Andretti Autosport’s Alexander Rossi in the No.27 NAPA Auto Parts Honda just missed out on a place in the Firestone Fast nine for qualifying for the 102nd running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil following a crazy Bump Day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Saturday.
Rossi, who won the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil as a rookie set a four lap average speed of 227.561MPH and speaking following the session he commented by saying:
It was a wild day. It wasn’t nearly as straightforward as we were hoping for. We started off this morning being very aggressive with our downforce selection. That wasn’t the right call. Fortunately, we got another run right at the end and the NAPA car was way, way better. I don’t know if it was a missed opportunity because I knew we had a strong shot to get into the Fast Nine. We’re the first car that didn’t make it, so I think we have the potential to start in the top 10. If we do our job right tomorrow, we can make that happen.
Ryan Hunter Reay in the No.28 DHL Honda ended Bump Day on Saturday in 14th place with a four lap average speed of 226.952MPH and speaking following the session he commented by saying:
All in all, it was a pretty positive day for the No. 28 team. We certainly didn’t expect to make the Fast Nine, but we had to give it every chance we could. To end up 14th, I think, is pretty positive. We’ve got our work cut out for us tomorrow when we all qualify at the same time. We really swung for the fences there at the end and got more ultimate speed out of it, but the fall off, sliding, lack of downforce, was too much in the end. We know we’re safe in the race, we can start as high as 10th – we’ll give it our best tomorrow to get as high on the grid as we can.
Carlos Munoz in the No.29 Ruoff Home Mortgages Honda ended the session in 15th place with a four lap average speed of 226.600MPH and speaking following the session the Colombian commented by saying:
I think my Ruoff Home Mortgage crew did a good job over night. I think we’re finally up to speed. We’re just missing that big first lap that some of teammates had, but it was an OK run. I think it is a bummer we didn’t have a shot at the Fast Nine – especially, since this is the first time the team hasn’t been in (the Fast Nine) in a long time. But, we’re going to do our best to grab the 10th spot tomorrow and start the highest we can for the race. I am really happy that everyone from the team made it and we’ll have six cars running in the Indy 500.
Marco Andretti in the No.98 US Concrete Honda for Bryan Herta Autosport ended the day in 17th place after showing great speed earlier this week he set a four lap average speed of 226.154MPH and speaking following the session he commented by saying:
“I think for a second run, we would’ve had the speed to challenge the Fast Nine, for sure. I think we potentially would have a chance at it had we been able to have a run at it. It was a dramatic ending – obviously, I would’ve wanted another shot, but perspective-wise – with [James Hinchcliffe] not making it today, we can still be 10th but we had a problem that we found in our one and only attempt today, so hopefully we find some speed tomorrow.”
Stefan Wilson in the No.25 Driven2SaveLives Honda who is competing in his first Indianapolis 500 since 2016 set the 22nd fastest four lap average speed of 225.909MPH and speaking following the day of action he commented by saying:
I’m super relieved. The last couple of nights – when qualifying is looming, it can get pretty crazy on bump day. It’s definitely been on the top of my mind. I focused on having four clean laps and executing my job. I think we managed to do that and put us safely into the field. I’m just so relieved. Even though I felt like we were good coming into the day, it plays on your mind knowing that two people are going home. I’m excited to really go after it tomorrow and potentially move up there a little bit and set a good starting position or the Driven2SaveLives / Intelisys team.
Zach Veach in the No.26 Relay/Group One Thousand One Honda set a four lap average speed of 225.805MPH and speaking following the session which placed him in 24th place, Veach commented by saying:
I’m just relieved that we get to say that we are in the 102nd Indianapolis 500. Our qualifying run started out pretty well and then we ran into a mechanical issue that really robbed our second through fourth laps of speed, so we were kind of worried that might put us in a bad situation of making the field. I think we have the speed in the car to definitely try to be in the first half of the top 10. I think we can start anywhere between 10th and 15th, hopefully we just have to nail it right tomorrow. A lot happened today – a lot of wind and a lot of rain and a lot of stress, but extremely excited to say that the Relay Group 1001 car is in the race.