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    Josef Newgarden, Graham Rahal qualify for Indy 500

    Pole winner Ed Carpenter is flanked by No. 2 qualifier Carlos Munoz (right) and No. 3 Marco Andretti.
    geoff miller/reuters
    Pole winner Ed Carpenter is flanked by No. 2 qualifier Carlos Munoz (right) and No. 3 Marco Andretti.

    INDIANAPOLIS — Josef Newgarden and Graham Rahal took care of business right away on Sunday.

    Less than 24 hours after getting bumped out of the top 24 starting spots, Newgarden and Rahal posted the two fastest four-lap averages on Bump Day, easily earning spots.

    On a day that lacked the usual drama, tension, and rumors, all nine drivers who made attempts on the second and final day of Indy qualifications made it into the 33-car field, though nobody had it easier than the two young American drivers — Newgarden and Rahal.


    ‘‘I don’t want to sound too confident, but I knew we would be fine,’’ Newgarden said after delivering the day’s best qualifying run at 225.731 miles per hour. ‘‘I think we would have been OK yesterday if we would have had another shot at it.’’

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    Newgarden, a Tennessee native, wanted to take another shot Saturday but was left sitting in qualifying line when the gun sounded at 6 p.m. He had to wait another 18 hours to get a second shot, this time leaving no doubt he belonged. His qualifying speed from Sunday would have been good enough for 21st, the outside of Row 7, if it happened a day earlier. Instead, he’ll start 25th, the inside of Row 9.

    Rahal had struggled all week — and not just because he was using a Honda engine. The nine drivers in the first three rows of the three-car, 11-row grid are all powered by Chevrolets. The top Honda qualifier was Alex Tagliani, the 2011 Indy pole-sitter. He’ll start 11th, the middle of Row 4, after going 227.386.

    Rahal, who drives for his father, Bobby, the 1986 Indy winner, couldn’t quite get his car right. But when it mattered Sunday, Rahal easily made it in with an average speed of 225.007 to claim the No. 26 starting spot — the middle of Row 9.

    ‘‘I’ve certainly had better [weeks], I’ve certainly had some that were more challenging,’’ Rahal said after locking up his sixth straight Indy start. ‘‘But there have been some mysteries behind a lot of our speed problems. I think the first few days people thought we were being extremely slow, but really we were just being really conservative.’’


    It was no typical second day of qualifying.

    The first nine drivers all qualified on their first attempts, assuring race organizers of a full field. Nobody else even made an attempt.

    Mexico’s Michel Jourdain Jr., who changed engines and still failed to reach 220 in practice, didn’t even try. It was the second straight year Bump Day was bumpless.

    Jourdain’s decision made the evening a little less tense for Katherine Legge, who was hired Saturday by Schmidt Peterson Motorsports and was sitting in line ready to requalify when Jourdain’s car was towed back to Gasoline Alley. The British driver will start on the outside of Row 11 after going 223.176.

    The day’s biggest scare came with about 30 minutes to go in practice when Team Penske driver Will Power tapped the wall with his right rear tire. The yellow flag came out briefly but Power was not injured.