota Racing Development’s president says they’re hunting for more performance ahead of the Chase.

  2. NASCAR AMERICA: Crew chief Gustafson key to Jeff Gordon’s renaissance (VIDEO)

    Aug 19, 2014, 8:07 PM EDT

    Sprint All-Star Race - Practice Getty Images

    Alan Gustafson may not be as well-known as other crew chiefs, but it’s clear that he’s played a big role in Jeff Gordon’s success this season. The NASCAR AMERICA crew breaks down what’s made them such a good pair together.

  3. NASCAR AMERICA: New home, new sponsor for Edwards and Suarez (VIDEO)

    Aug 19, 2014, 7:31 PM EDT

    Daniel Suarez AP

    NASCAR AMERICA talks about Carl Edwards and Daniel Suarez’s move to Joe Gibbs Racing – and the impact of their new sponsor, telecommunications equipment company ARRIS.

  4. WATCH LIVE: NASCAR AMERICA follows JGR’s big day at 6:30 p.m. ET

    Aug 19, 2014, 6:15 PM EDT

    Daniel Suarez, Carl Edwards AP

    Coming up today: Reaction from 2015 JGR drivers Carl Edwards and Daniel Suarez, and current JGR Cup drivers Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch; No. 24 crew chief Alan Gustafson on the team’s win at Michigan; the Michigan edition of “Scan All 43.”

  5. NASCAR: Truck Series preparing for Bristol on short week

    Aug 19, 2014, 5:30 PM EDT

    UNOH 200 Getty Images

    Four days after racing in Michigan, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series faces the high banks of Bristol Motor Speedway in Wednesday night’s UNOH 200.

  6. Red Bull GRC going long for Saturday’s race at Daytona

    Aug 19, 2014, 4:15 PM EDT

    GRCLogo

    This weekend, Red Bull GRC drivers will compete on a .924-mile layout at Daytona International Speedway that’s the longest they’ve faced so far this year. Catch Saturday’s final at 2:30 p.m. on NBC and NBC Sports Live Extra.

  7. NASCAR: Joe Gibbs hopeful for eventual return of Tony Stewart

    Aug 19, 2014, 3:12 PM EDT

    Bojangles' Southern 500 Getty Images

    Gibbs, who won two Sprint Cup titles with Stewart in 2002 and 2005, believes that his former driver has the courage to overcome his grief and eventually come back to racing.

  8. On to Beijing: Formula E completes pre-season testing

    Aug 19, 2014, 2:16 PM EDT

    GERMANY-AUTOMOBILE-ECONOMY-FAIR-IAA Getty Images

    e.dams-Renault’s Sebastien Buemi puts up a lap of 1 minute, 31.792 seconds to lead the final day of testing at the UK’s Donington Park.

  9. Sonoma flashback: Marco Andretti scores first IndyCar win in 2006

    Aug 19, 2014, 1:31 PM EDT

    Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma Getty Images

    Eight years ago, the son of Michael and grandson of Mario broke through on the Northern California circuit.

  10. The 2014 Milwaukee IndyFest weekend high on promise, with more positives than negatives

    Aug 19, 2014, 1:00 PM EDT

    MKEWrap AP

    A final report from MotorSportsTalk’s Tony DiZinno on how the Milwaukee IndyFest went off.

  11. NASCAR: Mexican rising star Daniel Suarez moving up to Nationwide

    Aug 19, 2014, 12:30 PM EDT

    Richmond International Raceway - Day 1 Getty Images

    After success in Mexico and in the U.S.-based NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, Suarez will take on the Nationwide Series next season with Joe Gibbs Racing.

  12. NASCAR’s Chase Grid Live offers fans chance to get close to Chase Grid in Chicago

    Aug 19, 2014, 12:10 PM EDT

    Geico 400 Getty Images

    NASCAR’s Chase Grid Live sweepstakes open until August 29; provides fans potential VIP trip ahead of Chicagoland Chase opener.

  13. Edwards joins a number of NASCAR drivers in leaving “home” for fresh challenge

    Aug 19, 2014, 11:52 AM EDT

    EdwardsBiffle AP

    Carl Edwards was almost destined to move to Gibbs, and it’s time to see whether his new opportunity will yield as much success for him as other switches have for others.

  14. NASCAR’s worst-kept secret is official: Carl Edwards joins Joe Gibbs Racing from 2015

    Aug 19, 2014, 10:17 AM EDT

    Camping World RV Sales 301 - Practice Getty Images

    Carl Edwards confirmed at Joe Gibbs Racing for 2015 and beyond.

  15. NASCAR AMERICA: Sprint Cup teams take part in critical test (VIDEO)

    Aug 18, 2014, 9:30 PM EDT

    Pure Michigan 400 Getty Images

    10 Sprint Cup squads tested various configurations today at Michigan as NASCAR looked to nail down its rules package for the 2015 Cup season. Today on NASCAR AMERICA, NBCSN contributor Nate Ryan gave a full report on the proceedings.

  16. NASCAR AMERICA: Jeff Burton on taking over for Tony Stewart (VIDEO)

    Aug 18, 2014, 8:48 PM EDT

    Jeff Burton AP

    Under very difficult circumstances, NASCAR on NBC analyst Jeff Burton went back behind the wheel this weekend at Michigan. Today on NASCAR AMERICA, the Sprint Cup veteran talked about his experience subbing for Tony Stewart.

  17. WATCH LIVE: NASCAR AMERICA recaps Michigan at 7:30 p.m. ET

    Aug 18, 2014, 7:15 PM EDT

    NASCAR America

    Coming up today: Breaking down Jeff Gordon’s win at Michigan; Jeff Burton and his weekend with Stewart-Haas Racing; Kyle Larson’s Chase hopes take a hit; teams test potential 2015 rules changes.

  18. NASCAR AMERICA Minute: Has Jeff Gordon peaked too early? (VIDEO)

    Aug 18, 2014, 7:05 PM EDT

    Cheez-It 355 At The Glen - Practice Getty Images

    Gordon and the No. 24 team have been rolling over the last four weeks. But can they continue their streak of success?

  19. Everything you need to know for Saturday’s Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol

    Aug 18, 2014, 5:30 PM EDT

    NASCAR Bristol Auto Racing AP

    All the notes and numbers to keep in mind as the Race to the Chase heats up in Tennessee.

  20. Report: Comcast’s Xfinity, NASCAR closer to series sponsorship deal

    Aug 18, 2014, 4:30 PM EDT

    Comments Off
    Trevor Bayne, Dakoda Armstrong AP

    Tripp Mickle of the SportsBusiness Journal reports that Comcast’s broadband/TV/phone service is considering a five to six year deal valued at over $100 million to take over sponsorship of what’s currently known as the NASCAR Nationwide Series.

Video from NASCAR America

Has Jeff Gordon peaked too early?
Top 10 NASCAR Driver Searches
  1. J. Gordon (1280)
  2. K. Harvick (1280)
  3. T. Stewart (1143)
  4. K. Busch (927)
  5. T. Bayne (780)