Andretti Autosport’s Ryan Hunter Reay continued Andretti Autosport’s run of topping the time-sheets at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Wednesday as the former Indy 500 champion ended day three in P1 with a fastest time of 39.4388s and speaking following the day of action he commented by saying:
Coming off the year we had here last year, where I couldn’t get the car to do anything I needed it to, it’s nice to have the No. 28 DHL Honda up towards the front, especially here at Indy. This is what we wait for all year – to get back here in Indy and start working on the car and build the energy of the biggest race in the word. We’re working through things with our set up; some qualifying things and some race things – just getting into the mix and getting into traffic. It’s been a fun day – a challenging one at times. When that wind switches around, it certainly throws you for a loop, but I was definitely pretty happy with the car there at the end.
Carlos Munoz in the No.26 Andretti Autosport Honda was second fastest completing 110 laps with a fastest time of 39.4623s and speaking following the session he commented by saying:
The United Fiber & Data car feels pretty strong. We were trying some stuff today – we were concentrating on our race car. That is our mentality right now, the race car and then trim for qualifying. The good thing is the speed is there. We have been running in front and when we go out for the long runs seem competitive. It is a good point to start as a team, we still have a long way to go.
Verizon Team Penske’s Will Power in the No.12 Chevrolet was third fastest and speaking following the session he commented by saying:
Yeah, I mean, the tow is worth about six miles an hour, so (the current speeds) are not really representative. But yeah, it’s just a matter of finding good traffic and understanding your car and seeing what works and what doesn’t work. I think the cars are a little slower this year for sure, and the Hondas look strong, very strong.
Josef Newgarden in the No.21 Preferred Freezer Chevrolet Ed Carpenter Racing chassis was fourth fastest completing 103 laps and speaking following the day of action where his fastest lap time was a 39.6479s Newgarden commented by saying:
Practice here at Indy is so interesting. Everyone’s up and down on the time sheets, and it’s kind of hard to put any stock into what you see on practice days. Everyone’s getting tow laps, some people are in qualifying trim and some aren’t. For us today I think we made the car better in traffic. That’s why we were able to get a better tow lap and go towards the top of the sheets. I still feel like we’ve got a little bit more to go. I think we’re feeling good. Compared to last year I think we’ve made progress with our car and had a good starting package. We’ve had to work on it. It’s been a little different with some of the safety advancements that we’ve had to put on the car but overall I think we’ve got great cars. I think we’re quick, I really think our ECR cars are going to be fast. It’d be great to have the Fuzzy’s car with Ed fast, and JR and I in the Preferred Freezer cars want to be up there too. I feel like we’re going to be quick on qualifying day, hopefully that’s true. The most important thing for us is just trying to make the traffic running good. I feel like we’re going to be in a big pack all race, which is great for the show, but makes it difficult to drive in so we’ve just been working on making that the best as possible.
Gabby Chaves in the No.19 Dale Coyne Racing Honda had a great day as he finished the day in 5th place with a fastest time of 39.6669s and speaking following his day in the car Chaves commented by saying:
Good day. I mean, we had a little bit of running, about 30 minutes of running on Monday, so today was our first full day, and we got through a lot of changes, got through all our program, did some traffic running, and like I say, I’m pretty pleased. I haven’t had any uncomfortable situations out there today, and so I’m honestly just very, very pleased with the way the day has been going.
Charlie Kimball in the No.42 Tresiba® Chevrolet was sixth fastest and speaking his day in the car he commented by saying:
Today went really well for the No. 42 Tresiba Chevrolet. I think a lot of guys were excited to get back out on-track, especially after getting rained out yesterday. It was a beautiful day at IMS and the No. 42 car ran pretty well. We did a lot of work in traffic working on the race setup and I was pretty happy with where we ended the day. We made some changes that made the car better and we made some changes that we decided weren’t the right way to go. Overall I think Chip Ganassi Racing has a solid foundation to learn from heading into the next couple of days. Looking ahead, we’ll probably do a couple of race work runs to start the day and then we’ll start getting a solid eye toward qualifying this weekend.
Townsend Bell in the No.29 Andretti Autosport Honda was seventh fastest completing 109 laps with a fastest time of 39.6904s and speaking following the session he commented by saying:
It was another good day, the California Pizza Kitchen/ Robert Graham car is solid. It’s nice to have five strong cars that can go out and run in a pack like that – I’ve never really had that ability here. It’s good to get race running in two days in a row so I think and hope it will help us a bit come race day.
Sage Karam was eighth fastest in the No.24 Gas Monkey Energy Chevrolet and speaking following the session he commented by saying:
Pretty good day, a productive day for the No. 24 Gas Monkey Energy Chevrolet. We ran a lot more laps today than we did Monday, and it’s good to be out there just feeling the car out. We just worked on race setup today, I think we ended the day P8, so we’re really pleased with that. The car is pretty good in traffic, it’s a lot harder to pass this year compared to years prior, but it looks like that for everyone, not just us. But we seem to be on the better end of getting passes done to other people, so I’d say we have a pretty good race car right now. We just have to keep chipping away at it, keep working at it. We still have a couple more practice days here, and I’m excited to see where we can go with this race car. It’s all about being able to get close to the guy in front of you in the corner and staying flat on the throttle, and that’s how passing is going to get done. It looks like everyone’s struggling with that right now, so hopefully we can eliminate some of those issues and we’ll be good from there.
JR Hildebrand commented on his day by saying:
It was good to get a full day in. With Monday having refresher practice and that kind of stuff it was a little choppy. So we’re just getting with the program. I felt like we made a lot of progress with the car. Ed (Carpenter), Josef (Newgarden) and I were all trying a bunch of different stuff. I think at this point we’ve just got to be able to go back and see what we’ve got so we can take the best from everything and get with the program again tomorrow. Qualifying will be here before we know it. I think we all made progress today.
Ed Carpenter commented by saying:
It was a pretty good day. We got through quite a few changes. It wasn’t the flashiest day but we got a lot of work done. We definitely made the car better in traffic which is something that we still needed to do. I feel a lot better about it. We do need to start getting some speed out of the car, but Josef showed he had some speed so we’ll just put our heads down and see what we have tomorrow.
Matthew Brabham commented by saying:
It has been fantastic to do so many laps today, I’m feeling more comfortable in the car, which is the biggest thing. I’m enjoying it a lot more and getting further experience each time around here, which is going to be good for when it counts come qualifying day and the race. I’m really happy with how it’s all progressing. Running in the pack is a lot more hairy, but I felt OK, there’s some work to do on my side of just learning how to time things right and run in traffic – and I think there’s a lot we can improve on the car to help that.
Reigning Verizon IndyCar champion Scott Dixon commented by saying:
Today we didn’t do that much running in the Target Chevy. We used two sets of tires and the changes took a little while in between runs. We did some race trim running and it seems like some of the other cars have trimmed out a little bit more. I’m not real happy with the car middle-off, as it has some washout and some understeer. We have some work to do but I’m confident we’ll get there.
Tony Kanaan in the No.10 NTT Group Chevrolet commented by saying:
It was really good for us to get a full day of practice in today after losing an entire day yesterday to rain. The No. 10 NTT Data Chevrolet felt pretty good today, especially on our qualifying runs. We spent the early part of the session working through some qualifying simulations and then came out later in the afternoon to get some full tank runs in and some time working with our teammates out on track. We’re still working through some tweaks and trying to get some speed, but overall it was a good day today at the track.