Former Indianapolis 500 winner Juan Pablo Montoya led the first day of practice for the Sprint Cup Series at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Montoya, who also competed in five Formula One United States Grand Prix at IMS, turned in a hot lap of 185.410 miles per hour in the No. 42 Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing Chevrolet.
That was well ahead of Kurt Busch in the No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet, who posted the second-quickest time on Friday with a lap at 184.347 mph. Austin Dillon, fresh off his victory Wednesday night at Eldora in the Camping World Truck Series, hit P3 with a lap at 183.944 mph in the No. 33 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet.
Former Brickyard 400 winner Paul Menard was fourth-quickest (183.700 mph) in another RCR Chevy, the No. 27, and Hendrick Motorsports’ Kasey Kahne was fifth on the charts in the No. 5 Chevy (183.640 mph).
Penske Racing’s Joey Logano led the Fords with the sixth-quickest lap (183.337 mph), while Michael Waltrip Racing’s Martin Truex Jr. led the Toyota camp with his lap (182.567 mph), which was good for eighth overall. Defending race winner Jimmie Johnson was 13th on Friday (181.591 mph).
The Cup contingent will have a two-hour final practice tomorrow at 9 a.m. ET. Qualifying for Sunday’s race will begin later that afternoon at 2:10 p.m. ET.
Red Bull Air Race: Yoshi Muroya joins Sato as Japanese champs at Indy
Takuma Sato isn’t the only major Japanese athlete to take home top honors at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this year. Countryman Yoshihide Muroya joined him in that on Sunday after winning Red Bull Air Race at IMS, and the Red Bull Air Race World Championship in the process.
Fittingly, the 101st Indianapolis 500 champion was there on site to join him in the celebration.
Muroya flew with a track-record run in the final and erased the four-point deficit to points leader Martin Sonka. The record run came after a disappointing qualifying effort of 11th in the 14-pilot field in the Master Class.
A day after the win, Muroya joined Sato in heading to Sato’s new Verizon IndyCar Series team, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s, Indianapolis-based shop.
A few social posts from Muroya’s victory and the subsequent celebration are below.
Muroya wasn’t alone among big winners at the Speedway. In the Challenger Class, Melanie Astles of France became the first woman to win a major race at IMS, and is the first female winner in the Red Bull Air Race World Championship.
Nine women have competed in the Indianapolis 500 (Janet Guthrie, Lyn St. James, Sarah Fisher, Danica Patrick, Milka Duno, Simona de Silvestro, Pippa Mann, Ana Beatriz, Katherine Legge) and Mann is the first woman to have been on the pole position at IMS, having done so for the Freedom 100 in 2010 in Indy Lights.