IndyCar: Filippi top-five, Rahal pleased after Houston Friday

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The one returning driver to the Verizon IndyCar Series this weekend, Italian Luca Filippi, ended fourth overall and third in second practice in his first day in an IndyCar since Houston last fall.

“It was a great day. I was obvi­ously very moti­vated but to finish in the top three (in the second prac­tice) is amazing,” he said after the session. “We have to keep our feet on the ground and work harder because it’s going to be a long weekend with two races but we have the oppor­tu­nity to do well obvi­ously. So we just have to do a clean job.

“At the moment I feel good with the car,” he added. “There are some things we can still improve to suit my driving style but my confi­dence is good and I feel very thankful to the team, to Bobby and every­body who is working with me to make this happen.”

Meanwhile Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing teammate Graham Rahal was within 0.3 of Filippi, albeit 10 spots lower on the combined practice charts of 14th. Considering he didn’t get a run on new tires in the No. 15 National Guard RLL Honda, he’s pleased with where he is.

“I think the National Guard car is very compet­i­tive and I think there is more time in it,” he admitted. “We didn’t get a run on new tires so we don’t really know its poten­tial but I think it’s prob­ably a top-five car at this point. I just have to keep working on myself and find a bit more speed. I think we’re learning; we’ve just got to keep going forward. I think we will have a pretty compet­i­tive car tomorrow.”

Rahal also praised the job done by event organizer Mike Lanigan for resurfacing of the front straight, which while still bumpy, was an improvement on last year’s circuit.

Who has the best odds of winning Sunday’s Indianapolis 500?

Can Takuma Sato make it 2 Indy 500 wins in a row Sunday? Photo: IndyCar
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Noted oddsmaker Bovada (www.Bovada.lv) has released its annual list of which drivers have the best — or worst — odds of winning Sunday’s 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Topping the list is 2016 Indy 500 winner Alexander Rossi at 8/1 odds, followed closely by Team Penske drivers Helio Castroneves (going for a record-tying fourth 500 triumph), 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series champ Josef Newgarden and Will Power, all at 10/1 odds.

Other notables include:

  • Pole sitter Ed Carpenter 12/1
  • Danica Patrick 25/1
  • Defending 500 winner Takuma Sato, who is vying to become the first back-to-back winner since Helio Castroneves did so in 2001 and 2002, 30/1
  • Rounding out the list with the highest odds of winning is Max Chilton at 25/1

Here’s the full list:

Indianapolis 500 – Odds to Win @ Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Alexander Rossi #27                  8/1

Helio Castroneves #3                 10/1

Josef Newgarden #1                  10/1

Will Power #12                          10/1

Sebastien Bourdais #18             12/1

Ed Carpenter #20                      12/1

Scott Dixon #9                          12/1

Ryan Hunter-Reay #28               12/1

Simon Pagenaud #22                12/1

Marco Andretti #98                    15/1

Tony Kanaan #14                       15/1

Sage Karam #24                        20/1

Carlos Munoz #29                      25/1

Danica Patrick #13                    25/1

Graham Rahal #15                     30/1

Takuma Sato #30                      30/1

Robert Wickens #6                    30/1

Gabby Chaves #88                    40/1

JR Hildebrand #66                     40/1

Ed Jones #10                            40/1

Charlie Kimball #23                    40/1

Spencer Pigot #21                     40/1

Zach Veach #26                        40/1

Stefan Wilson #25                     40/1

Zachary Claman De Melo #19     80/1

Jay Howard #7                          80/1

Matheus Leist #4                       80/1

Jack Harvery #60                       100/1

Oriol Servia #64                         100/1

Conor Daly #17                         150/1

James Davison #33                   200/1

Kyle Kaiser #32                         200/1

Max Chilton #59                        250/1