On-track activities concluded early at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Fast Friday. Mother Nature had teased with on again-off again rain and drying, with just a bit of sunshine to fool teams into thinking they actually would have quality time on track.
The abbreviated session only ran 19 minutes before it was called for rain. It started late and at most would have gone about 110 minutes.
The Verizon IndyCar Series and most everyone else was hoping for a new high speed – 230 mph, on the 2-5-mile oval track speedway.
ED CARPENTER/No.20 Ed Carpenter Racing was the fastest, at 230.522 mph, fastest practice lap since SCOTT DIXON in 2003’s 230+ mph lap the morning of Pole Day. Carpenter was almost surprised. He only ran eight laps, and despite trying for a four clean lap (qualifying) run, it didn’t happen. “My teammate, J.R.HILDEBRAND in No.21 got four laps clean; I got three laps – not clean. But I did get $10,000” – the F.E. Harding Asphalt Companies Fastest Lap Award – nice work for 13 minutes on track.
HELIO CASTRONEVES/No.3 Team Penske Chevrolet was second fastest, one of six drivers who cracked 229+ mph. Seventeen drivers went faster Friday than the top fast lap set Thursday by Castroneves.
MARCO ANDRETTI/No.25 Andretti Autosport Honda was third fastest, with four laps in the short session. He was almost bemused about the whole scene – he has no idea where he will be Saturday.
Rookie JACK HAWKSWORTH, driving No.98 BHA/BBM with Curb Agajanian Honda, was the top Rookie Friday and overall, in P10.
Overall, the top 21 drivers ran their fastest times Friday. The remaining drivers were faster in Practice 5, 4, or 1.
Twenty-six drivers got in at least one lap, with only two getting double-digit. Dixon turned 11 laps-P7; and eleven laps was it also for Rookie CARLOS MUNOZ/No.34 Andretti Autosport Honda-P13.
Forty driver/car combinations have been on track so far this week. The lap count is now at 7769 total.
Dixon has run the most laps of any driver so far this week – 360. JAMES HINCHCLIFFE/No.27 Andretti Autosport Honda, who got his first real laps in the car Friday, was able to turn eight – the least of any driver in a primary car.
At the end of the day, drivers drew for their slots for Saturday’s first day of Qualifying.