Indy 500 qualifying update (4 p.m. ET)

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Will Power’s four-lap average of 228.844 miles per hour is still on top of the Pole Day charts at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but the Andretti Autosport armada is making its presence felt as well.

In the previous hour, defending IZOD IndyCar Series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay and Colombian rookie Carlos Munoz posted averages good enough to slide into the middle and outside of the front row provisionally. Hunter-Reay averaged 228.282 in his No. 1 DHL/Sun Drop Chevrolet, while Munoz put up an average of 228.171 in his No. 26 Unistraw Chevrolet.

The qualifying run of James Jakes was thrown out by INDYCAR after a post-qualifying technical inspection revealed the car to be half a pound under weight. Jakes had posted an average of 225.397 mph, but will now have to re-qualify his No. 16 Acorn Stairlifts Honda for Rahal Letterman Racing.

The first 24 positions on the grid have been filled and there is currently bumping going on at the moment. The final nine spots will be locked in tomorrow in Bump Day activities.

Single-car qualifying will go until 6 p.m. ET, with the Fast Nine shootout going off at 6:30 p.m. ET.

Indianapolis 500

Pole Day Results (4 p.m. ET — Top 24)

1. 12-Will Power, 228.844 mph

2. 1-Ryan Hunter-Reay, 228.282

3. 26-Carlos Munoz, 228.171

4. 3- Helio Castroneves, 227.975

5. 20-Ed Carpenter, 227.952

6. 25-Marco Andretti, 227.893

7. 2-A.J. Allmendinger, 227.761

8. 5-E.J. Viso, 227.612

9. 27-James Hinchcliffe, 227.493

10. 4-J.R. Hildebrand, 227.441

11. 98-Alex Tagliani, 227.386

12. 11-Tony Kanaan, 226.949

13. 19-Justin Wilson, 226.370

14. 7-Sebastien Bourdais, 226.196

15. 9-Scott Dixon, 226.158

16. 10-Dario Franchitti, 226.069

17. 14-Takuma Sato, 225.892

18. 83-Charlie Kimball, 225.880

19. 60-Townsend Bell, 225.699

20. 77-Simon Pagenaud, 225.674

21. 78-Simona de Silvestro, 225.400

22. 21-Josef Newgarden, 225.210

23. 15-Graham Rahal, 225.139

24. 8-Ryan Briscoe, 225.043

Marco Andretti confident that fewer tests won’t hurt Andretti Autosport

Photo: IndyCar
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A small point of debate around the 2018 aero kit has been the manufacturer test days that took place through the Fall of 2017 and into the beginning of 2018. Chiefly, the debate has centered around teams who hadn’t participated in those manufacturer test days and if they’re starting the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season at a disadvantage as a result.

Team Penske, Ed Carpenter Racing, and A.J. Foyt Racing completed test days for Chevrolet, with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports and Chip Ganassi Racing doing so for Honda.

That left teams like Andretti Autosport out of the mix, with some voicing concerns as a result.

However, in a press conference during testing at ISM Raceway last weekend, Marco Andretti explained that he thinks Andretti Autosport should be able to catch up on development, citing the team’s resources – they’re the only IndyCar team with four full-time cars in their stable – and the fact that everyone is still adapting to the new kit.

“I feel like it’s early enough days that, yes, we can catch up,” Andretti said at ISM Raceway. “When there is anything new, a new car, new aero kit, at-track days are huge. We can sim all these things we want. To really get out there and confirm what we’re learning back at the shop is another thing.”

Ryan Hunter-Reay during testing at ISM Raceway. Photo: IndyCar

Andretti continued, “Yeah, I don’t think we should look at it like we’re behind the eight ball. With a four-car team, that’s where we can use it to our benefit. So far so good.”

Teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay, echoed Andretti’s sentiments, adding that while the situation is not perfect, they will need to adapt to it in order to remain competitive.

“Any time you have a new car, to put it into perspective, we’re on track three days on a road course before we get to (the season open in St. Petersburg). That’s a very short amount of time. It’s obviously not ideal, but we’re just going to lace up our boots and get on with it. That’s all you can do.”

Andretti Autosport will have one more team test, at Sebring International Raceway later on in February, before the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

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