The No. 25 RC Cola Andretti Autosport Chevrolet led Indianapolis 500 practice for a second consecutive day, but the driver who set the fastest lap in said car changed.
James Hinchcliffe – shaking down teammate Marco Andretti’s usual ride – led the speed charts with the only lap over 224 mph. A 224.210 on his sixth of 26 laps in the car was fastest on Tuesday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The lap was thanks to a tow from Graham Rahal. Both Graham and father Bobby, his car owner, tweeted their thoughts after the session.
“Hope Hinchcliffe buys Graham an expensive dinner since Graham towed him around for 5 laps today earning Hinch fastest lap! Have you no shame?” Bobby Rahal tweeted.
Graham followed shortly therafter: “ya hey Hinch, when you buying me a nice steak? Think that’s how it goes😉.”
Hinchcliffe, rather than dismissing the notion, embraced it with his trademark candor and humor in the post-practice press conference.
“So, I guess we’re good at playing ‘tow wars,’” Hinchcliffe said. “Marco’s angry. I rocked the big tow, which he’s famous for, and I did it in his car. So Marco ‘Towdretti’ is mad at me.”
JR Hildebrand was second, with Andretti (in the No. 25), Helio Castroneves and Ryan Hunter-Reay rounding out the top five.
E.J. Viso, Josef Newgarden, Carlos Munoz, Oriol Servia and AJ Allmendinger completed the top 10.
Newgarden, the only driver practicing with a new Honda engine as yet with most Honda runners swapping out their mileaged-out engines starting Tuesday, was one of only two Hondas in the top 20 (Charlie Kimball in 19th was the other).
Viso (134 laps) ran the most laps while Takuma Sato (20) ran the fewest of the day. Sato was slowest of the 32 normal car/driver combinations that took time; 216.616 on his last lap of the day was his fastest. Andretti also shook down Hinchcliffe’s No. 27 GoDaddy Chevrolet.
Hondas ended the day 21st through 34th with, as mentioned, their close-to-their-max mileage engines. RLL’s trio ended 29th (James Jakes), 32nd (Michel Jourdain Jr.) and 33rd (Graham Rahal).
A total of 2,226 laps were run on Tuesday without incident.