SPEEDWAY, IN — official release — INDYCAR photo — Thirty drivers made use of every minute on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on the second day of practice for the 98th Indianapolis 500 Mile Race, recording more than three times as many laps as Opening Day.
Five topped 100 laps on the 2.5-mile oval — half the race distance — including Ryan Hunter-Reay, who also posted the fastest lap of 225.025 mph (39.996 seconds) in the No. 28 DHL car for Andretti Autosport.
“We got a lot of work done today, a lot for what we need for the race weekend,” Hunter-Reay said. “It’s nice leading practice, it’s a nice little consolation prize. I wish it paid. I was out there pushing like it was paying.”
Of the 33 entries, the cars for Sebastian Saavedra (involved in crash at start of Grand Prix of Indianapolis), James Davison and Buddy Lazier are the only ones not on the racetrack yet.
Hunter-Reay’s teammate, Marco Andretti, had set the standard early in the six-hour session with a lap of 224.037 in the No. 25 Snapple car before Hunter-Reay’s fast lap with a tow in the final 15 minutes under a cloudy sky. For the second consecutive day, the five Andretti Autosport drivers took turns touring the oval in packs with a purpose.
“Just getting a feel for downforce levels and race simulation running,” Hunter-Reay said. “It was fun; we got through a lot of work and it’s only Monday.”
Three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves (223.635 mph) was third on the speed chart, while Justin Wilson (223.611) was fourth and Juan Pablo Montoya (223.395) was fifth.
“It was good to get out there and run a lot of laps today, which was important because we don’t know what the weather will be like for (May 13),” said Montoya, who is making his first appearance in an Indy car at the Speedway since winning the Indy 500 in 2000.
“I will definitely sleep good tonight because that was a workout (117 laps). I think the No. 2 Verizon Chevy showed good improvement from (Opening Day). We picked up some time, as did some other drivers. It’s all part of the step-by-step process to get to where we need to be for the race. All in all I think things are going according to plan.”
Reigning Indy 500 winner Tony Kanaan, 11th on the speed chart, logged a field-high 131 laps in the silver No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing car.
Practice continues May 13 from noon-6 p.m. (ET). Qualifications are May 17-18.