Indy 500: Penske go 1-2 in penultimate practice

The Team Penske-Chevrolets of Indy 500 polesitter Simon Pagenaud and Josef Newgarden finished first and second as the 33 drivers turned almost 2500 laps in two hours of practice.

Indy 500: Penske go 1-2 in penultimate practice

With the cars back on ‘regular’ superspeedway 1.3-bar boost and on heavier raceday downforce trim, Pagenaud and Newgarden still managed to break the 228mph barrier, Pagenaud turning his 228.441mph speed with his 88th and very last lap of the session.

He wasn’t the busiest driver – that was 2017 Indy winner Takuma Sato of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing-Honnda – but the luminous Menards car looked very comfortable in traffic in the dense air of the day.

Another driver who seemed able to run anywhere on the track and hang close with the car in front through the turns was Andretti Autosport-Honda’s 2016 winner Alexander Rossi who finished the session in fifth.

Separating him from the Penskes was James Hinchcliffe who bumped his Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports-Honda onto the last row of the grid yesterday having shunted in Saturday qualifying, and Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon who was noticeably hugging the white line at the bottom of the track through several turns – the opposite approach to Helio Castroneves who steers well clear. Penske’s three-time Indy winner was seventh, slightly slower than the sole Carlin-Chevrolet that made it through qualifying, that of Charlie Kimball, and slightly faster than Will Power.

Felix Rosenqvist made it two Ganassi cars in the top 10, but the Swede inadvertently caused a minor incident, when he felt himself drifting wide in Turn 3 as Ryan Hunter-Reay dived through on the inside. The rookie’s corrective lift off the throttle saw him shedding speed quick enough to catch out his compatriot and fellow-newbie, Marcus Ericsson in the second Arrow SPM. The black-and-gold car drifted up and rubbed the wall with his right-rear tire

As well as how comfortable their cars feel in traffic, drivers were also practicing how much fuel they could save running in the draft of their rivals.

The reason for there being 34 speeds is that Tony Kanaan tested Matheus Leist’s car as well as his own.

Cla # Driver Team Laps Time Gap Interval Mph
1 22 France Simon Pagenaud Team Penske 88 39.3975     228.441
2 2 United States Josef Newgarden Team Penske 88 39.4265 0.0290 0.0290 228.273
3 5 Canada James Hinchcliffe Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports 71 39.4748 0.0773 0.0483 227.994
4 9 New Zealand Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing 86 39.4822 0.0847 0.0074 227.951
5 27 United States Alexander Rossi Andretti Autosport 84 39.5326 0.1351 0.0504 227.660
6 23 United States Charlie Kimball Carlin 70 39.5353 0.1378 0.0027 227.645
7 3 Brazil Helio Castroneves Team Penske 92 39.5406 0.1431 0.0053 227.614
8 12 Australia Will Power Team Penske 94 39.5639 0.1664 0.0233 227.480
9 10 Sweden Felix Rosenqvist Chip Ganassi Racing 84 39.5754 0.1779 0.0115 227.414
10 33 Australia James Davison Dale Coyne Racing with Byrd and Belardi 51 39.5791 0.1816 0.0037 227.393
11 14 Brazil Tony Kanaan A.J. Foyt Enterprises 56 39.5962 0.1987 0.0171 227.295
12 7 Sweden Marcus Ericsson Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports 76 39.6405 0.2430 0.0443 227.041
13 60 United Kingdom Jack Harvey Meyer Shank Racing with Arrow SPM 84 39.6582 0.2607 0.0177 226.939
14 18 France Sébastien Bourdais Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan 82 39.6887 0.2912 0.0305 226.765
15 20 United States Ed Carpenter Ed Carpenter Racing 86 39.6909 0.2934 0.0022 226.752
16 4 Brazil Matheus Leist A.J. Foyt Enterprises 4 40.4702 1.0727 0.7793 222.386
17 21 United States Spencer Pigot Ed Carpenter Racing 74 39.7886 0.3911   226.195
18 42 United Kingdom Jordan King Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 61 39.8023 0.4048 0.0137 226.118
19 98 United States Marco Andretti Andretti Herta Autosport with Marco & Curb-Agajani 50 39.8040 0.4065 0.0017 226.108
20 88 United States Colton Herta Harding Steinbrenner Racing 80 39.8185 0.4210 0.0145 226.026
21 19 United States Santino Ferrucci Dale Coyne Racing 84 39.8190 0.4215 0.0005 226.023
22 30 Japan Takuma Sato Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 98 39.8200 0.4225 0.0010 226.017
23 39 United Kingdom Pippa Mann Clauson-Marshall Racing 57 39.8465 0.4490 0.0265 225.867
24 25 United States Conor Daly Andretti Autosport 82 39.8470 0.4495 0.0005 225.864
25 15 United States Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 85 39.8677 0.4702 0.0207 225.747
26 26 United States Zach Veach Andretti Autosport 74 39.8815 0.4840 0.0138 225.669
27 77 Spain Oriol Servia Team Stange Racing with Arrow Schmidt Peterson 65 39.8947 0.4972 0.0132 225.594
28 48 United States J.R. Hildebrand Dreyer & Reinbold Racing 59 39.8987 0.5012 0.0040 225.571
29 28 United States Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport 71 39.9071 0.5096 0.0084 225.524
30 63 United Arab Emirates Ed Jones Ed Carpenter Racing 61 39.9743 0.5768 0.0672 225.145
31 24 United States Sage Karam Dreyer & Reinbold Racing 53 40.0892 0.6917 0.1149 224.499
32 32 United States Kyle Kaiser Juncos Racing 78 40.2007 0.8032 0.1115 223.877
33 4 Brazil Tony Kanaan A.J. Foyt Enterprises 4 40.4702 1.0727 0.2695 222.386
34 81 United Kingdom Ben Hanley DragonSpeed 84 40.5362 1.1387 0.0660 222.024
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