The Verizon IndyCar IndyCar Series was back in action on Monday as the opening day of practice for the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Monday. Andretti Autosport’s Marco Andretti was fastest leading three of his team mates.
Reigning Indianapolis 500 champion Juan Pablo Montoya finished the day in 13th place and speaking following the day of action the Team Penske driver commented by saying:
Our car was pretty good out there today and we’re pleased with it. Still the first day of the oval and so we’re taking our time getting used to it. Overall, it was a solid, first practice for the Verizon Chevy.
Will Power in the No.12 Verizon Team Penske Chevy commented by saying:
The Verizon Chevy car was very strong today. We had favorable conditions when it came to the weather. No wind and cool conditions. So, we had a really good first practice and we feel pretty confident going into the rest of this week.
Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis winner and current championship leader Simon Pagenaud ended the session in 16th place and speaking following the session the Frenchman commented by saying:
Good first day at the Speedway. It was interesting to go through the list of items we wanted to try. I’m pretty happy already. There’s still a bunch of stuff I want to try, but the conditions were very good today. Hondas seem very competitive, so we’ll see how that goes. Certainly we have a lot of work to do for the next few weeks.
It was a tough day for Helio Castroneves who ended the day in 27th place in the No.3 Pennzoil Team Penske Chevrolet and speaking following the opening day of action he commented by saying:
“It’s great to be back. The Pennzoil Chevy colors were looking good out there. We collected some good data and we’ll learn from that. Hopefully, the weather helps tomorrow as we continue our quest for a good result.
Buddy Lazier who returns to the Indianapoli Motor Speedway for the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil driving his own No.4 Lazier/Burns Racing Chevrolet ended the day in 33rd place of the 33 car field completing just seven laps. Speaking following the session he commented by saying:
We’re just getting sorted out. Early in the session we worked on some electrical gremlins, and then we did basic setup stuff. It feels great to be back in the car. The track is in great shape. It’s a fresh car and the first time we’re all working together, and on the first day these things are to be expected. We’re only getting started.
Chip Ganassi Racing Team’s Max Chilton completed Indianapolis rookie orientation in the No.8 Gallagher Group Chevrolet and ended the day in 12th place and speaking following the session he commented by saying:
It was a good, solid first day. It’s good to get the rookie orientation practice out of the way. I really worked on the controls in the car and have an understanding of what things will be like and the tools you have moving forward. The Indy car is a bit different than the Indy Lights car with the amount of movement the car has and the different levels of downforce. I think taking that step back last year to Indy Lights allowed me to make a good step forward in the car today. Today was a good day for the Gallagher team and we have a good foundation for the month now.
Reigning series champion Scott Dixon in the No.9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Team Chevrolet ended the opening day in fifth place completing 28 laps and speaking following the day of action he commented by saying:
It was a good opening day on the oval for Team Target. We had Kyle Larson here this morning as well from Team Target for a cool team announcement with Charlie. He came by the pit for a while so it was good to catch up with him after nearly winning the Cup race yesterday in Dover. We tried a number of things today with the car but no one is going for big numbers this early out there. No issues overall and looking forward to getting closer to qualifying trim tomorrow.
Tony Kanaan in the No.10 NTT Group Chip Ganassi Racing Team Chevrolet who went out of the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis at the weekend ended the day in 17th place and speaking after completing 35 laps and speaking after the session he commented by saying:
We made an engine change today after we took our install lap, so we didn’t get quite as many laps out there today as some of the other guys. We spent most of our practice time just shaking the car down and getting a feel for what we need to do this week in practice. Our finishing position didn’t show it, but the car actually felt pretty good today.
Charlie Kimball in the No.42 Tresiba® Chevrolet commented by saying:
Frankly any day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is a good day. Getting our first laps out on the oval this year was fantastic. The No. 42 Tresiba Chevrolet felt good. We made some changes and improvements and learned a lot of things. We spent the session just kind of figuring out where we are as a team. It’s Day 1 and we have a lot of practice left to go. We’ll keep an eye on the weather for the next few days. If weather is anything like today on race day, I feel confident about where we are.
Matthew Brabham commented on his day after passing rookie orientation by saying:
It is great to finally be out on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the weather was good today and I just had fun out there in the PIRTEK Team Murray Chevrolet. It took me a while to build up to speed, I was slowly learning the lines and getting used to how to get around the Speedway. The focus for me today was becoming acclimated to the car in Speedway trim. With the Rookie Orientation Program, we were required to go up in increments of 5 mph from 205 mph after completing a number of laps. It was our No. 1 goal to get through that program today, which we did.
Pippa Mann who once again will compete for Dale Coyne Racing at the Indianapolis 500 commented by saying:
It felt great to be back in a race car today. I just really enjoyed being able to get back out on track and I think we have a good starting place to work from to improve for the rest of the month.