Other than Mother Nature is the Queen of the Speedway…
Obviously Testing is Always a Good thing, especially since IndyCar allows so little of it these days. Yet I simply cannot help feeling that the Uber Ballyhooed Indy 500 Open Test was Akin to Formula One’s annual “Winter Olympics”.
As the Media’s Droned On and On about Josef Newgarden’s lap of 227.686mph being the Quickest of the single Day’s Testing, due to Mother Nature being P1 Friday! As Newgarden’s No. 2 Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet Hit a peak speed of 237mph-plus entering Turn-3. Whilst Newgarden was also second quick upon the No Tow list…
Not surprisingly, Noblesville native Conor Daly aboard His #20 Ed Carpenter Racing Chevy, (ECR) popped up to second Quick in the final minutes of practice. Being the only other driver to record a lap speed in the 227mph bracket at 227.466mph.
As I tend to recall that Conor Hit a Mega’ speed of 240mph-plus entering Turn-3 sometime during last year’s Month ‘O May, aye Karumba!
Scott Dixon was the Quickest of the four car Chip Ganassi Racing (CGR) Armada at 226.788mph, the fastest Honda of the day. Followed by Andretti Autosport’s Kyle Kirkwood and CGR’s Takuma Sato rounding out the Top-5.
The Day’s most pleasant surprise has to be Stefan Stork’ Wilson slotting into sixt fastest with a speed of 225.960mph aboard the No. 24 Dreyer and Reinbold Racing Chevy. With Wilson’s DRR teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay clocking in P14.
And then P7-10 was Colton Herta, Alex Palou, Pato O’Ward and Scott McLaughlin.
Interestingly giving us a 50-50 split between the Boytie Boyz’ and Honda Runners. As CGR led the way with three entries in the Top-10, followed by Team Penske and Andretti Autosport with two apiece. With three “Singles” for ECR, DRR and Arrow McLaren.
All 33 Drivers participated, with the “Last row” being Held by Callum Ilott, who had the Worst day of everyone! With the No. 77 Juncos Hollinger Racing Chevy (JHR) Hitting a terminal velocity of 220.911mph. No. 44 Katherine Legge’s Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing. (220.113) And the “double Nickel” No. 55 A.J. foyt Enterprises entry of Rookie Benjamin Pedersen at 220.109mph.
AS noted above, Ilott had a miserable day, for which He and JHR just could never find what was wrong with the car’s Handling? As Ilott was the Only Driver’s time recorded during the morning’s first Test session.
Whilst Adding Insult to Injury was the JHR Crew releasing Ilott directly into the path of an unsuspecting Rinus VeeKay! All of which Racer’s Marshall Pruett chronicles in another typically Brilliant Interview with Ilott, which Y’all can check out below.
Ilott’s JHR teammate Augustin Canapino was the Quickest of the three rookies at 222.162mph. With RLLR’s Jack Harvey the Meat in a rookie Sandwich, with Dale Coyne’s Sting Ray robb’s No. 51 Honda being P29. While Robb’s DCR teammate David Malukas was P12, one place ahead of somebody named Will Power!
As here’s another good interview with the Argentine Rookie telling Marshall His thoughts upon just a single day’s practice at Mother Speedway…
Meanwhile, it was entertaining hearing IndyCar Radio’s Ryan Marin chatting up Jacob Able with Cars on track. With Jacob stating He couldn’t talk about the worst kept secret. That Able Motorsports announced a day later. After IMS CEO Doug Bowles had told Mark Gravelly’ James they’d have 34 Cars and bumping this May earlier during the Broadcast.
As R.C. Enersen will indeed attempt making His maiden Indianapolis 500 race about the #50 Able Motorsports Dallara/Chevrolet, giving us a potential total of four rookies this year.
Also enjoyed hearing thee Viking! Aka Anders krohn, who was the Team Manager of Cusick Motorsports last year. And Arse-sumedly is currently involved in some fashion “Overseeing” Cusick Motorsports involvement of funding Stefan’s Wilson’s DRR entry.
The other “One Off’s” and Oval Only Drivers were led by Marco Andretti 11th, ahead of Arrow McLaren’s Tony Kanaan and Ed Carpenter P15-16.
And even though I got Sucked into It once again, I really tire of How Mother speedway Hogs All of the IndyCar Attenzione, especially when it’s still April! And like will any of this single day of Testing correlate to anything of significance come the Month of May? You Make the Call…