The two-day streak for Chevrolet of owning the fastest lap during a practice session for the 103rd Running of the Indianapolis 500 was extended to three as Ed Jones landed atop the speed chart in Thursday’s seven-hour Practice 3.
- Results: 2019 Indianapolis 500 Practice 3
Driving for Scuderia Corsa in conjunction with Ed Carpenter Racing, Jones lapped at 227.843 mph on just his eighth revolution of the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The Dubai native and his No. 63 Chevrolet turned 37 total laps Thursday.
Though nearly 3 mph slower than his overall fastest speed, Jones also earned the distinction of being the leader of the day’s no-tow results over his teammate Spencer Pigot as well as Simon Pagenaud, Will Power and Charlie Kimball.
Takuma Sato turned 10 more laps than Jones and was second fastest on the overall speed chart, 0.1994 seconds slower than the part-time Carpenter pilot on their respective best laps.
Zach Veach, Sebastien Bourdais and Colton Herta contributed three more Hondas to the top five, giving the Japanese manufacturer a 4-1 advantage in the group. Herta in fifth was 0.4180 seconds off Jones’ pace.
Dreyer & Reinbold Racing’s Sage Karam began the latter half of the top 10 over Kyle Kaiser, Pigot, Scott Dixon and Pagenaud, each separated by minuscule fractions of a second. Down to Ed Carpenter at 225.038 mph, Thursday’s 13 fastest laps were within the same half second.
Despite its representation in the top three with Veach, powerhouse Indianapolis contender Andretti Autosport ended the third day of practice with its four other cars placed 17th, 19th, 22nd and 30th. Veach and Indianapolis 500 one-off driver Conor Daly were fastest within the team while routine championship threats Alexander Rossi and Ryan Hunter-Reay are the two found closest to the bottom of the results sheet.
Carlin’s Max Chilton and Charlie Kimball were 15th and 16th, respectively, while Pato O’Ward turned in what would end up the 23rd-best time before nearly flipping his Chevrolet-powered machine in a heavy crash at Turn 2. Irrespective of an early checkered flag due to rain and quick cautions for track inspections and a motionless Pippa Mann, O’Ward’s wreck was Thursday’s only interruption.
Similar contact with the SAFER Barrier for Fernando Alonso on Wednesday brought serious damage to McLaren Racing’s No. 66 Chevrolet and kept the car off the track for all of Thursday. All 35 other cars turned laps and are expected to be joined again by the McLaren entry when Practice 4 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday brings practice week to a close and launches the NTT IndyCar Series into a weekend dedicated to qualifying for next weekend’s 500-mile race.