Indy 500: Andretti, Honda lead Fast Friday

Friday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) was ‘Fast Friday’, meaning the engines were given extra horsepower in preparation for this weekend’s Indianapolis 500 qualifications. Friday marked the third-straight day that held a six and a half hour session.

Recap

The boost was up Friday and the Honda-powered teams flexed their muscles around the 2.5-mile brickyard. The Chevrolet-powered teams lacked strong speed Friday for both single lap and during four-lap qualifying simulations.

No crashes occurred Friday.

Andretti leads way for Honda

When the third session wrapped up Friday, Honda engines made up nine of the top 10 positions, and 13 of the top 15. The lone Chevrolet in the top-ten was Conor Daly who failed to post a lap by himself, unlike those around him who all ran qualifying-trim laps.

Marco Andretti set the fastest lap of the day averaging a lap of 233.491MPH. That lap for Andretti is the fastest lap turned around IMS since May 10, 1996, when Arie Luyendyk averaged a lap of 239.260MPH.

Andretti’s flying lap was however set in the tow of another car, but that shouldn’t take away from the speed that has been shown in the No. 98 Honda this week. Andretti mustered a lap that put him 4th-best in the No Tow Reports.

Ryan Hunter-Reay turned a 232.124MPH lap in the session, putting him fourth-best, but the lap was also the fastest No Tow lap of the entire day.

Behind Andretti and Hunter-Reay, their Andretti Autosport teammates followed closely behind for the majority of the day. James Hinchcliffe (7th), Alexander Rossi (9th), Colton Herta (13th), and Zach Veach (15th) all posted top-15 speeds for Michael Andretti’s team. Jack Harvey in the Meyer Shank Racing No. 60 Honda ended the day in 12th-place, having an alliance with Andretti.

Penske’s Problems

Roger Penske’s four-car operation led by Tim Cindric struggled with the extra boost Friday.

The best Team Penske car was Will Power who ended the day 12th on the speed charts. Following him was Josef Newgarden – 17th, Simon Pagenaud – 22nd, and Helio Castroneves – 29th.

The problems in the Penske camp started early. Josef Newgarden and Helio Castroneves said their Nos. 1 and 3 Chevrolets were unable to stick wide open, while Will Power had to barely lift into the opening turn. The defending Indianapolis 500 winner Simon Pagenaud had too much oversteer and joined his teammates in the paddock after just 1 attempt at a qually-simulation.

Power was blunt when talking to NBC Sports. “We’re just not fast.”

Newgarden discussed the speed of the Honda’s and said achieving a result in the “top ten is gonna be a fight.”

Andretti steps into his No. 98 U.S. Concrete Honda.

Andretti steps into his No. 98 Honda. (Picture: James Black / IndyCar Media)

Results

Fast Friday Practice Results (with tow laps)

Pos.: Driver (No.) Team – Best MPH Average

1: Marco Andretti (98) Andretti Autosport – 233.491MPH

2: Conor Daly (47) Ed Carpenter Racing – 232.337MPH

3: Scott Dixon (9) PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing – 232.290MPH

4: Ryan Hunter-Reay (28) Andretti Autosport – 232.124MP

5: Spencer Pigot (45) RLL w/ Citrone-Buhl Autosport – 232.116MPH

6: Alex Palou [R](55) Dale Coyne w/ Team Goh – 231.989MPH

7: James Hinchcliffe (29) Andretti Autosport – 231.967MPH

8: Takuma Sato (30) Rahal Letterman Lanigan – 231.880MPH

9: Alexander Rossi (27) Andretti Autosport – 23.859MPH

10: Marcus Ericsson (8) Huski Chocolate Chip Ganassi Racing – 231.763MPH

11: Will Power (12) Team Penske – 231.605MPH

12: Jack Harvey (60) Meyer Shank Racing – 231.600MPH

13: Colton Herta (88) Andretti Harding Steinbrenner – 231.595MPH

14: Graham Rahal (15) Rahal Letterman Lanigan – 231.239MPH

15: Zach Veach (26) Andretti Autosport – 231.190MPH

16: Charlie Kimball (4) A.J. Foyt Enterprises – 230.861MPH

17: Josef Newgarden (1) Team Penske – 230.583MPH

18: Pato O’Ward [R](5) Arrow McLaren SP – 230.581MPH

19: Oliver Askew [R](7) Arrow McLaren SP – 230.507MPH

20: Felix Rosenqvist (10) NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing – 230.432MPH

21: Rinus VeeKay [R](21) Ed Carpenter Racing – 230.331MPH

22: Simon Pagenaud (22) Team Penske – 230.189MPH

23: Santino Ferrucci (18) Dale Coyne w/ Vasser-Sullivan – 230.154MPH

24: Tony Kanaan (14) A.J. Foyt Enterprises – 229.946MPH

25: Fernando Alonso (66) Arrow McLaren SP – 229.788MPH

26: James Davison (51) Dale Coyne w/ Ware, Byrd & Belardi – 229.766MPH

27: Ed Carpenter (20) Ed Carpenter Racing – 229.563MPH

28: Dalton Kellett [R](41) A.J. Foyt Enterprises – 229.099MPH

29: Helio Castroneves (3) Team Penske – 228.451MPH

30: J.R. Hildebrand (67) Dreyer & Reinbold Racing – 228.275MPH

31: Sage Karam (24) Dreyer & Reinbold Racing – 227.187MPH

32: Max Chilton (59) Carlin – 227.610MPH

33: Ben Hanley (81) DragonSpeed USA – 222.086MPH

The official IndyCar report can be found below:

104th Indianapolis 500 Practice 3 Results (PDF)

Read the reports from the two prior sessions here: Wednesday. Thursday.

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Adam Coon

At 17 years old and attending high school, I have spent my weekends and free time covering motorsports on my Instagram page since July 2016. From Upstate New York, I am a devoted racing fan always looking to meet more people who share the same love I do.

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