Saturday, July 20, 2019

Power Tops Opening Indy 500 Practice


The first NTT IndyCar Series practice for the 103rd Running of the Indianapolis 500 was conducted under cool temperatures with thicker air, allowing for increased tow effects which benefited defending race winner Will Power who set the fastest lap of the day.

Power’s best speed came on the 41st of 68 total laps for the Team Penske driver and his Verizon 5G-liveried Chevrolet. At 229.745 mph, Power was one of two drivers to crest the 229 mph mark — a threshold not crossed last year until Fast Friday practice.

INDYCAR Grand Prix winner Simon Pagenaud ended the day with the second-fastest lap. His 229.703 mph effort came on Lap 53 of 81 for the Frenchman. Both Pagenaud and Power were well down on the no-tow rank, demonstrating the impact of drafting.

Ed Carpenter was fastest for much of the day in the No. 20 Preferred Freezer Services Chevrolet before being dropped down to third. His 228.653 mph tow-assisted lap was backed up by the fifth-fastest no-tow speed of 223.134 mph.

Helio Castroneves made it three Penske drivers in the top five thanks to his 228.441 mph lap, which was good enough for fourth over Colton Herta. Herta’s 228.284 mph speed made him the both the fastest rookie and the top Honda-powered driver.

Alexander Rossi NAPA Andretti Indy car on Indy 500 practice pit lane
While all of Team Penske found the top five, Andretti Autosport’s cars were seventh, eighth, ninth, 12th and 19th on day one of Indy 500 practice. | Photo: Jamie Sheldrick / Spacesuit Media

Sebastien Bourdais, Zach Veach, Alexander Rossi and Marco Andretti added four more Hondas in positions six through nine ahead of Ed Carpenter Racing’s Ed Jones in 10th. Notably, Jones turned the fastest no-tow lap of the day at 224.542 mph.

Chevrolet drivers joined Jones and fifth-fastest Carpenter in locking out the top five no-tow speeds with JR Hildebrand, Tony Kanaan and Charlie Kimball second through fourth fastest when lapping alone.

Fernando Alonso and McLaren Racing’s No. 66 Chevrolet began the month 32nd on the Practice 1 results sheet, which features James Hinchcliffe’s name in positions 23, 25, 28 and 39 as the Canadian completed shakedown laps in all three Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports entries.

Slowed by two debris cautions and one yellow flag for track inspection, the seven-hour day was broken up into two hours for veterans, two for rookies and refreshers and three for all cars. The only yellow flag for contact occurred late when Herta spun exiting pit lane with 36 minutes remaining. He was able to continue but stopped on the backstretch.

The 36-car field will be back in action Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. EDT for Practice 2 with live streaming available via INDYCAR Pass on NBC Sports Gold.

Ben Hinc
Ben Hinc
Ben's executive editor title is purposefully broad to encompass the bottomless list of roles he fills for The Apex, which includes webmaster, graphic designer, quality consultant and writer. Ben's technical background and progressive media distribution approach set The Apex apart technologically and philosophically.


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Alexander Rossi in Andretti Indy car on 2019 Belle Isle pit lane

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