Andretti Autosport young gun Sebastian Saavedra, No. 17 Team AFS Andretti Autosport Chevrolet, set the pace in the second day of practice for the 96th running of the Indianapolis 500. His lap of 40.6272 seconds/221.526 mph topped the chart comprised of 31 drivers taking laps on the famed 2.5-mile nearly rectangle oval.

Sebastian Saavedra, AFS Racing/Andretti Autosport Chevrolet
Sebastian Saavedra, AFS Racing/Andretti Autosport Chevrolet

Photo by: Eric Gilbert

Two things of note with the Chevrolet V-6 teams and drivers were Marco Andretti continued to assist his teammate Ana Beatriz with the setup of her No. 25 Team Ipiranga Andretti Autosport/Conquest Racing Chevrolet by taking 12 laps during the day. In addition, Tony Kanaan took laps in both of his No. 11 (and 11T) Itaipava | Geico | Mouser Electronics – Kv Racing Technology Chevrolet.

The entire six-hour session was incident free with virtually perfect weather conditions as the Chevy teams prepare for Pole Day on Saturday, May 19th.

Other Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar drivers putting up times and speeds that landed them in the top-10 were:
6th - Ryan Hunter-Reay, No. 28 Team DHL/Sun Drop Citrus Soda Andretti Autosport Chevrolet – 40.8428 seconds/220.357 mph
7th - J.R. Hildebrand, No. 4 National Guard Panther Racing Chevrolet – 40.9912 seconds/219.559 mph
9th – James Hinchcliffe, No. 27 Team GoDaddy.com Andretti Autosport Chevrolet – 41.1165 seconds/218.890 mph

Practice will resume Monday at noon.

DRIVER QUOTES:

SEBASTIN SAAVEDRA, NO. 17 TEAM AFS ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT CHEVROLET: NOTE – SAAVEDRA DRIVES FULL TIME IN INDY LIGHTS WHERE HE HAS THREE PODIUM FINISHES INCLUDING A WIN AT BARBER MOTORSPORTS PARK: ON TODAY’S SESSION: “It was a great day so far. Great start of the month of May. I think since the beginning we knew we had a solid car. It has just been so great to work with Marco (Andretti), Hinch (James Hinchcliffe), Ryan Hunter-Reay and Ana (Beatriz). It gives me a little bit of confidence being with an Andretti car behind you. So far it has been so good. We have to keep up. Still a long way to go. But, if we can keep doing this the whole month, I think we should be looking good.”

ON RUNNING BOTH THE INDY LIGHTS RACE AND THE INDIANAPOLIS 500: “600 miles of Indy is for sure going to be quite exciting. It is a position to understand both cars. Yesterday was my first experience with Indy cars from the team, so it was quite a challenge. But, so far we have been able to cope with both situations with the Indy Lights and IndyCar. If we maintain the complete week this way, we’ll be looking in Indy Lights and IndyCar in a very good situation.”

DID YOU RUN MUCH IN TRAFFIC TODAY? “Yes, we started with a very low downforce trying to get a qualifying situation. By the end, we just decided to use our teammates, and to go out all together to run in traffic and understand the cars, because nobody knows what’s going to happen behind people. How big is the turbulence going to be like. So we a good amount of laps together with Hinch and Hunter-Reay. It was for sure quite interesting at first. We were trying to figure what the car was going to do. But towards the end, we understood it. We were able to work around it and feel very comfortable in traffic. I think all around it was a very positive day. We got a bit closer to understanding the car. It’s such a big list of things to go over, the new DW12 car. But, I think the last two days have been quite productive. I think if we can continue this way, we will get very close to understanding it by the end of the month.”

RYAN HUNTER-REAY, NO. 28 TEAM DHL/SUN DROP CITRUS SODA ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT CHEVROLET: "It was a good first day for us. We did a lot of work on our own in single-car runs and then working on how the car handles in traffic and in race conditions. Each of Andretti Autosport crews worked really well as team today as we tried to learn as much as we can between the five cars. We ran in tandem with (James) Hinchcliffe and Seb (Sebastian Saavedra), and we pulled Seb along in the tow for the fastest lap of the day."

JR HILDEBRAND, NO. 4 NATIONAL GUARD PANTHER RACING CHEVROLET: "I think we feel pretty good for where we are at different downforce levels. I think we’ve got some more stuff to explore on low downforce but our plan is to push that stuff back towards Thursday and Friday and going into qualifying with the added the boost, cause that can change things as much as anything. We felt we got some good reads on things today and that was our program and we got started with our race prep and setup of the car. It’s all about taking this one step at a time and that any time that we do change something it’s a useful change and we understand what we get out of it before we move on to the next thing.”

JAMES HINCHCLIFFE, NO. 27 TEAM GODADDY.COM ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT CHEVROLET: “It was tough yesterday watching everyone else drive and sitting on the sidelines, so it was nice to get out there today. From the word ‘go’ the car was really good. The Andretti Autosport guys have obviously done a lot of hard work over the winter. When we first got these cars in December and January we put one aside just for Indy and have been working on that thing for the last four months, so a huge credit to them. We had the Go Daddy car running well on its own and running well in traffic – we did some traffic simulations and some race simulations so we’ll see, there’s still a lot to do. There’s a lot to learn with this new car. We’re coming off a car we had eight or nine years of data with so we are literally going through everything step by step getting ready for the race. There’s a lot of learning to do in the next couple of days to get ready for qualifying and the race but so far everything is good.”

TONY KANAAN, NO. 11 ITAIPAVA | GEICO | MOUSER ELECTRONICS – KV RACING TECHNOLOGY CHEVROLET: “We got some things accomplished today, but our work was limited because of the amount of track time we had. It is only the second day of practice, so we still have time to develop the car and find the extra speed we looking for. Hopefully, we can have a productive day tomorrow as we prepare for qualifying this weekend.”

HELIO CASTRONEVES, NO. 3 SHELL V-POWER/PENNZOIL ULTRA TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET: “Today wasn't much different than yesterday. We will continue to work on the Shell Pennzoil car to make small changes as we go. The track changed a little with the wind today so that was good to see. We will keeping learning a little but every day to get better."

ORIOL SERVIA, NO. 22 PANTHER/DREYER & REINBOLD RACING CHEVROLET: “It was a good day. It’s Indy, and knowing that the weather looks good, it’s easy to get carried away and try to do too many things too early. We are just trying to pace ourselves and learn every step and make sure that we do each step well. We did some steps today and there’s more to do. I’m really happy with the progress and I’m also happy to see that JR (Hildebrand) has definitely very good speed, which we can keep learning from and sharing. There are still things that we want to try just to see how it feels, since it’s our first time in the DW12 on an oval regardless if it’s the right direction or not. Overall, I’m very happy like yesterday. We had another solid, mistake free day and we just need to keep checking off the boxes.”

WILL POWER NO. 12 VERIZON TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET: “The Verizon car was good today. This was the best track you'll get as far as conditions go. We will take what we learned today and use it to get better tomorrow."

E .J. VISO – NO. 5 CITGO | PDVSA – KV RACING TECHNOLOGY CHEVROLET: “It was a good day of practice. Once again everything went as planned. We are focused on our program, developing new things for the car. I think tomorrow is going to be a pretty intense day and I’m looking forward to continuing to make the same kind of progress we have made over the last two days.”

RYAN BRISCOE, NO. 2 IZOD TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET: “Yeah the No. 2 IZOD crew continue to do a great job pulling more power out of the car. Obviously we still need to get more, but I'm confident that come race day we will have the car we need. Today was a good day to build on leading into tomorrow.”

RUBENS BARRICHELLO – NO. 8 BMC | EMBRASE – KV RACING TECHNOLOGY CHEVROLET: "It has been a bit of a different day. Early on we were able to improve our speed a little but since then every change we have done hasn't been a positive result. At the end of the day I got Tony to drive my car, because I needed to see if I was developing the car in the right way or not. He was getting the same speed as me so that gives me more confidence to carry on my work. It is only the second day and luckily at Indianapolis I have another week to practice."

MARCO ANDRETTI, NO. 26 TEAM RC COLA ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT CHEVROLET: "Each (Andretti) car was on a different program today so we could cover all of our bases and take advantage of having five cars. We stuck to single-car runs in the (No.) 26, so we didn't show the same speed of the guys who were taking advantage of the tow from other cars, but everyone learned a lot from each other."

ED CARPENTER, NO. 20 FUZZY’S PREMIUM ULTRA VODKA ED CARPENTER RACING CHEVROLET: “Saturday was a tough day for our team. Not one person here was happy after practice. The guys worked really hard last night and came up with a good program for today’s practice runs. We got off to a good start today and rebounded well. We still have a ways to go for next weekend to where we want to be. Today was a huge step forward from where we were Saturday. If we can gain half the progress in the next couple of days that we made today, we’ll be in a good position. We need to keep our heads down and keep working on the car. We must work on getting the Fuzzy’s Chevrolet a little faster. I think it will be a little work chasing down the Hondas, but I think we can do it.”

ANA BEATRIZ, NO. 25 TEAM IPIRANGA ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT / CONQUEST RACING CHEVROLET: “It was, I think, a good day with the Ipiranga car. It was a little bit tough to start, Marco (Andretti) did a check in my car – it felt a little unbalanced. We worked that out this afternoon and I believe we found a good balance at the end. Now we can be more aggressive downforce wise so I’m looking forward to longer runs tomorrow and running in traffic.”