Indy 500: Harvey heads practice, Penske struggles continue

The final practice before qualifying saw Jack Harvey of Meyer Shank Racing-Honda top the four-lap simulation runs while Team Penske-Chevrolet’s struggles for pace continue.

Indy 500: Harvey heads practice, Penske struggles continue

Just nine cars took part in the session which allowed drivers to test their overnight changes before today’s qualifying runs. although with the ambient temperature only 72degF, conditions were far more favorable than many drivers expect to encounter this afternoon.

Harvey topped the speeds with a 230.232mph average over four laps, ahead of Rahal Letterman Lanigan-Honda’s defending Indy 500 winner Takuma Sato on 229.983.

Rookie Scott McLaughlin ran a 229.682mph average to finish as top Penske ahead of teammate Simon Pagenaud who completed two runs, as did the Andretti Autosport-Hondas of Ryan Hunter-Reay and Marco Andretti. However, Will Power and Josef Newgarden were some 1mph off Harvey’s average.

Nonetheless Power told Peacock TV that his car’s handling had been vastly improved, and said if he qualified in the Top 15 this afternoon it will have been a good day, as he feels he can race from there and has a strong race setup.

Qualifying will begin at 12 noon with everybody’s first run occurring in the order listed below. After all 35 entrants have made their first runs – which will take a total of approximately three hours, barring yellow-flags – cars can make an unlimited number of runs thereafter.

Those entries wishing to take advantage of this opportunity can join one of two lines. The fast line takes priority but obliges the entry to withdraw his or her current 4-lap average. Getting to the track via the slow lane allows an entry to retain his or her existing speed.

When the gun goes off at 5.50pm this afternoon, grid positions 10 through 30 will be locked in place.

The top nine will progress to the Fast Nine shootout – just one 4-lap run per car – on Sunday at 3.00-3.45pm, while the bottom five from qualifying today will be consigned to the Last Chance Qualifying shootout on Sunday from 1.15 to 2.30pm for the three slots on the last row of the grid. An entry’s number of runs in this session is confined only by time.

Following last night’s draw for qualifying, cars will make their initial runs in the following order.

1

9

Scott Dixon

2

98

Marco Andretti

3

28

Ryan Hunter-Reay

4

06

Helio Castroneves

5

18

Ed Jones

6

29

James Hinchcliffe

7

25

Stefan Wilson

8

48

Tony Kanaan

9

2

Josef Newgarden

10

21

Rinus VeeKay

11

3

Scott McLaughlin

12

30

Takuma Sato

13

45

Santino Ferrucci

14

24

Sage Karam

15

51

Pietro Fittipaldi

16

86

Juan Pablo Montoya

17

1

JR Hildebrand

18

12

Will Power

19

20

Ed Carpenter

20

5

Pato O’Ward

21

7

Felix Rosenqvist

22

59

Max Chilton

23

4

Dalton Kellett

24

47

Conor Daly

25

15

Grahal Rahal

26

60

Jack Harvey

27

75

RC Enerson

28

10

Alex Palou

29

22

Simon Pagenaud

30

26

Colton Herta

31

27

Alexander Rossi

32

8

Marcus Ericsson

33

16

Simon De Silvestro

34

11

Charlie Kimball

35

14

Sebastien Bourdais

 

 

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