Andretti Autosport ended the opening day of practice for the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil with three of their six cars in the top ten at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Marco Andretti in the No.27 Snapple Honda ended the day with the fastest speed of all with a 226.338mph and speaking following the day of action he commented by saying:
We were sort of trying to check the bigger setup item boxes today, the ones that took — the changes that take long. That’s why we were down for a lot of the day, and we got some good answers. You know, that’s all you can ask for. We’re trying to get the bigger items done now so you can start tuning mid-week and later in the week with the UFD car on the smaller things, so we need to make big changes now, which we’ve been doing, and quite pleased with the starting car.
“Obviously, the team ran good here last year. And the car felt good when I tested for Fernando and still feels good, so that’s good. We need to keep it there, if not improve a bit more.
“It’s great to be back on track at IMS. We had a good first day of preparation for the ‘500,’ I think we checked off the boxes we wanted to today, which was getting a better understanding of our car in traffic and alone. I think we had more speed, but we never threw another set of tires at it. With a new tire run, I think we could have been up there with (Marco Andretti), which is good. The DHL Honda has speed in it and looking forward to the week to come.”
“It great to be back at the Speedway, especially I was looking forward to driving with Andretti Autosport at the Indianapolis 500. The car worked really well today as expected, no surprise the car, it was straight away out of the box very consistent and very stable, and building up the confidence helped a lot. At the end of the day we did the first group run of my life — in racing you do get to drive in traffic, but I’ve never done it with three other teammates all together, particularly on day of running. (Having teammates to run with) is the best environment you can possibly imagine, so I feel very positive and very confident. But it was a good day and I’m looking forward to more progress to come.”
It was a pretty good first day. There is always a lot of down time, I think, on Day 1 to have everything in order. A P3 on the no-tow list is pretty good and the NAPA car there at the end of the day felt pretty strong. So, it’s a good starting point and we’ll keep moving forward tomorrow.
It’s been a pretty challenging day for what was meant to be an easy process. We had some issues this morning, but we had managed to work through them. To have that happen, and I don’t know what did happen apart from I went to turn in and (the car) went straight. I was coming out of the pits. I wasn’t even going fast. I was probably not even going 100 mph. It was so bizarre. We had just done a long run and had pitted because there was a yellow flag and then had that. Hopefully it’s the last time we come to the medical center.