Day By Day At Indianapolis

100th running of the Indianapolis 500 pace lap. [Russ Lake Photo]

100th running of the Indianapolis 500 pace lap. [Russ Lake Photo]

by Mary Champion

Race Day - Sunday, May 29

Speedway, Ind. – It was the biggest event in the106 years of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The weather was beautiful, the crowd was enormous and the winner of the 100th Indianapolis 500 was totally unexpected.

A 24-year-old rookie driver who had run only five IndyCar races in his life, never led a lap in an IndyCar race until today, ran out of fuel on the last lap and still managed to win the perhaps the biggest IndyCar race in history.

Alexander Rossi, from Nevada City, Calif., who had raced in Europe from 1998 until this year, driving a Honda entered by Andretti Herta with Curb-Agajanian, outlasted his competitors in a fuel-mileage duel to win the 2016 Indianapolis 500.

Behind Rossi in second at the finish was Andretti Autosport driver, Carlos Munoz. Ed Carpenter Racing’s Josef Newgarden was third and Chip Ganassi Racing Teams drivers Tony Kanaan and Charlie Kimball were fourth and fifth, respectively.

The race began with a spirited duel for the lead between pole sitter James Hinchcliffe and fellow front row started, Ryan Hunter-Reay.

Hunter-Reay led the first lap, but Hinchcliffe took the lead on the second lap. The pair subsequently traded the lead, often running side by side, and trading the lead a couple of times within the lap.

This went on until Lap 25 when Newgarden passed Hinchcliffe for second while Hunter-Reay led.

At this point, a cycle of green flag pit stops began. Hinchcliffe’s stop was slow due to a problem with the fuel hose, dropping him back in the running order.

By Lap 33 the first pit stop cycle was complete. Hunter-Reay was back in the lead by 2.2 seconds over Simon Pagenaud. Newgarden took second from Pagenaud the next lap and began to close on Hunter-Reay.

Townsend Bell passed Newgarden a lap later and began to close on Hunter-Reay, taking the lead while the field was working Lap 42.

Bell was leading when the first yellow of the race came out on Lap 47 for debris on the backstretch.

The pits opened the following lap and most of the field headed in for service.

The green came back out on Lap 54 with Hunter-Reay leading, Pagenaud second, Bell third, Newgarden fourth and Hinchcliffe fifth.

A number of penalties were assessed for infractions during the pit stop sequence. Will Power made contact with Tony Kanaan while leaving pit road, costing Power a penalty of being sent to the back of the field for an unsafe pit release. Oriol Servia was also sent to the back of the field for a pit speed violation. On the green, Buddy Lazier was given a drive-through penalty for an improper pit exit.

With the return of the green flag came the return of three-wide racing as Hunter-Reay, Bell and Hinchcliffe all vied for the lead.

Juan Pablo Montoya brought the yellow back out on Lap 64 when he spun and hit the Turn 2 SAFER Barrier, with the car coming to a rest on the backstretch.

Under the yellow, the majority of the field went into the pits, giving Power the race lead.

Hinchcliffe was first out of the pits and lined up behind Power who was followed by Hunter-Reay, Castroneves and Bell.

With the green on Lap 75, Power led the field into Turn 1 and was passed by Hinchcliffe before the end of the lap.

For the next 19 laps, Hinchcliffe, Castroneves and Hunter-Reay put on a fierce battle for the lead, frequently trading the top three positions.

On Lap 94, Sage Karam went outside of Bell when fighting for position. Karam lost control and made hard right side contact with the SAFER Barrier in Turn 1 and made secondary contact with the Turn 2 SAFER Barrier.

When the pits opened on Lap 96, most of the field pitted for four tires and fuel. Bryan Clauson did not pit and led the next three laps until he pitted, relinquishing the lead to Castroneves.

Rossi’s crew used a strategy of pitting for fuel only on Lap 99 and topped off the fuel on Lap 101.

On the Lap 104 green Castroneves led but was quickly passed by Hunter-Reay.

A spirited battle for the lead between Castroneves, Hunter-Reay and Kanaan continued until Lap 115 when Mikhail Aleshin spun and hit the wall between Turns 1 and 2. Conor Daly spun to avoid Aleshin but hit Aleshin’s car and the wall. Daly was able to continue around the track to the pits with damage to the front wing and tow of the car.

The majority of the field pitted after the pits were opened on Lap 117. Alex Tagliani elected to stay on the track and took the race lead.

Coming out of the pits there was contact between the cars of Castroneves, Bell and Hunter-Reay. Castroneves was in the outside lane while Bell come out into the inside lane. Hunter-Reay’s crew sent him out directly into Bell, who pushed Castroneves into the wall outside pit wall.

Both Bell and Hunter-Reay were stopped at pit out and had to be pushed back to their respective pits by their crews to have their cars checked over following the contact.

Bell was issued a stop and go penalty for an unsafe pit release.

On Lap 121, Tagliani led the field to the green. For the next several laps, Rossi and Tagliani swapped the lead.

On Lap 135, Tagliani pitted for fuel and tires, relinquishing second place behind Rossi to Kanaan. When Rossi pitted on Lap 138, Castroneves took the lead.

Castoneves and Kanaan then ran first and second until they pitted on Lap 149, giving the lead to Munoz.

On the same lap, Buddy Lazier lost a wheel while coming out of the pits, bringing out the yellow.

The pits were subsequently closed as Lazier was stopped on the pit exit lane.

Several drivers had to stop for a splash of fuel so as to not run out until the pits were opened and would have to pit again when the pits were opened. Spencer Pigot ran out of fuel on the warm-up lane and had to be pushed to his pit.

The drivers who had to stop for a splash and then pit again that were required to restart at the back of the field were Max Chilton, Graham Rahal, Pagenaud, Bell and Clauson.

Kanaan was in the lead when the Lap 158 green came back out but was quickly passed by Newgarden. The pair fought for the lead until Takuma Sato made “light contact” with the outside wall at the exit of Turn 4 to bring out the final caution flag of the day..

Under the yellow, the lead lap cars pitted for fuel and tires. JR Hildebrand did not pit and assumed the race lead, holding it when the green came back out. However, Kanaan passed him for the lead on the following lap.

The pair swapped the lead until Lap 190 when Munoz joined the pair and took second from Kanaan. Munoz assumed the lead on Lap 194. On Lap 195, Munoz was ahead of Rossi by 13-plus seconds.

The following lap Munoz pitted, allowing Rossi to assume the lead while Sebastien Bourdais ran second.

On Lap 198, Bourdais pitted from second place, leaving Rossi 16.6 seconds ahead of Munoz who had been running third.

As the field took the white flag, Munoz was closing on Rossi while Rossi was trying to stretch his fuel. However, he ran out and slowed in Turn 3, but was still able to hold onto a 4.4975 second lead over Munoz as he went under the checkered flags to win the 100th Indianapolis 500.

Carb Day - Friday, May 27

It was Carb Day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. This is the second-busiest day of the month, surpassed only by race day itself.

The day consisted of a final hour of IndyCar practice, the Indy Lights 40-lap. 100-mile Indy Lights race, and the IndyCar pit stop competition, plus a concert after the racing action was over.

The Indy Lights race turned out to be the highlight of the day. As the race ended, Dean Stoneman was victorious over Ed Jones by 0.0024 of a second. This was the closest finish in Indy Lights history as well as in the history of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The box scored indicated that there were only three lead changes between the pair, but those were recorded at the start/finish line. They swapped the lead position several times in the middle of laps as they consistently ran side-by-side on the track.

The 16-car field was lined up by points as yesterday’s qualification session was rained out. The first lap was run under the yellow due to debris on the track.

The green that came out on the second lap was short-lived as Kyle Kaiser, who started third, hit the wall coming out of Turn 4 on Lap 2 and slid along the outside wall, coming to a stop about one-third of the way down the frontstretch.

When the green came back out on Lap 7, the racing action was hot and heavy as the field was running two and three wide throughout the field.

At Lap 15 Stoneman led, followed by Jones, Shelby Blackstock, Juan Piedrahita and Dalton Kellett.

As the laps went by, the field settled down somewhat into a long line of closely spaced cars.

The second yellow came out again on Lap 30 after Santiago Urrutia spun in Turn 2.

The green flag waved again on Lap 32 and the two and three-wide racing action resumed throughout the field until the final yellow came out on Lap 36 when Heamin Choi spun and stalled the car in Turn 2.

The final yellow lasted until the green and white flags were shown, indicating there was but one lap of the frenetic action remaining. Jones grabbed the lead from Stoneman as the pair took the green, but Stoneman was not to be denied and the pair ran side by side around the track on the final lap. Jones took one last shot at getting the win, but fell just short as Stoneman went under the checkered flag almost imperceptively in front of Jones. The human eye could not detect the victor and it took electronic scoring to determine who actually won the race.

Kellett finished third, while Blackstock came home fourth and Scott Hargrove rounded out the top five.

Before the Indy Lights race, the final IndyCar practice before Sunday’s Indianapolis 500 was held.

The 33 cars ran a total of 1,368 laps in the one-hour session with the fastest speed turned in by Tony Kanaan at 226.280 mph. Carlos Munoz was second quickest at 224.772 mph. He was followed by Scott Dixon at 224.606 mph. Will Power was fourth on the speed chart at 22,384 mph, while Ryan Hunter-Reay rounded out the top five at 224.327 mph.

There was one incident in the session when Pippa Mann did a quarter-spin and made right rear contact with the SAFER Barrier in Turn 4, comming to rest on the frontstretch with damage to the rear of the car.

“I’m perfectly fine,” Mann said. “I just feel really sorry for the crew. I was trying to find some clean air in the pack running there. Got a little too low on the inside. Dropped the ball and gave them some work to do overnight.”

Following the Freedom 100, the annual Indy 500 Pit Stop Challenge was held. Helio Castroneves’ team won the Challenge for the eighth time, earning the $50,000 prize. To help his team celebrate, Castroneves climbed the fence in front of the Tower Terrace. His team defeated that of Mikhail Aleshin of Schmidt Peterson with Team Pelfrey in the final round.

A newly designed car for the USF 2000 Series, the first rung on the Road to Indy, was unveiled this morning. The new car, know as the Tatuus USF-17, will be used in the series in 2017. The rolling chassis is less expensive than the current chassis. Thirty chassis are scheduled to be delivered by December and an open test will be held in 2017.

The only on-track activity tomorrow is some demonstration laps by vintage cars. The ceremonial drivers meeting will be held, as will a memorabilia show and an autograph session.

Sunday is the big day that has been 100 years in the making, the 100th Indianapolis 500. The sold-out race is scheduled to take the green flag at12:21 p.m. EDT.

Thursday, May 26
Practice and qualifying for tomorrow’s Indy Lights Freedom 100 and IndyCar pit stop practice with no engines running were scheduled for today, but the Weather Gods had other ideas as heavy rainstorms moved through the area, closing the track for the day at 1:12 p.m.

The Indy Lights did manage to hold one practice session before the rain and moved up their qualifying time to try to get finished before the storms came but were only able to qualify seven of the 16 cars entered, so qualifications were cancelled and the line-up will be determined by the series point standings.

A total of 502 laps were run in the practice session with Juan Piedrahita posting the fastest speed at 197.957 mph. Ed Jones, who leads the series points, was fourth quickest at 197.651mph.

Jones, who won the first of the two Indy Lights races on Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis weekend, leads the series by 21 points over Santiago Urrutia, and will start on the pole for tomorrow’s Freedom 100.

The #18 Dale Coyne Racing driven by Conor Daly started practice for the “500” without any sponsorship, acquired one sponsor before qualifying and a second sponsor for the car was announced today, along with some previously little known news about Daly himself.

Last Wenesday, May 18, it was announced that Indianapolis Colts punter Pat McAfee’s newly formed company, Shirts for, would sponsor Daly’s car in the “500.” The company was formed to help an Indiana driver at this year’s Indy 500 and to help military foundations.

This morning, a second Indiana-based company announced they would be co-sponsoring Daly. Eli Lilly Company, a pharmaceutical research and manufacturing company has a direct involvement with Daly. Among other products, the company produces a number of different types of insulin and other diabetes drugs.

At the press conference, it was revealed the Daly was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at age 14 and takes insulin to control the disease.

Daly has taken the illness in stride and refuses to let it interfere with his racing career. He stays in close touch with his doctor, eats on a regular schedule, has continuous glucose monitoring in the car and also has a sugary drink bottle in his car if his blood sugar level becomes too low.

With this announcement he becomes the second “500” driver to be revealed as diabetic. Charlie Kimball is well known as being the first “500” driver with Type 1 diabetes and is sponsored by a rival diabetes drug maker.

Also today, the logo for the 2017 101st Indy 500 on May 28, 2017 was unveiled along with a special program in which 2016 ticket holders will have 500 hours beginning at 12:01 a.m. May 30, to renew their tickets and get several extra incentives for 2017. For more information on the program, go to

Monday, May 23

Yesterday, the starting field for next Sunday’s Indy 500 was set.

Today, those 33 teams had a chance for a three and a half hour practice session.

And, what a busy session it was. A total of 2,886 laps were run with nine cars running over 100 laps in practice.

The top speed of the day came from Josef Newgarden, who ran 111 laps. The front-row starter set the fastest practice lap of the day at 227.414 mph on the 20th of those laps.

With all the cars on the track, pack racing was the order of the day and most of the top speeds were set with a tow.

“I think today is the most representative day that we’re going to get, going into Sunday, which was great. Everyone was in a pack together, which was great, because that’s what we need to see. Everyone needed to see what’s going to happen in a pack.” Newgarden said.

Perhaps the biggest surprise of the day was the fifth-fastest speed of the day at 225.883 mph, set by Pippa Mann.

Mann commented on her speed. “I was very grateful that the Dale Coyne Racing guys gave me such a great car. I was very happy to be back in race trim today. Sill got some work to do. I think anyone who was watching knows that most of the people at this end of the timing charts caught a pretty big tow. I’m no exception. But I think and I hope that we have a top 20 or top 15 race car. That’s the goal.”

The other top speeds of the day were set by Tony Kanaan at 226.393 mph, Scott Dixon at 226.229 mph and Sage Karam at 226.045 mph.

Two 90-minute Indy Lights practice session flanked the IndyCar practice session.

In the morning session, Indy Lights veteran Zack Veach set an unofficial Indy Lights track record at 201.455 mph. The official track record of 197.866 mph was set in May 2015 by Ethan Ringel. (Speed records are only official when they are set in qualifying or in a race.)

In the afternoon practice session Veach was edged out for the fastest speed of the session by his teammate, Felix Rosenqist, who recorded a speed of 198.051 mph, which was, overall, the second fastest speed of the day.

The track is now closed until Thursday when the Indy Lights will practice and qualify for Friday’s Freedom 100. The IndyCars will not return to the track until Friday, when they will have a one-hour practice session on Carb Day.

Sunday, May 22

If the last year of James Hinhcliffe’s life were presented to a Hollywood producer as a film script it would be rejected as too unbelievable.

One year ago, Hinchcliffe was recovering from near fatal injuries suffered May 18, 2015 in a freak accident at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He first got back into an Indycar last fall and this month he returned to the Speedway.

Today he wrote a new chapter of the script when, as the last car to qualify, he captured the pole position for next Sunday’s 100th Indianapolis 500.

In the post-qualifying press conference, Hinchcliffe agreed that it was an improbable scenario but that it was not quite done yet.

“The accident was a big deal for everyone. It was a big deal to me too but you have to focus on the here and now. Hopefully, a week from now, we will have an even better story to tell,” he said.

There was plenty of drama at the track today to add to Hinchcliffe’s story.

The second portion of qualifying today was the “Fast Nine” in which the drivers with the nine fastest speeds from yesterday qualified. Each driver was allowed only one four-lap qualifying attempt.

The drivers went out in reverse order from slowest to fastest. Josef Newgarden was the fourth driver to go out and he got everyone’s attention when he posted a four-lap average speed of 230.700, including a lap at over 231 mph.

It put him on the provisional pole and into playing a waiting game to see if his speed would hold up.

Next out on the track was Townsend Bell, who posted speeds over 230 mph, but he did not exceed Newgarden’s time.

The next two drivers to take to the track, Helio Castroneves and Will Power did not have speeds that posed a threat to Newgarden’s provisional pole.

The next to last driver out to qualify was Ryan Hunter-Reay. He came extremely close to Newgarden’s speed but was just .052 mph off of Newgarden’s speed.

With just one driver to go, James Hinchcliffe, Newgarden basically held his breath as Hinchcliffe ran his laps. He speed was close, oh so close to Newgarden’s on each of his laps and when Hinchcliffe got the checkered, he had done it! His speed was just .060 mph faster than Newgarden’s for the four-lap average, giving him the pole.
Newgarden was philosophical about losing the pole. “The pole is incredible. I wanted it so bad. The pole would have been best but we got the second best,” he said.

The front row was now set with a Canadian and two Americans, Hinchcliffe, Newgarden and Hunter-Reay in the top three spots, with a total speed difference from first to third of just 0.112 mph.

Hinchcliffe’s team, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, was ecstatic with the team’s performance as all three of their cars qualified in the top ten with Hinchcliffe’s pole, Mikhail Aleshin qualifying seventh and Oriol Servia qualifying tenth, the fastest of the first qualifying group.

Team co-owner Sam Schmidt was extremely happy with the team’s results. “This is unbelievable. It’s five years to the day since we won our first pole with Alex Tagliani. We’ve got all three cars in the top ten. We’ve got some incredible team members. This is fantastic!” he said.

Hinchcliffe and team co-owner, Ric Peterson, both echoed Schmidt’s heavy praise for the team members and their hard work.

Hincliffe commented that placing three cars in the top ten was a result of having a good team. “For all the guys working on the cars this is a special point of pride,” he said.

Highlights of the first qualifying session were one crash and a rather bizarre incident.

Coming to the green flag when completing his warm-up lap, Alex Tagliani, did a quarter spin to the left coming off Turn 4, slid across the track and hit the attenuator at pit in with the nose of the car. The car then made three spins to the right before hitting the inside pit wall. The car spun again and hit the outside wall. Tagliani was unhurt but did not make a qualifying attempt and will start 33rd in the field with no time and no speed.

In the most bizarre incident of the day, Juan Pablo Montoya was on his qualifying run and had completed two laps in the 229 and 228 mph speed range when he drastically slowed on his third and fourth laps.

It was noted that something that looked like a garbage bag came out the rear of the car as he started his third lap. It turned out it was a plastic garbage bag that had blown onto the track in Turn 3 and Montoya picked it up. In Turn 1 the bag blew out the back of the car but had hit the radiator in the meantime and he slowed tremendously on his last two laps.

After he came into the pits, the track went yellow for debris and the bag was picked up.

IndyCar officials allowed Montoya to refuel and change tires and make another run.

That run went much better as Montoya ran four laps with a 227.6 mph average, placing him 17th on the grid.

The field of 33 cars is now set for next Sunday’s 100th running of the Indianapolis 500.

Saturday, May 21

The first day of qualifications for the 100th Indianapolis 500 has arrived.

The big day was originally scheduled to begin with practice at 8:00 a.m. and qualifying at 11:00 p.m. but, unfortunately, the weather had other plans for The Speedway. Overnight and early morning rain left the track very wet and drying it took several hours.

Because of the rain, the schedule was reset to have limited practice sessions.

In the first practice, rookie Max Chilton did a half-spin and made a hard left front contact with the SAFER Barrier in Turn 2. The car then made secondary contact with the left rear causing heavy damage to the car. Chilton was checked out by the medical staff and cleared to drive.

Qualifying began at 2:20 p.m. and, because of the late start, was extended to 7:00 p.m.

There was one incident during qualifications.

On the first lap of her qualifying run, Pippa Mann spun and hit the SAFER Barrier in Turn 2. The car came to rest on the inside of the corner. Mann was unhurt and cleared to drive but the car suffered damage on the front wing, nosecone and right rear corner.

The original qualified line was completed with 29 cars completing qualifying attempts with Townsend Bell holding the fastest four-lap average at 230.452 mph.

The track was then opened for practice.

The practice session ran from 4:59 p.m. until 5:41 p.m. when cars were presented for qualifying attempts.

Initially, those attempting to better their qualifying speed chose to take the option of entering the track from Lane 2, which meant the driver would be able to stand on their initial time if they were unable to better it, but all drivers using that option bettered their speeds.

In the middle of these attempts Conor Daly, whose car was pulled from the qualifying line after his teammate Pippa Mann crashed, made his initial qualifying run.

Because all previous drivers electing the Lane 2 bettered their initial qualifying times, from this point on, teams elected to re-qualify from Lane 1, which meant they would withdraw their previous speed in an attempt to get into the “Fast Nine” giving them a chance to qualify for the pole on Sunday.

Unfortunately, the strategy backfired on one driver. Gabby Chaves withdrew his initial time but waved off his second qualifying attempt on the second lap. He was not able to re-qualify, so, in effect, he did not post a qualifying speed.

The final qualifier of the day, Aleshin, made a quick move to get on the track just as the closing gun sounded. The run was just good enough to get him into the Fast Nine and bump out Alexander Rossi.

When the final gun sounded, James Hinchcliffe was on top of the speed chart with a four-lap average of 230.946 mph.

Joining him in the Fast Nine were Ryan Hunter-Reay, Will Power, Helio Castroneves, Townsend Bell, Josef Newgarden, Mikhail Aleshin, Carlos Munoz and Simon Pageaud.

Sunday, everything starts all over again as all times from Saturday are erased but the positions established by the Saturday qualifying times stay the same.

Three practice sessions are scheduled on Sunday from Noon until 2:00 p.m.

From 2:45 to 4:45 P.M., each car that qualified in positions 10-33 on Saturday, going in order from slowest to fastest, will get one qualifying attempt.

Fast Nine qualifying will be from 5:00 to 5:45 p.m. with each car getting one attempt to determine positions one through nine in the field.

Friday, May 20
Today was “Fast Friday” at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The name comes from the fact that it is the last day of practice prior to qualifications for the Indianapolis 500 and the day on which the fastest practice speeds are normally turned.

To add to the excitement of the day, the turbocharger boost for the Chevy and Honda engines, which is normally set at 130 Kpa (Kilopascal), was increased to 140 kPa adding about 30 horsepower to the engines.

With the additional horsepower, the fastest speeds climbed from the previous high of 227 mph to over 232 mph, with 18 drivers posting speeds over 230 mph.

Most of the high speeds were achieved when cars were in tows (when the car was drafting in the air of another car.)

The top five drivers were Will Power with a speed of 232.672 mph, who was followed by Josef Newgarden with a speed of 232.344 mph. James Hinchcliffe posted the third fastest speed at 231.972 mph while Carlos Munoz was forth quick at 213.952 mph and Marco Andretti rounded out the top five at 231.824 mph.

Power commented on his quick time. “I got a good tow. Even when the car is out of traffic, it was pretty good, pretty solid. I think it’s fast. I think it’s going to be really, really tight for pole. There’s a lot of quick guys out there and I think Honda is right there, too.

The above speeds were all posted with the benefit of a tow, while more realistic speeds were posted on individual runs without the benefit of the draft from another driver.

The top speed on these individual runs was posted by Townsend Bell at 231.342 mph. Other top “no-tow” speeds were posted by Power at 231.339, Ryan Hunter-Reay at 231.284 and Marco Andretti at 231.255.

“It was a good day. We were pleased to get through a couple different set up changes and get a feel for what we want for tomorrow. I think everyone is feeling good and excited for tomorrow,” Bell stated.

Although Chevys posted the top two speeds of the day, Honda-powered cars occupied the next nine positions on the speed chart.

Practice on Saturday morning runs from 8 – 10 a.m., with qualifying starting at 11:00 a.m.

Thursday, May 19

Once again, Hondas dominated the top of the speed chart with all four top speeds belonging to Honda-powered entries.

Gabby Chaves was fastest on track today topping the charts with a speed of 227.961 mph. He is the first Dale Coyne Racing driver to post the fastest speed of the day this week.

Chaves was happy with his speed. “It’s my first time at the top of the charts here at IMS in IndyCar. I’m just pleased with the work the team has been doing and very pleased with the performance that Honda has been putting out as well,” he commented.

Andretti Autosport drivers Townsend Bell and Carlos Munoz with speeds of 227.593 and 227.589 followed Chaves on the speed chart, respectively.

It was the third day in a row that Munoz posted either the second or third quickest lap of the day.

Chaves’ teammate, Conor Daly, rounded out the Honda parade with the fourth fastest speed of the day at 227.534 mph.

Charlie Kimball, with a speed of 227.477, was the fifth fastest overall, and the fastest Chevy of the day.

32 of the 33 cars at the track practiced today for a total of 2,563 incident-free laps. Oriol Servia spent the most time on the track, logging a total of 127 laps.

The only car that did not practice today was that of Spencer Pigot, who cut down a tire and hit the wall yesterday, severely damaging the car.

Tomorrow is the day at the track traditionally known as “Fast Friday.”

It is the final day of practice before qualifying when the teams work on qualifying set-ups in an attempt to reach their fastest possible speed to get a good qualifying run and starting position for the 100th Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 29.

Wednesday, May 18

Just as they had been on Monday, Andretti Autosport drivers were the fastest in practice today at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

2014 Indianapolis 500 winner, Ryan Hunter-Reay, posted the fastest speed of the day at 228.202 mph, while teammate Carlos Munoz was the only other driver over 228 mph, with a speed of 228.066 mph.

Will Power was third quick at 227.733, while Josef Newgarden was fourth fastest at 226.988, and Gabby Chaves rounded out the top five with a speed of 226.889 mph.

Once again it was the Honda-powered machines that dominated the top of the speed chart with, three of the top five speeds recorded by Hondas.

Hunter-Reay was happy with his run. “Coming off the year we had here last year when I couldn’t get the car do anything I needed it to, it’s nice to have the DHL Honda up towards the front, especially here at Indy. This is what we wait for all year, to get back on the track here, start working with the car, feel the energy of the biggest race in the world,” he said.

The first incident in “500” practice occurred this afternoon when Spencer Pigot did a half-spin in Turn 1 and made hard contact with the SAFER Barrier with the left side of the car. The car then slid down the track and stopped at the entrance to Turn 2. The car was badly damaged but Pigot was unhurt in the crash.

“The car was feeling pretty good. We’d just done our quickest lap the run before so everything was feeling good. Not really sure what happened there, so we’ll just have to go and see what caused the spin. It’s obviously a big setback for me and for the team. It’s not what you want to have happen on just the second day,” Pigot said.

It was a very busy day on the track, as nine drivers ran 100 laps or more, and a total of 2,779 laps were run during the six-hour practice session.

Practice will resume tomorrow at Noon and will run until 6:00 p.m.

Tuesday, May 17
Rain and wet conditions force cancellation of the entire day of practice for the Indianapolis 500 today at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Practice will resume on Wednesday at noon and will run until 6:00 p.m.

Monday, May 16
Practice began today at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the 100th Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 29.

The track was returned to it’s traditional oval shape on Sunday after Saturday’s Angie’s Grand Prix of Indianapolis, which was held on the track’s road course.

The first two hours of today’s practice session were devoted to Rookie Orientation tests and Refreshers for drivers who have not recently driven an IndyCar.

All five rookies entered passed their Rookie Orientation test. Alexander Rossi was the fastest of the five rookies with a top speed of 226.865. The other drivers who passed Rookie tests were Max Chilton, Spencer Pigot, Matt Brabham and Stefan Wilson.

All five drivers who required refreshers, Townsend Bell, Bryan Clauson,, JR Hildebrand, Sage Karam and Oriol Servia, completed their required laps.

When the track was opened to general practice, all 33 drivers entered turned laps on the track. Spencer Pigot ran a total of 84 laps, the highest of any individual driver, and overall, 1,474 incident free laps were run today.

After practice ended, Marco Andretti was at the top of the speed chart with a lap of 228.978 mph. He was followed by his Andretti Autosport teammates, Carlos Munoz and Ryan Hunter-Reay with speeds of 228.945 mph and 228.033, respectively.

Honda dominated the speed chart today as Honda-powered cars posted seven of the top ten speeds.

In other news, Chip Ganassi and driver Charlie Kimball announced that Kimball’s car will sport the number 42 for the “500,” instead of his traditional 83.

The number change is tied to Kimball’s sponsor, Novo Nordisk, who produces the diabetes drug, NovoLog, which Kimball, who is diabetic, takes on a daily basis. The company has produced a new diabetes drug, Tresiba, which after being taken for eight days, stays in the body for at least 42 hours. Kimball also takes this medication.

Also, the names of 42 prominent diabetics will be on Kimball’s, car as well as on the number 42 owned by Ganassi and driven by Kyle Larson in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

Indy 500 practice is scheduled to resume at noon on Tuesday, May 17.

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