“Fast Friday” at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway appears to have taken on two meanings this Friday, May 16:
It saw the fastest laps of the month.
It also has seen the fastest period of on-track activity from start-to-finish, with barely 20 minutes complete between the delayed start and the rain halting just before 3:30 p.m. Temperatures were only in the 50s, in-between the rain coming to IMS. Heavier rain and hail fell began just after 3:30.
In the few moments of green flag running, defending Indianapolis 500 polesitter Ed Carpenter became the first driver to set a 230-plus mph lap, at 230.522 mph in the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet for his Ed Carpenter Racing team.
Per Chevrolet ace PR rep Judy Dominick, Carpenter’s best lap was tow-assisted, but his 229.1 and Helio Castroneves’ 229.8 laps did not have a tow.
But it wasn’t just 230 that was hit with the boosts turned up on the cars to help create more power.
The best lap speed of 227.166 set prior to today, from Castroneves on Thursday, was eclipsed by each of the top 17 drivers. The top 12 were all over 228 mph.
After Carpenter was Castroneves and three young Americans, Marco Andretti, JR Hildebrand and Josef Newgarden.
UPDATED, 4:20 p.m. ET: Due to the weather, track activity has concluded for the day.
Here are the times, then, from the final day of practice before qualifying: