While Team Penske has dominated the speed charts so far when it comes to the road and street courses, the tables turned as Chip Ganassi Racing would sweep the top three spots on the second day of Indianapolis 500 practice once the drivers were able to hit the track. The session was delayed as a result of rain falling throughout the early part.
Rookie Sage Karam would top the charts with a lap of 39.8579 seconds, but isn’t too hyped on the fact as he knows this is just the first day of a week long of testing.
“It definitely feels good though,” he added. “It’s the first time I’ve ever been P1 at the Speedway so, you know, it’s a good feeling. We have a lot of work to do. The car’s not anywhere near where we want it to be for race day or qualifying. I’ve got a great team. They worked really hard. They are making it a lot easier on us drivers by being as prepared as they are. We are picking this new aero kit apart and we’re figuring it out every time we go out.”
2013 Verizon IndyCar Series Champion Scott Dixon was second quickest, 0.0901 seconds off of Karam’s quick lap.
“Today was an opportunity for Team Target to really shake down the car and see what we need to work on and where we are,” he commented. “We had a couple of items from the oval test we wanted to work on today with dampers and new additions to the car, so we were able to work through those and get some good data.”
2013 Indianapolis 500 winner Tony Kanaan rounded off the CGR sweep, 0.1036 seconds off of his rookie teammate.
“I really like the new May format we have with the GP opening up the month of May, but I’ve got to say it felt really good to be back out on the oval with all of my focus going towards the 500,” he said. “The weather didn’t cooperate with us early on, but we were able to get some time on-track to shake down the cars. The No. 10 NTT Data Chevrolet felt good out there today and I think it’s a great way for the team to start practice for the Indianapolis 500.”
While Honda hasn’t shown the speed to match the Chevrolets on the road/street coures, they may have a strong package for the ovals as evident by Marco Andretti posting the fourth quickest time on Monday afternoon.
“We got through a lot of test items on our list today,” he commented. “We needed to mileage out the engine and for only having one set of tires, I’m pretty pleased with where things progressed to for the Snapple team. But I think there’s still a lot of speed coming for the 27 Honda.”
JR Hildebrand would round out the top-five as he makes his first start of the season for CFH Racing.
“I feel pretty good,” Hildebrand said. “During the day I felt like we made a lot of progress. I wasn’t super happy with the feel of the car right at the beginning but we got dialed in a pretty fair amount as we went through the day here. All three of us are working towards the same thing and we’re definitely reaping the benefits of working together closely so far. All in all it was a great day. The Chevy felt strong. We don’t really know how that all pans out until later in the week but I feel good about our first day’s work for sure.”
Defending Indianapolis 500 pole sitter Ed Carpenter was sixth, followed by Carlos Munoz, Justin Wilson, Takuma Sato and Josef Newgarden.
Surprisingly, three of the four Penske drivers would only do toe laps, without doing any actual qualifying laps throughout the afternoon.