Reigning Verizon IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon in the No.9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Team Chevrolet set the fastest time during the second practice on Thursday afternoon ahead of Saturday’s Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis.
The New Zealander completed 34 laps with a fastest lap of 1m 09.8281s ending the session just ahead points leader Simon Pagenaud. Speaking following the session Dixon commented by saying:
It was a really good day for Team Target and the No. 9 car guys. I flat-spotted a tire in the first practice session and that kind of put us behind a bit. But we had good pace in the second session and are off to a good start this weekend. The ultimate goal everyone is after this month is to sweep the Grand Prix and the 500 and we’re working hard on starting off in the best position possible
Speaking following the session, Pagenaud commented by saying:
The Menards Chevrolet was very strong today and I feel very proud to be in it for the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indy. I was concerned with the weather that we might not be able to get the second practice in, but I’m glad the rain held off. We’re where we want to be and we feel strong going into qualifying. So, I’m pretty happy with where we ended today.
Graham Rahal was third fastest for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing ending the session with a fastest time of 1m 09.9896s ending the session just ahead of KVSH Racing’s Sebastien Bourdais. Speaking following the opening day of track action at IMS the Frenchman commented by saying:
It was an interesting day for the Team EUROPA – KVSH Racing team. We didn’t start the day where we wanted. The car was a little off, which was surprising given our history here and coming off Barber where the car was blindingly fast. I am not sure what really happened, but we fought our way through it. The guys did a good job, the Chevy power was there and things worked out. We’ll just have to see what happens tomorrow.
Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet’s Will Power was 5th fastest ending the session just ahead of Mikhail Aleshin. Speaking following the session, Power commented by saying:
It’s a track I really enjoy because it’s technical. It’s very much like a European track. You can drive the car in a different way that you can’t drive it on any other circuit. It’s definitely one of my favorites. It’s a lot of fun. I think it races well, too. With the long straights and everything, creates good racing. Hopefully we can see a lot of passing in the race. But if I’m in front, hopefully not.
Josef Newgarden was seventh fastest in the No.21 Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet ending the session just ahead of James Hinchcliffe in the No.5 Arrow Electronics Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda who ran wide just before the end of the session and got his car stuck.
Defending Indianapolis 500 winner Juan Pablo Montoya was ninth fastest in the No.2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet. The No.28 DHL Andretti Autosport Honda of Ryan Hunter Reay rounded out the top ten. Speaking following the session he commented by saying:
We started making some gains in the second practice session. Certainly a lot better here than we were last year, so we need to find two-tenths of a second to put us in the mix for the (Firestone) Fast Six. Hopefully we’ll put our heads together tonight and find it for the DHL team.
Helio Castroneves in the No.3 Hum was 11th fastest and speaking following the session he commented by saying:
First thing, it’s great to have hum by Verizon on board for the race. It’s always nice to have something a little different. They’re different colors from what we normally run. Also, it’s great to be in Indianapolis. The hum Chevy was good today. We were able to learn some things and we’re looking forward to qualifying tomorrow.
Spencer Pigot was 12th fastest for the Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Team just ahead of Charlie Kimball in the No.83 Tresiba® Chevrolet and speaking following the session he commented by saying:
Overall we had a pretty good day of practice here at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It’s always nice to be back on track at IMS. We worked on a lot of different things–mechanical platform, aerodynamic settings–and I think we’ve found a window we’re pretty happy with. We were able to run a good lap time; I think we were fourth quick at the time, but then people stacked in there. Some ran new tires while we didn’t, so I think we set ourselves up well as far as tire usage the rest of the weekend. Overall we’re pleased with the progress of the No. 83 Tresiba Chevrolet. I think we need to find another few tenths right there to be really happy. But it’s so tight, so competitive, that just another tenth or two would have put us inside the fop-five.
Conor Daly was 14th fastest for Dale Coyne Racing and speaking following the session Daly commented by saying:
It was my first time here on the Grand Prix track. It’s a cool place, such a nice circuit but you wouldn’t expect anything less from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. I think we had a really productive day. We’re certainly further up the grid in practice than we have been. We’re inching closer, it might take a while but we’re getting there. We’re going to keep working on the car. There’s a lot to be done but I’m pleased with the progress we’ve made today.
Marco Andretti in the No.27 Snapple Honda was 15th fastest and speaking following the session he commented by saying:
We just lost the balance from this morning. This morning the Snapple car was behaving well, this afternoon we had a couple problems every corner – understeer, snap loose and just trying to combat one of them. We don’t know which one to fix first. We lost the car in Practice 2, Practice 1 the car was good so just trying to figure that out.
Gabby Chaves driving for Dale Coyne Racing in the No.19 Honda was 16th fastest on his return to the Verizon IndyCar Series for the first time since 2015 and speaking following the opening day of track action he commented by saying:
It feels great to get back in the car. It’s been a long time out of the race car so I’m really working hard to make myself the best I can be every lap out there, so then I can give the best feedback and we can improve the car as well. It’s a process, we’re doing it together. I’m pretty pleased, we’re definitely not far off. I know there are a few things here and there that we can improve and that’s what we’re here to do. If you can’t start racing at the beginning of the season, the month of May is certainly the time to do it!
JR Hildebrand was 17th fastest just ahead of Andretti Autosport’s No.98 Honda Castrol Edge with Curb Alexander Rossi who commented by saying:
It’s the best Friday we’ve had in a while. I think the car started off pretty good – or better than it has off the truck which is encouraging. We found quite a bit there right at the end of the second session so I think we have a good starting point going into tomorrow.
Alex Tagliani in the No.35 AJ Foyt Racing Honda was 19th fastest and speaking following the session the Canadian commented by saying:
We didn’t run much in first practice. We had some telemetry issues but second practice was okay. We tried to catch up and get some laps in to get back into the groove in second practice. I think it was decent, and I think there is more to come. We just need to get the car where it needs to be, and for me to put a good lap in. I think we’ll be all right.
Max Chilton was 20th in the No.8 Gallagher Chevrolet and speaking following his day in the car he commented by saying:
In the first session this morning we worked on some front wing changes and some rear spring adjustments. We had some problems with the overall balance of the car which slowed us down a bit as well. The field is just so tight. Two-tenths of a second can really move you up or down the order a significant amount. We have a bit of work to do but I’m confident the Gallagher team will make the right adjustments for tomorrow.
Takuma Sato was disappointed with his day in the No.14 ABC Supply Co Honda and speaking following the second session he stated:
Bit of a tough day but it was an interesting day, we went through quite a few test items. We split the menu items up among the three cars and I think we found some positives. The tires are good for just the first few laps, so I wasn’t able to do a quick lap but in the end we found some direction. The weather helped by staying dry today. Hopefully tomorrow we will be moving up the chart!”
Tony Kanaan in the NTT Group Chevrolet was 22nd fastest and speaking following his day in the car the 2013 Indianapolis 500 champion commented by saying:
Obviously not the way we wanted to start our month of May. We’re still just working on the car and trying to get it where it needs to be for Saturday. We spent a lot of that second session making changes and we weren’t able to get as many laps as we would’ve liked. We still have the first practice session tomorrow morning to make sure everything is in place and ready to go for qualifying. Today wasn’t a great one for the No. 10 NTT Group Chevrolet, but there’s always tomorrow to turn it around.
Jack Hawksworth was 23rd fastest in the No.41 AJ Foyt Racing Honda and speaking following his day in the car he commented by saying:
“I felt comfortable in the car both sessions. We ran our race set up for both sessions today. Still working some kinks out. We’re still trying to find the right balance on the brakes, but for the car overall, it felt good.”
Matthew Brabham was 24th just ahead of Carlos Munoz who only completed three laps for Andretti Autosport and speaking following the session he commented by saying:
We didn’t run in Practice 2 because of mechanical issues. We still don’t know yet what happened really. Practice 1 was kind of OK, we’ll see tomorrow. The goal today was to do the miles to change the engine in the hhgregg car. We’ll see tomorrow with the new engine how it goes.