Allan Brewer, IndyCar correspondent
Rookie Josef Newgarden recorded a time of 40.4519 seconds, 222.486 miles per hour, to set the fastest lap of the month to date as practice for the May 27th Indianapolis 500 continued at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Monday.
"It's another strong day. We're stepping through it each time, and we have a lot more to go still. Our good start is continuing to roll forward. So we're feeling positive," said Newgarden. "The team is good. No issues on the team. It's Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing; they've got a great group. We've obviously got a good car; we've come out really strong, as well. Really we just need to maintain that."
"I'm somewhat pleased by our pace.
Andretti Autosport teammates Ryan Hunter-Reay and Marco Andretti posted the second and third fastest laps of the day. Hunter-Reay sped to a lap at 221.639 mph while Andretti recorded a lap of 221.519 mph.
"It was pretty good," said Hunter-Reay. "We ran on our own most of the day just trying to sort out some pretty big setup changes, and then at the end we ran in a group with our teammates here, and a few others joined in."
"I'm somewhat pleased by our pace," added Andretti. "We've just been working on the race car. 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. I feel super-comfortable in the car because the team makes me feel comfortable. They've done a great job of giving us a good program and making it easy on us."
Ganassi Racing's Scott Dixon (221.499 mph) and AFS Racing's Sebastian Saavedra (220.785 mph) rounded out the fast five for the day.
"We just ran through some mechanical options and some damper items today," said Dixon. "We had some issues after our first run and then came back to the garage to sort that out. We came out for our last run just after 5 PM and went through another sequence of mechanical and damper items, and that was it."
"It's been a good day," offered Sebastian Saavedra. "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."
A total of 35 cars are at the Speedway, with 31 passing technical inspection and six more in the process.
Twenty-nine drivers tested the track today and turned 1,199 laps. James Jakes turned 76 laps today, most of any driver. There were three cautions for a total of 31 minutes.
Practice continues on May 15th from noon to 6 PM EDT.
The Indianapolis 500 will be televised by ABC at 11AM EDT in 13 days from today, and broadcast by the IMS Radio Network.