For the second consecutive day, Andretti Autosport led the way for Chevrolet in practice for the 96th Indianapolis 500. Ryan Hunter-Reay, No. 28 Team DHL/Sun Drop Citrus Soda Andretti Autosport Chevrolet, turned in the second quickest time, 40.6065 seconds/221.639 mph. He was followed closely by teammate Marco Andretti, No. 26 Team RC Cola Andretti Autosport Chevrolet, who was clocked at 40.6285 seconds/221.519 mph.
Sebastian Saavedra, No. 17 Team AFS Andretti Autosport Chevrolet, 40.7636 seconds/22-.785 mph, was fifth fastest in the order of 29 drivers who that laps today.
Of note today was the increase in speed as the Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar teams worked on race set-up. Teammates ran together to get a better understanding of exactly how their cars were going to handle in multi-car packs and react to the tow, which is substantially different with the new Dallara DW12 chassis.
On the engine side, INDYCAR recently announced that turbocharger boost levels will increase for “Fast Friday” and the two days of qualifications for the Indianapolis 500.
The standard boost level of 130 kPa (kilopascals) for superspeedways will be upped to 140 kPa for the May 18 practice session, Pole Day on May 19 and Bump Day on May 20. The increase will result in the addition of 40-50 horsepower.
The boost level will be 130 kPa for all other practice days and Race Day on May 27.
There were no on-track incidents for any of the Chevy teams as the weather continues to be perfect, although the forecast is for warmer temperatures as the week progresses.
Other Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar drivers putting up times and speeds that landed them in the top-10 were: JR Hildebrand, No. 4 National Guard Panther Racing Chevrolet – 40.7835 seconds/220.677 mph - 7th; Oriol Servia, No. 22 Panther/Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Chevrolet – 40.8527/220.304 mph – 8th and James Hinchcliffe, No. 27 Team GoDaddy.com Andretti Autosport Chevrolet – 40.9079 seconds/220.006 mph – 10th
Practice will resume Tuesday at noon.
RYAN HUNTER-REAY, NO. 28 TEAM DHL/SUN DROP CITRUS SODA ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT CHEVROLET – 2ND QUICKEST: “It was pretty good, we ran on our own most of the day just trying to sort out some pretty big set up changes and then at the end we ran in a group with our teammates here and a few others joined in. Everybody is trying to run in groups and get that feel for the car in traffic and I think we accomplished that today with the DHL / Sun Drop car.”
MARCO ANDRETTI, NO. 26 TEAM RC COLA ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT CHEVROLET – 3RD QUICKEST: ON TODAY’S PRACTICE: I’m somewhat pleased by our pace. We’ve just been working on the racecar. Right now, it’s just the overboost penalty that’s our biggest problem. As far as the balance, I think we’re ready to race now. All this extra time, will just allow other people to catch up.”
THE TIMES WENT UP TODAY, WAS YOUR FASTEST LAP YOUR LAST LAP? “Yes. They called me in; my fuel alarm came on so they said ‘Pit this lap’. I said ‘What, can’t hear you’. (LAUGHS) I knew I was on a good one.”
WAS THAT LAP IN THE TOW? “I would say there was probably one person all day that has an actual time on their own. It is mostly tows. Especially when we all went out to do race simulation running, there was a lot of tag-alongs. We have enough in our stable to simulate a race with five of us. People see what we are doing, and they want to work on the race car as well. That’s when the big times go up is when we all go out together.”
WE TEND TO MAKE A BIG DEAL OF IT IN HERE (MEDIA CENTER), BUT THAT IS WHAT IT IS RACE DAY. CORRECT? “Yes. Race day we aren’t all backing off and trying to put up a big lap. We’re trying to pass each other. Today nobody wants to lead because they want to follow and get a tow. In the race, it is a little bit different.”
DID YOUR FATHER (MICHAEL ANDRETTI) LEAVE THE ENGINEERING SIDE OF YOUR CAR? “Yes. He was never on engineering. He was a strategist. I think whatever is better for the team. Dad and I are very passionate. Our work environment might be a little hectic for others because sometimes we are just shouting at each other. We get the job done, but we are still shouting at each other. So we just wanted to make it nicer. I am a very animated person on the radio. So is he, and that is why it didn’t work. I need someone to counter me and Kyle Moyer is really good. I’ll be flipping out about something, and he will say ’10-4’. Instead of coming back. It is gelling a lot better. Dad was great and Kyle’s great, so I’m sure Ryan (Hunter-Reay) and I, both of us aren’t complaining. It is just whatever is better for the team.”
WARM TEMPERATURES OUT THERE, TALK ABOUT THE BALANCE OF THE CAR: “It’s funny. It is almost like Happy Hour now is from 12 to 1. It’s still hot at the end of the day, but the big times go up because we all go out together in a big group. It is going to be tricky, but I think it is going to be whoever gets it right. It’s going to be interesting when we all bump up the boost; it will make it a bit more challenging. But, it will make it fun. “
ON THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THIS CAR (DALLARA DW12) AND THE OLD CAR: “These cars actually really tow-up. There is a lot of passing now because nobody wants to lead today; they all want to tow. These cars really do tow-up. The last car wasn’t as good. This car seems a bit more lenient on the on the back-end. With last year’s car before you even turned the wheel into (turn) one, you know that the rear is just not there. Something is telling you to back off even earlier where this one you can really drive it in. We can stay flat really close to people. I think it is going to be a good race. The thing that happened with us today I think is going to be good for the fans. There’s going to be a lot of action because what happens is it tows up decently, but once you get somewhat close, it really…that last third of the straightway, it really starts sucking up. So when it does, people are going to have to do those last minute moves. That’s what the race is going to consist of. It’s going to be good for the fans because I think there is going to be some passing. It will be interesting.”
SEBASTIAN SAAVEDRA, NO. 17 TEAM AFS ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT CHEVROLET – 5TH QUICKEST: “Today was another good day and we were very productive. Each day, we are getting one step closer to discovering more on the new DW12. At the end of the practice session, we found valuable information that will make the month of May better. I want to thank my AFS Racing/Andretti Autosport team for their hard work and look forward to what tomorrow will bring.”
JR HILDEBRAND, NO. 4 NATIONAL GUARD PANTHER RACING CHEVROLET – 6TH QUICKEST: "To be honest I was skeptical of how the car would feel running in traffic today, but we were all pleasantly surprised. It was nice to hook up with the other Chevrolet boys at Andretti Autosport and get a feel for the National Guard car behind multiple cars. It’s always a big advantage when you can start off the week with the car feeling nice so you can work on tweaking things instead of having to make wholesale changes.”
ORIOL SERVIA, NO. 22 PANTHER/DREYER & REINBOLD RACING CHEVROLET – 8TH QUICKEST: "Today was a day of trying bigger things. We made different changes in the setup. It's great because we loved some and we hated some and that's what you want to learn in a new car on an oval. At the end, we had a few tows and that's why we had a pretty fast lap out there like everybody else and that's the game of IMS and happy hour. I'm genuinely happy with how we finished the day with the car. It was another solid day and we need to keep doing this every day. If we can just improve a little each day and if we are able to do that with the next couple of days that we have then we will be in good shape."
JAMES HINCHCLIFFE, NO. 27 TEAM GODADDY.COM ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT CHEVROLET – 10TH QUICKEST: “It was another productive day here for the Go Daddy crew. We made a couple more changes to the car and are just moving along with our list. I’m pretty impressed with all five (Andretti Autosport) teams because we made plans for how we wanted to run our week in practice and you make a plan every week and 9 times out of 10 within 15 minutes you have to deviate for one reason or another. We’ve been really good about sticking to our plan across all the different programs and I think it’s reaping good benefits. We had a lot of good clean running today – we didn’t do a lot of traffic running and the car feels pretty good on our own, so tomorrow we’ll probably run a little more in the pack. Altogether, though, I think we have a pretty strong package.”
TONY KANAAN, NO. 11 ITAIPAVA | GEICO | MOUSER ELECTRONICS – KV RACING TECHNOLOGY CHEVROLET – 11TH QUICKEST: “It has been an ok day. We made a few changes and worked through our list we had to do. We were able to run a lot more today with no problems, which I am happy about. It was just another day at the Speedway.”
ANA BEATRIZ, NO. 25 TEAM IPIRANGA ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT / CONQUEST RACING CHEVROLET – 13TH QUICKEST: “Today was definitely the best day that we have had here so far for the Ipiranga team. We were able to run a lot and make progress with the car. The crew guys and myself are one step closer to understanding the car and working even better together. I am happy with the direction that things are going. I have a great team that I’m able to work with, so I am looking forward to tomorrow.”
RYAN BRISCOE, NO. 2 IZOD TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET – 15TH: "It was a busy day for the IZOD Team Penske car. We got some race work with the long runs which is always helpful. Since it was the first time in some traffic it will give us lots of information to look at tonight and get ready for tomorrow."
HELIO CASTRONEVES, NO. 3 SHELL V-POWER/PENNZOIL ULTRA TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET – 16TH QUICKEST: "Today was the same as yesterday for the Shell Pennzoil car having a good day. It was the first time we could run it with a race set up so that was good to see. Another step in the right direction for Team Penske and Chevy."
WILL POWER, NO. 12 VERIZON TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET – 17TH QUICKEST: "It was good to run in some traffic with the Verizon car today. We had a productive day with being able to see some things we are going to need to do in the race. We will take what we learned today and improve on them for tomorrow."
E .J. VISO, NO. 5 CITGO | PDVSA – KV RACING TECHNOLOGY CHEVROLET – 18TH QUICKEST: “One more day of testing at Indianapolis and we accomplished every part of the plan we had for today. More importantly, we are happy with the results. Now we will review all the data we have collected and start putting together the plan for the upcoming days before qualifying. There was a lot of towing and drafting going on today, but that was not something we were looking at doing, We tried to go out on a clear track, which we did, and just followed our program. I am looking forward to tomorrow’s test plan and step by step we are accomplishing what we need to do to develop the car.”
RUBENS BARRICHELLO, NO. 8 BMC | EMBRASE – KV RACING TECHNOLOGY CHEVROLET – 26TH QUICKEST: “I was able to run the backup car today, the same one Tony (Kanaan) ran on Opening Day, so we could evaluate a few things. We were able to pick up a little bit more speed but not as much as we would have liked. We still need to search for other things, aerodynamically or engine wise. I have been able to run some laps and learn the track, not worry so much about the speed but being able to get good lines.”
ED CARPENTER, NO. 20 FUZZY’S PREMIUM ULTRA VODKA ED CARPENTER RACING CHEVROLET – 27TH QUICKEST: “We made some big gains with the car Sunday, and we were pleased with our progress. Today we tried many different things with the car, and it just didn’t work as well as Sunday. With the extra days of practice here at Indy, we do have the opportunity to attempt many different settings. Our engineering staff has mapped out a variety of scenarios with this new car at the Speedway. I felt we went in the wrong direction today. So, luckily, the weather looks good for the remainder of the week and we can go back with the car similar to Sunday’s setup. We’ll work hard again tonight to get the car in the proper direction for Tuesday’s runs.”