Kurt Busch fastest in Brickyard final practice

Leave a comment

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s NASCAR qualifying record could be shattered later this afternoon after Furniture Row Racing’s Kurt Busch topped the charts in this morning’s final practice session with a lap of 188.419 miles per hour in his Chevrolet – more than two mph better than Casey Mears’ record of 186.293 mph, which he set in 2004.

After being caught in a wreck two weeks ago at Loudon, Busch is one of multiple contenders that are currently on the outside looking in as the run to the Chase continues. He sits 14th in the standings, but is only just seven points out of 10th place.

That spot in the standings currently belongs to Hendrick Motorsports’ Kasey Kahne, and it appears he also has a fast ride going into today’s qualifying session at IMS. He was second-quickest in “Happy Hour” with a lap at 188.210 mph.

2000 Indy 500 winner Juan Pablo Montoya, who led yesterday’s first practice, was third-quickest (187.664), followed by defending Brickyard 400 champ Jimmie Johnson in fourth (187.379) and Ford leader Marcos Ambrose in fifth (187.106). Kyle Busch (187.075) was sixth-quickest this morning to lead the Toyotas.

In all, 14 drivers turned laps in “Happy Hour” that broke Mears’ track record, which means this afternoon should hold a very interesting run for the pole. Qualifying will start at 2:10 pm ET.

IndyCar 2017 driver review: All posts, one place

Getty Images
Leave a comment

In case you missed any of MotorSportsTalk’s extensive 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series driver-by-driver reviews on NBCSports.com, we’ve combined them all into one post.

See the full rankings below. Of the 38 drivers that raced at least once this year, 23 of them ran anywhere from six races to the full 17-race schedule, and got a full review. Drivers who competed in four or fewer races were packaged into the “remaining part-timers” post.

1. Josef Newgarden
2. Simon Pagenaud
3. Scott Dixon
4. Helio Castroneves
5. Will Power
6. Graham Rahal
7. Alexander Rossi
8. Takuma Sato
9. Ryan Hunter-Reay
10. Tony Kanaan
11. Max Chilton
12. Marco Andretti
13. James Hinchcliffe
14. Ed Jones
15. JR Hildebrand
16. Carlos Munoz
17. Charlie Kimball
18. Conor Daly
19. Mikhail Aleshin
20. Spencer Pigot / 22. Ed Carpenter
21. Sebastien Bourdais / 25. Esteban Gutierrez
23-24, 26-38. All the rest