Pagenaud tops Thursday practice, nears 229mph with no drafting help

The six hours of practice Thursday went incident-free, with one big exception...

INDIANAPOLIS - For the first time this week, all 34 cars posted a time during practice.. And unfortunately, for the second day in a row, a cars has gone airborne.

Simon Pagenaud led the field of 34 with a 228.793mph lap, which is said to have been run without drafting help. The fastest driver so far this month (Carlos Munoz), was second and the only other driver to top 228mph today. 

We saw Buddy Lazier on track for the first time and he was slowest as he shook down his Chevrolet, going 204.539mph. The six hours of practice went without incident until the final hour.

Josef Newgarden spun and slammed the wall at the exit of the first corner, close to where Helio Castroneves hit yesterday. The car went airborne after hitting with the nose, followed by the left rear. The mangled machine landed upside down and slid on its side through the short chute, coming to a rest the same way (VIDEO).

After practice, Pagenaud was asked about the safety of these cars. He echoed the comments of Newgarden, who is content with the current safety of the sport. "These cars are safe at the end of the day, we are going past 230mph at the entry of a corner. If you have a crash, it's always going to be a big crash."

"The car is plenty safe because both drivers came out unscratched."

Complete session results to follow shortly...

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Event Indy 500
Track Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Drivers Simon Pagenaud , Josef Newgarden
Article type Practice report
Tags chevrolet, team penske