Andretti Autosport flexes its muscles during second day of Indy 500 practice

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The second day of Indy 500 practice is complete and after a dominating showing by Penske Sunday, it was Andretti Autosport topping the charts Monday.

INDIANAPOLIS (Monday, May 12, 2014) - Verizon IndyCar Series drivers made use of every minute at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on the second day of practice for the 98th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race, recording more than three times as many laps as Opening Day.

Five of the 30 drivers who participated topped 100 laps on the 2.5-mile oval -- half the race distance -- including Ryan Hunter-Reay, who also posted the fastest lap of 225.025 mph (39.996 seconds) in the No. 28 DHL car for Andretti Autosport.

Of the 33 entries, the cars for Sebastian Saavedra (involved in crash at start of Grand Prix of Indianapolis), James Davison and Buddy Lazier are the only ones who have not been on the racetrack yet.

Marco Andretti, Andretti Autosport Honda
Marco Andretti, Andretti Autosport Honda

Photo by: Michael C. Johnson

Hunter-Reay's teammate, Marco Andretti, had set the standard early in the six-hour session with a lap of 224.037 in the No. 25 Snapple car before Hunter-Reay's fast lap with a tow in the final 15 minutes under a cloudy sky. For the second consecutive day, the five Andretti Autosport drivers took turns touring the oval in packs with a purpose.

Three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves (223.635 mph) was third on the speed chart, while Justin Wilson (223.611) was fourth and Juan Pablo Montoya (223.395) was fifth.

Reigning Indy 500 winner Tony Kanaan, 11th on the speed chart, logged a field-high 131 laps in the silver No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing car.


DAY 2 NOTEBOOK:

Four-time Indianapolis 500-winning chief mechanic and prolific car builder A.J. Watson died this morning at his home.

Watson, 90, had four "500" wins as chief mechanic (Bob Sweikert in 1955, Pat Flaherty, 1956, and Rodger Ward in both 1959 and 1962) and six as the winning constructor, in 1956, 1959 and 1962; plus 1960 (Jim Rathmann), 1963 (Parnelli Jones) and 1964 ( A. J. Foyt).

A.J. Foyt drove and won with Watson-designed and built roadsters in the 60s. Eleven of his 67 victories came in either Watson or Watson-Trevis roadsters, including his first two Indy 500s (1961 and 1964). Foyt drove Watson's sprint car in 1960 winning the USAC Eastern Division title that year. Foyt continued to drive Watson's sprint car off and on through 1968, winning his final race for Watson at Ascot in Gardena, Calif. in 1967.

DOUG BOLES (President, Indianapolis Motor Speedway): "AJ Watson was one of the most innovative and successful mechanics and car builders in the 105-year history of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and the Watson roadster that was so prevalent in the 1950s and 1960s remains one of the most iconic racing cars ever constructed. The thoughts and prayers of the entire Indianapolis Motor Speedway organization are with the Watson family and the many friends and fans of A.J. Watson, who will always remember him for his passion for racing and his friendly and approachable personality."

A.J. Foyt
A.J. Foyt

Photo by: Chris Jones

A.J. FOYT (Four-time Indianapolis 500 winner): "I was very good friends with A.J. Watson and his wife Joyce. He picked me up to drive his sprint car years back. We worked right there at his house, took the 220 Offy and built the Chevrolet. He was a pioneer. He came out against Kurtis and built the Watson roadster and I was lucky enough to win with it. In his day right here at the Indy 500, there was nobody that was going to beat the three W's: Watson, Wilke and Ward. It's hard to believe he's gone. I'm just glad I was able to go see him on his 90th birthday [May 8]. We did talk about old times. He had a picture of me and him with his sprint car on the wall and I teased him, 'A.J. were we ever that young?' He said, 'It's hard to believe, isn't it?'"


Visiting the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum on Sunday morning (May 11) were approximately 30 members of The Cannon Ball Project, whose mission is to follow the route taken by the legendary E.G. "Cannon Ball" Baker when he broke the trans-continental record, on a motorcycle, exactly 100 years ago.

Led by historian/author/impresario Don Emde, winner of the 1972 Daytona 200 motorcycle classic, the group of riders left San Diego at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 3, within one minute of the 100th anniversary of Baker's departure in 1914. Attempting to break the record of 20 days, Baker, who was then simply E.G. Baker, made it to New York City in 11 ½ days, prompting a newspaper writer to call him "Cannon Ball," a nickname he carried for the rest of his life.

Baker was a lifelong Indianapolis resident who won event number seven on the very first day of motorized competition (motorcycles) at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Saturday, Aug. 14, 1909. On the afternoon before their visit to the track, the group rode to Crown Hill Cemetery in order to see Baker's resting place.


Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard returned to the Speedway today, after he was injured by debris from an accident that occurred at the start of the inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis on Saturday, May 10.

GREG BALLARD (Mayor, Indianapolis): "I'm here today and anytime they want me to come out and wave the green flag I'll be happy do it, and I'll be out here again tomorrow, so I'll be out here a large part of the week. You always feel like you kind of win the lottery when you come through the gates here."

Practice continues May 13 from noon-6 p.m. (ET). Qualifications are May 17-18.

IndyCar Public Relations

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Series INDYCAR
Article type Practice report
Tags andretti, ims, indianapolis, indy 500, indycar, kurt busch, penske, practice, ryan hunter-reay