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Indy 500 Practice: Andretti leads, Dixon spins but stars

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Indy 500 Practice: Andretti leads, Dixon spins but stars
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The top two qualifiers for the 104th running of the Indy 500, Marco Andretti and Scott Dixon, finished first and third in Sunday afternoon practice at IMS, but each starred for very different reasons.

Soon after Andretti’s narrow victory over Dixon in qualifying, IndyCar ran a 2hr30min session that saw the cars’ BorgWarner turbos wound back down to raceday boost of 1.3-bar and with raceday downforce levels. This session replaces the one which in recent years was held on the Monday after Pole Day, and serves as the penultimate chance for drivers to acclimatize to running in traffic and adjust their cars’ handling for driving in dirty air. The final opportunity will come in a two-hour session on Carb Day, next Friday, as there will be no track action on Saturday, as per usual.

While six drivers turned 100 laps or more, Andretti turned just 27 – and yet the 21st of these was the fastest of the session, a 224.122mph effort which just shaded the best effort of Team Penske-Chevrolet’s three-time Indy 500 winner, Helio Castroneves. The Brazilian was one of four Chevrolet cars in the Top 10, as the Bowtie runners seemed stronger relative to their Honda-powered rivals with the boost dialed back and in traffic, than when running solo in qualifying at 1.5-bar.

But Dixon unintentionally stole the show with a 218mph spin coming off Turn 4 after hitting a bump. The Chip Ganassi Racing-Honda clipped the outside wall with its rear wing, spin across to hit the pitwall a little harder, and all while wreathed in tire smoke.

 

Less than hour later, the #9 Chip Ganassi Racing crew had his car prepped and ready to return to action – and the 2008 Indy 500 winner launched to the top of the timesheets with the first lap into the 223mph bracket.

Ryan Hunter-Reay of Andretti Autosport was fourth quickest ahead of Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan’s Santino Ferrucci, who won the 2019 Indy 500 Rookie of the Year award.

Conor Daly, as he had on Wednesday and Thursday, looked very strong in traffic for Ed Carpenter-Chevy, as did his team owner Ed Carpenter who has suffered some uncharacteristic struggles with his car’s handling this past week.

Rookie Alex Palou made it two Coyne cars in the Top 10, but the third one – co-entered by Rick Ware Racing/Byrd/Belardi – was not in action, as its driver James Davison was competing in the NASCAR race at Daytona.

Both Fernando Alonso and one of his Arrow McLaren SP-Chevrolet teammates Pato O’Ward turned 115 laps – more than anyone else – and both looked comfortable in traffic and able to pass. Alonso did have a half-spin-and-stall exiting his pit box but otherwise looked like a veteran campaigner.

Indy 500 Sunday afternoon practice

P

No

Name

Diff

Gap

FL

Laps

FSpeed

Engine

Team

1

98

Marco Andretti

--.----

--.----

21

27

224.122

Honda

Andretti Herta with Marco & Curb-Agajanian

2

3

Helio Castroneves

0.0099

0.0099

93

101

224.067

Chevy

Team Penske

3

9

Scott Dixon

0.0782

0.0683

31

36

223.686

Honda

Chip Ganassi Racing

4

28

Ryan Hunter-Reay

0.1429

0.0647

46

58

223.327

Honda

Andretti Autosport

5

18

Santino Ferrucci

0.1790

0.0361

73

84

223.127

Honda

Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser Sullivan

6

47

Conor Daly

0.1907

0.0117

65

75

223.063

Chevy

Ed Carpenter Racing

7

8

Marcus Ericsson

0.2280

0.0373

11

37

222.857

Honda

Chip Ganassi Racing

8

5

Pato O'Ward

0.2456

0.0176

107

115

222.760

Chevy

Arrow McLaren SP

9

20

Ed Carpenter

0.2966

0.0510

42

68

222.479

Chevy

Ed Carpenter Racing

10

55

Alex Palou

0.3093

0.0127

76

78

222.409

Honda

Dale Coyne Racing with Team Goh

11

66

Fernando Alonso

0.3195

0.0102

102

115

222.353

Chevy

Arrow McLaren SP

12

27

Alexander Rossi

0.3202

0.0007

40

57

222.349

Honda

Andretti Autosport

13

12

Will Power

0.3629

0.0427

96

102

222.115

Chevy

Team Penske

14

26

Zach Veach

0.3849

0.0220

92

101

221.994

Honda

Andretti Autosport

15

67

JR Hildebrand

0.4108

0.0259

59

73

221.852

Chevy

Dreyer & Reinbold Racing

16

10

Felix Rosenqvist

0.4154

0.0046

28

74

221.827

Honda

Chip Ganassi Racing

17

45

Spencer Pigot

0.4404

0.0250

58

75

221.691

Honda

RLL with Citrone/Buhl Autosport

18

59

Max Chilton

0.4741

0.0337

84

100

221.507

Chevy

Carlin

19

21

Rinus VeeKay

0.4775

0.0034

37

46

221.488

Chevy

Ed Carpenter Racing

20

1

Josef Newgarden

0.4775

0.0000

61

94

221.488

Chevy

Team Penske

21

88

Colton Herta

0.4907

0.0132

57

90

221.416

Honda

Andretti Harding Steinbrenner Autosport

22

14

Tony Kanaan

0.5169

0.0262

19

37

221.274

Chevy

AJ Foyt Enterprises

23

22

Simon Pagenaud

0.5352

0.0183

70

95

221.174

Chevy

Team Penske

24

24

Sage Karam

0.5994

0.0642

56

91

220.826

Chevy

Dreyer & Reinbold Racing

25

41

Dalton Kellett

0.6092

0.0098

66

93

220.773

Chevy

AJ Foyt Enterprises

26

30

Takuma Sato

0.6140

0.0048

71

96

220.747

Honda

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

27

60

Jack Harvey

0.6142

0.0002

64

95

220.746

Honda

Meyer Shank Racing

28

29

James Hinchcliffe

0.6855

0.0713

4

53

220.360

Honda

Andretti Autosport

29

7

Oliver Askew

0.6981

0.0126

77

96

220.292

Chevy

Arrow McLaren SP

30

15

Graham Rahal

0.7087

0.0106

51

84

220.235

Honda

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

31

4

Charlie Kimball

0.8265

0.1178

7

13

219.602

Chevy

AJ Foyt Enterprises

32

81

Ben Hanley

1.1959

0.3694

5

84

217.640

Chevy

DragonSpeed USA

33

51

James Davison

---

---

--

---

---

Honda

Dale Coyne Racing w/Rick Ware Racing/Byrd/Belardi

 

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About this article

Series IndyCar
Event Indy 500
Author David Malsher-Lopez