Team Penske’s championship leader Josef Newgarden in the No.2 Shell V Power Nitro+ Chevrolet ended day two of practice at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Wednesday fastest with a speed of 228.856MPH.
Speaking following the day’s action he said:
We had a pretty good day. We’re trying to set a few things methodically and slowly. I was relatively happy with the car being in the window. The Shell Chevy looks good and feels good. It looks like a race car. It’s really pretty and I’ve gotten a lot of compliments on it. We just need to make sure it’s as fast as it needs to be. It was a solid day. We worked on some race stuff and will probably get into some qualifying stuff tomorrow.”
Defending series champion Scott Dixon driving the No.9 PNC Bank Honda for Chip Ganassi Racing was second fastest with a speed of 228.835MPH and speaking following the day’s action he said he said:
We worked on race running pretty much all day in the PNC Bank car. We had a baseline setup that I think was pretty strong. We ran a lot of laps and tried to go through a lot of mechanical things and then with the dampers. I think we made some solid gains and then we were just trying to pick the right times to run at the end and maximize what we could learn.”
It was a great day Spencer Pigot in the No.21 Chevrolet as he ended the day in third and speaking following the action he said he:
It was another good day. We made a lot of improvements to the car. In traffic, we made the car a lot better, which is always positive. We were able to put up some good lap times and pass quite a few cars. So far, so good in practice.”
It was also a great day for Santino Ferrucci as he ended the day in fourth place just ahead of Helio Castroneves in the No.3 Pennzoil Chevrolet and speaking after the session Castroneves said:
Another great day for the Pennzoil Chevy. We felt that every moment we were out there was a learning process. We made some positive changes and as the track cooled down, we decided to stop a little early so we can focus on warmer weather tomorrow. So, tomorrow is going to be a busy day, for sure, and we’re looking forward to it.”
Sebastien Bourdais in the No.18 Geico Honda was 6th just ahead of Andretti Autosport’s Zach Veach in the No.26 Gainbridge Honda.
Charlie Kimball in the No.23 Fiap Chevrolet was eighth fastest and speaking following the day’s action he said:
Overall, it was another great day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. We spent a little bit of time working on single-car pace and started down a road of changes and found a direction we need to keep exploring. After we got some laps in early in the session, we came back to the garage and got ready for some race running. We did some work in traffic and the No. 23 Fiasp Carlin® Chevrolet was OK, but now we have a pretty solid direction we need to keep pursuing. The spotters and the whole team did a great job today and we were able to finish up the day with some good live pit stop practice.”
Ed Jones was ninth just ahead of his team mate Ed Carpenter who rounded out the top ten.
Despite the rumors of their Indy 500 demise, Kyle Kaiser for Juncos Racing was 11th and speaking following the session he said:
Overall, I am really happy with how Day 2 has gone. Starting off this morning we rolled off in the No. 32 Chevrolet and went straight off to running in traffic and had a pretty strong lap right out of the gate. More importantly, the car is feeling really good. The balance has improved a lot since last year. Running on our own, our no-tow speeds are really strong and the car’s balance also feels great. The team has just done an amazing job preparing for this. Regardless of what is happening outside of our program, the team is maintaining focus and doing a really great job. I am looking forward to having another fun day tomorrow as we keep preparing and get closer to qualifying.”
Mathues Matt Leist in the No.4 ABC Supply Chevrolet was 12th for AJ Foyt Racing just ahead of Marco Andretti in the No.98 US Concrete Honda.
Graham Rahal in the No.15 United Rentals Honda was 14th with a speed of 227.008MPH. Speaking following the day’s action he said he said:
We ran in race trim all day. I feel like we’re pretty competitive. We need to get some understeer out of the car to be a little bit quicker. In general, I think we’re close. It seems like a lot of guys are good on one run and struggle the next. It’s going to be one of those deals where we have to stay committed to it, try to work through it and find ways to improve. I think all three of our cars are very similar on balance, so the good sign is we can all work together at it.” (About coming close to the wall on a few laps:) “The one felt close (to the wall) behind Spencer (Pigot). I knew that what happened to Fernando (Alonso) could have easily happened to me. I could sense it was coming, so luckily, I lifted before it got bad. Unfortunately, it seems like when you get in the wake and the car decides to understeer, it goes pretty big.”
Simon Pagenaud in the No.22 Menards Chevrolet was 15th just ahead of Felix Rosenqvist in the No.10 NTT DATA Honda for Chip Ganassi Racing.
Speaking following the session he said:
We had a really good first two days here at the Speedway. We’re really happy with the Menards Chevy. It’s good. It’s strong in traffic and good on its own, so we’re just going to work on little details, which is amazing. We’re way ahead of the program, so I believe this strengthens our chances.”
Felix Rosenqvist said:
“I was behind Colton (Herta) and I was just trying to run the NTT DATA car in traffic and I felt a very sudden change. I had a bit of push and it went very loose, very fast. I couldn’t react to it. Luckily, my team has built a really good car and a really safe car, so I am completely fine. I just really have to analyze what happened there. I’m not sure if I was down on the curb. It kind of looked like I could have been up a little bit and that probably explains it. I cannot really remember. It’s a shame, but that’s how it is.”
Takuma Sato in the No.30 MiJacl Panasonic Honda was 16th and speaking following the day’s action he said he said:
We were only working on the race setup today. This place is so different, considering its only four corners and the speed range is 220 mph, but it changes a lot, day to day. By yourself, it felt good, but in traffic it was a very different feeling. The track is getting more rubber laid down and everyone is getting more competitive and the whole pace is raised. It’s even more difficult to follow. In fact, trying to overtake is extremely difficult. I think we learned quite a few things today, and hopefully, we can translate it into tomorrow for a better result.”
Conor Daly was 18th just ahead of Oriol Servia and JR Hildebrand who rounded out the top twenty.
Last year’s champion Will Power in the No.12 Verizon 5G Chevrolet was 21st and speaking following the day’s action he said:
We’re definitely in a better window right now. I feel a lot more comfortable in traffic and the car feels pretty good. So now we’re just going to have to start trying little things. Maybe head into some qualifying work tomorrow. I saw (Felix) Rosenqvist crash in front of me and it was so, so close. I’m glad he’s OK. This place you have to be so careful with these cars. They can really bite you. I just hated to see him hit the wall like that.
Patricio O’Ward was 22nd for Carlin Racing just ahead of Jack Harvey in the No.60 AutoNation Sirius XM Honda for Meyer Shank Racing and speaking following the day’s action he said:
We had a pretty productive day, we managed to get through a lot. We did some race running and some single-car running, and I think in the end, it was a pretty positive day. Our no-tow times are getting better, but we still have more work to do on our race setup, so we can run better in traffic. We are taking steps in the right direction and we will continue to chip away at our to-do list. We will go into Thursday a little bit stronger than we were today.”
Tony Kanaan in the No.14 ABC Supply Chevrolet was 24th fastest just ahead of James Davison and Sage Karam. Ryan Hunter Reay in the No.28 DHL Honda for Andretti Autosport was 27th just ahead of Marcus Ericsson.
Fernando Alonso was 29th for McLaren despite his crash during practice yesterday.
Max Chilton in the No.59 Gallagher Chevrolet was 30th just ahead of Jordan King for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing and speaking following the day’s action he said:
“We were up to speed much better today, starting to feel the car, and actually work the car well. We made some good progress. Our no tow time is not too bad obviously in traffic I’m still struggling myself inside the car. It’s kind of a double whammy, there’s a few people who put in some quick times in traffic which is unfortunate. We need to work on that for the race and obviously work on it for qualifying. Those are the two things were trying to work on and making small progress.”
James Hinchcliffe in the No.5 Arrow Electronics was 32nd just ahead of Colton Herta and Alexander Rossi in the No.27 NAPA Auto Parts Honda.
Pippa Mann and Ben Hanley rounded out the order.