Allan Brewer, IndyCar correspondent
Sebastian Saavedra of AFS Racing/Andretti Autosport recorded a time of 40.6272 seconds (221.526 mph) to set the fastest lap of the month to date as practice for the May 27th Indianapolis 500 continued at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday.
"I have to take the guys out for dinner tonight," said Saavedra. "It's exciting. We've been struggling the past couple of years, and so starting the month of May this way, it's a very satisfying feeling."
Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing rookie teammates Bryan Clauson and Josef Newgarden posted the second and third fastest laps of the day. Clauson sped to a lap at 221.173 mph while Newgarden recorded a lap of 221.158 mph.
It's been a great start to the month...
"If you had told me that we were going to come out here the first two days and top the speed charts, I would have told you that you were crazy," said Clauson. "It's been a great start to the month, but we have a long way to go. Sometimes speed charts can lie a little bit, but we have a real fast race car."
"Finishing second and third today shows how competitive SFHR is," added Newgarden. "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."
Andy O'Gara, general manager of Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing said, "We're very pleased with our start to the month of May. We've got a great engineering staff who has been doing their homework on this new car since we left Las Vegas last year."
Ganassi Racing's Scott Dixon (220.829 mph) and Dale Coyne Racing's Justin Wilson (220.615 mph) rounded out the fast five for the day.
"We started off a bit slow, and we had to figure out a few issues we had" said Dixon. "We didn't really change the car too much, just a few mechanical things that we needed to get through. My first couple of timed laps, the car seemed nice. It's nice to drive."
"It's been a good day," offered Wilson. "Obviously, we want to be quickest; but it's practice, so we're just trying to learn as much as we can and keep developing the car to find that next step."
In all, 31 drivers recorded 1,138 laps for the day. Practice continues on May 14th from noon to 6 PM EDT.
A total of 37 cars are at the Speedway, with 27 passing technical inspection and six in the process. Thirty-one drivers have been on the track to date and turned 1,138 laps on Sunday and 1,831 laps this month. Wade Cunningham's 58 laps was tops of all drivers. There were five cautions for a total of 51 minutes on Sunday.
The Indianapolis 500 will be televised by ABC at 11AM EDT in two short weeks from today, and broadcast by the IMS Radio Network.