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Indy 500: Carpenter fastest in quiet Saturday morning

Josef Newgarden practices prior to Saturday's Indianapolis 500 qualifying session. (Photo Credit: Chris Owens)

Josef Newgarden practices prior to Saturday’s Indianapolis 500 qualifying session. (Photo Credit: Chris Owens)

IndyCar held a one-hour session Saturday morning in preparation for qualifying. Since qualifying for the 104th Indianapolis 500 will be held in the heat of the day, 8:30 am practice was very quiet. Ed Carpenter set the fastest time.


Saturday’s 60-minute practice was split into half, therefore, 17 cars were able to take time in the first half-hour, with the final 16 being allowed in the final section. Therefore, drivers in the second half sat and the team’s timing stands waiting.

Group 1

The first half of the practice was quiet with no cars in the first half taking time Saturday morning because of a 40-degree track temperature difference. For instance, speeds would not translate because of different conditions. In other words, the asphalt in Indianapolis was not ideal with more grip than what was there when the cars returned for qualifying at 11 am.

No Hondas

The entire 60-minute practice session saw no Honda-powered cars take time. The Honda teams, who were all at the top of the board Friday, expect to be the fastest cars in qualifying. In conclusion, expect Honda’s to contend for the pole position on Sunday.

Group 2

In the second half, only seven cars took time, all being Chevrolet-powered.

Above all, Ed Carpenter and Conor Daly led the quiet session, both averaging laps over 230MPH. In addition, Helio Castroneves and Simon Pagenaud were able to reach these speeds. The session for Carpenter’s three-car team had split strategies especially for third car driven by rookie Rinus VeeKay. But, VeeKay showed more speed than his teammates on Friday.

After that, Carlin’s Max Chilton took time. Similarly, J.R. Hildebrand took time in Dreyer & Reinbold Racing’s Chevy.

DragonSpeed still Behind

Meanwhile, DragonSpeed USA utilized Saturday morning for more track time. Ben Hanley only managed to run a lap averaging 223.416MPH in the FlexBox Chevrolet. Also, Hanley’s best timed lap was in the tow of Castroneves. However, Hanley’s No Tow Speed around Indianapolis only managed to be a 221.816MPH lap.

Carpenter races through the sunlight during Friday evening’s session. (Credit: Joe Skibinski/IndyCar Media)


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

1: Ed Carpenter (20) Ed Carpenter Racing – 230.833MPH

2: Conor Daly (47) Ed Carpenter Racing – 230.636MPH

3: Helio Castroneves (3) Team Penske – 230.585MPH

4: Simon Pagenaud (22) Team Penske – 230.098MPH

5: J.R. Hildebrand (67) Dreyer & Reinbold Racing – 228.371MPH

6: Max Chilton (59) Carlin – 228.061MPH

7: Ben Hanley (81) DragonSpeed USA – 223.416MPH

The official IndyCar Session Report can be found below:

104th Indianapolis 500 Practice 4 Results (PDF)

Catch up on our reports throughout the entire week. Session 1 (Wed.), Session 2 (Thur.), Session 3 (Fri.).

Since being 15 years old, Adam Coon has been apart of the NASCAR Media scene and has been covering racing content online since 2016. At 18 years old today, he now covers the IMSA WeatherTech Championship and IndyCar Series for The Podium Finish.

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