Three-time Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves set a 224.665mph fastest time to claim top time of the afternoon session, although his best effort was slower than that of Penske-Chevrolet teammate Simon Pagenaud in opening practice.
Castroneves, who is no longer fulltime in IndyCar and last won at IMS in 2009 took just 40.0597sec to lap the 2.5-mile course, beating local hero and two-time Indy polesitter Ed Carpenter by just 0.14mph, with Jay Howard’s Schmidt Peterson-Honda just 0.005sec further back.
However, Pagenaud cracked the 40sec barrier in the morning session and claimed fastest time of the day with a 225.787mph; in the afternoon he was 14th.
In the busy closing minutes, with slipstreaming going on all around the track, Scott Dixon’s Chip Ganassi Racing-Honda surged into fourth (fifth of the day) to displace Marco Andretti who was fastest of the Andretti Autosport-Hondas, and the last of the cars to nudge past 224mph.
Sage Karam got up to speed with seventh fastest, ahead of the Carlin Racing-Chevy of Charlie Kimball, the Harding Racing-Chevy of Gabby Chaves, and the Andretti-Honda of Zach Veach.
James Davison was an impressive 13th fastest in the AJ Foyt Racing with Byrd/Hollinger/Belardi entry, while Danica Patrick was 20th in her Ed Carpenter Racing-Chevy.
Josef Newgarden and Will Power, 15th and 19th overall, set their fastest times in Practice 1.
Carlos Munoz (Andretti) was 21st in his first IndyCar practice of the season and was the only driver to crack the 234mph barrier through the speedtrap heading into Turn 3. Oriol Servia’s Scuderia Corsa with RLLR car was 22nd and, like Stefan Wilson in 23rd, completed his refresher test.
Rookie and late entrant Zachary Claman De Melo was 31st for Dale Coyne Racing, although ahead of two of his teammates, Conor Daly and Pippa Mann, who completed just nine and 19 laps respectively, with bests of 215.926 and 214.731mph.
Howard made runs in James Hinchcliffe's car, while Matheus Leist only completed an installation lap in the #4 Foyt-Chevy.
The five fastest no-tow speeds in the afternoon were set by Carpenter (a 221.512), followed by Kimball, JR Hildebrand (Dreyer & Reinbold), Castroneves and Tony Kanaan of AJ Foyt Racing.
Driver, Team-Engine, Best Speed, Total Laps
1 Simon Pagenaud, Penske-Chevrolet, 225.787mph, 87
2 Helio Castroneves, Penske-Chevrolet, 224.665, 67
3 Ed Carpenter, Carpenter-Chevrolet, 224.523, 65
4 Jay Howard, Schmidt Peterson-Honda, 224.518, 69
5 Scott Dixon, Ganassi-Honda, 224.353, 51
6 Marco Andretti, Andretti-Herta-Honda, 224.217, 57
7 Sage Karam, Dreyer & Reinbold-Chevrolet, 223.998, 106
8 Charlie Kimball, Carlin-Chevrolet, 223.921, 46
9 Gabby Chaves, Harding-Chevrolet, 223.640, 42
10 Zach Veach, Andretti-Honda, 223.551, 68
11 Ryan Hunter-Reay, Andretti-Honda 223.488, 97
12 Spencer Pigot, Carpenter-Chevrolet, 223.398, 75
13 James Davison, Foyt-Byrd-Hollinger-Belardi-Chevrolet, 223.346, 21
14 Takuma Sato, Rahal Letterman Lanigan-Honda, 223.305, 67
15 Josef Newgarden, Penske-Chevrolet, 223.229, 60
16 Robert Wickens, Schmidt Peterson-Honda, 223.133, 52
17 Sebastien Bourdais, Coyne-Vasser-Sullivan-Honda, 222.960, 51
18 Ed Jones, Ganassi-Honda, 222.848, 66
19 Will Power, Penske-Chevrolet, 222.839, 83
20 Danica Patrick, Andretti-Honda, 222.728, 91
21 Carlos Munoz, Andretti-Honda, 222.701, 74
22 Oriol Servia, Scuderia Corsa-RLLR-Honda, 222.697, 17
23 Stefan Wilson, Andretti-Honda, 222.524, 36
24 Alexander Rossi, Andretti-Honda, 222.471, 93
25 JR Hildebrand, Dreyer & Reinbold-Chevrolet, 222.256, 56
26 James Hinchliffe, Schmidt Peterson-Honda, 221.900, 64
27 Graham Rahal, Rahal Letterman Lanigan-Honda, 221.671 75
28 Jack Harvey, Shank-Schmidt Peterson-Honda, 221.500, 107
29 Tony Kanaan, Foyt-Chevrolet, 221.412, 12
30 Max Chilton, Carlin-Chevrolet, 221.311, 61
31 Zachary Claman De Melo, Coyne-Honda, 221.089, 16
32 Kyle Kaiser, Juncos-Chevrolet, 220.707, 45
33 Jay Howard, Schmidt Peterson-Honda #5, 219.648, 61
34 Conor Daly, Coyne-Honda, 215.926, 9
35 Pippa Mann, Coyne-Honda, 214.731, 19