Team Penske’s Simon Pagenaud in the No.22 Menards Chevrolet led the way in the combined session time from day one of practice at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway ahead of next weekend’s 102nd running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil.
The 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series champion set a fastest speed of 225.787MPH and speaking following the track activity he said:
The No. 22 Menards car is looking really, really fast. It was a very productive day. So, yeah, felt pretty happy. We obviously are still learning a lot about the aerodynamics of the car. It’s quite different to what we had the past few years. There’s still a lot to learn for everybody, I believe. But we’re on the right track. I tell you what, feel pretty confident already, which is a big step forward. It’s definitely important to be already ahead of the game if we have some weather this week. I think that could be very important.
Helio Castroneves driving the No.3 Pennzoil Chevrolet ended the day in second place with a speed of 224.665MPH and speaking following his day the Brazilian said:
We started right away with a good pace. Good job everyone. Running issue free. We still have a long way to go, but it was a very base test with the new car, actually, with traffic and everything. Looking forward to another day tomorrow, so we continue to work and pursue that right result.
Defending Verizon IndyCar Series champion Josef Newgarden was 15th fastest and speaking following a speed of 22223.229MPH he commented saying:
It is fun to be back out here. It was a busy day. Had a couple of weather issues, but we got a lot of laps. I think it was a good start for us in the Verizon Chevrolet. All of us did our own thing today, which is a good thing. It means we can all come together tonight and pick apart everybody’s problems and hear everyone’s proposed solutions. The more we can put our minds together, the more we can fine-tune it, but the better we will be at the end of the week. Good start to build on.
Will Power in the No.12 Verizon Chevrolet ended the day in 19th place and speaking following his day in the car, the 2009 Verizon IndyCar Series champion said:
We went through a lot of big stuff, zeroing in on what we need. We’ll make some changes overnight and continue down the path to try to make it good in traffic.