By Steve Wittich
“Yeah, just still early days,” said Marco Andretti after getting out of the car after setting the quickest lap of practice. “But checking off the boxes right now. A lot of test items. We got through a ton of stuff today. It was a pretty productive day. We got the car to almost there in traffic. We’re not there yet. But, you know, I’m sure everybody’s dealing with a similar thing.
“But, you know, we think we have a direction, which is positive. We just later in the week need to confirm that hopefully. Yeah, just working away, see where we end up.”
The 3,349 laps turned by the 35 entries for the 102nd Indianapolis 500 Presented by PennGrade Motor Oil is the most laps turned during a day in the last five years (it could be longer, but I’ll need to take more time to figure that out). The next highest total of laps was during the Monday practice in 2016 when a total of 2,886 laps were turned.
By the way, 3,349 laps = 8,372.5 miles or the same as driving from New York City to Los Angeles back to New York City and back to California Speedway in Fontana, Calif.
We checked with Tony Kanaan on pit-road after his earlier tow-in, and the Brazilian told us that the issue the No. 14 ABC Supply A.J. Foyt Racing Chevrolet had was with a throttle sensor.
Just after Tony sent the last update, Marco Andretti reset the quickest lap of the day at 227.053 MPH, while running in a large group of cars.
When “Happy Hour” began at 5 PM, only Danica Patrick, Pippa Mann, and Sebastien Bourdais were the only three cars on the track, but the 2.5-mile oval quickly got busier as cars started working in smaller groups.
With 20 minutes left in the day, it was “Blackjack,” with 21 cars on the legendary oval.
The No. 19 Paysafe car of Zachary Claman DeMelo was missing during the final few hours of practice, but that was because the entry had put the allotted mileage on it’s first of four Honda Racing HI18TT engines and was having a new power-plant installed.
Honda-powered drivers turned the top-four overall lap speeds. However, three of the top four no-tow laps were set by cars with a Chevrolet lump.
What does that mean? We’ll use Andretti’s favorite phrase, and say “it’s early days.”
The fastest trap speed headed into Turn 3 was 235.651 mph by Helio Castroneves. Combine that high-trap speed with the three-time winner only turning the 18th quickest lap, and we start to wonder if the Team Penske portion of Gasoline Alley is in need of protection from flooding.
The quickest lap in the first two days of testing last year was also turned by Andretti at 226.338 mph on opening day. We checked back through our records, and the air and track temperatures were slightly warmer.
Final time sheet for the second day of practice for the 102nd Indianapolis 500 Presented by PennGrade Motor Oil
|RANK||CAR NO.||DRIVER||TEAM||MANUFACTURER||FASTEST LAP||QUICKEST NO-TOW LAP||TOTAL LAPS|
|1||98||Marco Andretti||Andretti Herta Autosport with Curb-Agajanian||Honda||227.053||221.446||117|
|2||9||Scott Dixon||Chip Ganassi Racing Teams||Honda||226.329||219.479||115|
|3||30||Takuma Sato||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing||Honda||226.108||219.761||112|
|4||6||Robert Wickens||Schmidt Peterson Motorsports||Honda||226.086||220.073||113|
|6||14||Tony Kanaan||AJ Foyt Enterprises||Chevy||225.740||223.048||85|
|7||88||Gabby Chaves||Harding Racing||Chevy||225.475||221.505||79|
|8||20||Ed Carpenter||Ed Carpenter Racing||Chevy||225.164||222.754||93|
|9||64||Oriol Servia||Scuderia Corsa with RLL||Honda||224.934||217.699||115|
|10||24||Sage Karam||Dreyer & Reinbold||Chevy||224.887||220.904||82|
|11||1||Josef Newgarden||Team Penske||Chevy||224.766||220.136||90|
|12||13||Danica Patrick||Ed Carpenter Racing||Chevy||224.570||219.653||85|
|13||29||Carlos Munoz||Andretti Autosport||Honda||224.562||220.171||123|
|14||21||Spencer Pigot||Ed Carpenter Racing||Chevy||224.544||220.744||86|
|15||7||Jay Howard||Schmidt Peterson Motorsports||Honda||224.539||219.093||113|
|16||4||Matheus Leist||AJ Foyt Enterprises||Chevy||224.507||222.147||59|
|18||3||Helio Castroneves||Team Penske||Chevy||224.417||218.084||98|
|19||27||Alexander Rossi||Andretti Autosport||Honda||224.213||222.139||103|
|20||66||JR Hildebrand||Dreyer & Reinbold||Chevy||224.128||221.084||69|
|21||12||Will Power||Team Penske||Chevy||224.004||221.127||97|
|22||28||Ryan Hunter-Reay||Andretti Autosport||Honda||223.959||221.398||112|
|23||60||Jack Harvey||Meyer Shank Racing with Schmidt Peterson||Honda||223.923||219.470||117|
|24||22||Simon Pagenaud||Team Penske||Chevy||223.727||221.539||97|
|25||63||Pippa Mann||Dale Coyne Racing||Honda||223.633||220.096||78|
|26||26||Zach Veach||Andretti Autosport||Honda||223.624||221.307||120|
|27||10||Ed Jones||Chip Ganassi Racing Teams||Honda||223.592||220.334||68|
|28||32||Kyle Kaiser||Juncos Racing||Chevy||223.254||219.701||106|
|29||5||James Hinchcliffe||Schmidt Peterson Motorsports||Honda||223.180||219.383||129|
|30||18||Sebastien Bourdais||Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan||Honda||223.145||222.441||110|
|31||17||Conor Daly||Dale Coyne Racing dba Thom Burns Racing||Honda||222.662||217.113||87|
|32||25||Stefan Wilson||Andretti Autosport||Honda||222.430||218.682||104|
|33||33||James Davison||Foyt with Byrd/Hollinger/Belardi||Chevy||222.429||218.433||74|
|34||15||Graham Rahal||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing||Honda||222.102||220.721||78|
|35||19||Zachary Claman De Melo||Dale Coyne Racing||Honda||221.823||218.928||67|