Karam leads Ganassi 1-2-3 in Monday’s practice at Indy


Three of Chip Ganassi Racing’s five drivers, Sage Karam, Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan were 1-2-3 in Monday’s practice for this year’s Indianapolis 500, all over 225 mph.

Dixon and Kanaan were 1-2 before Karam got a tow right near the end of the session to eclipse them both with the day’s fastest lap speed of 225.802 in the No. 8 Comfort Revolution/Big Machine Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet.

The 2013 Indy Lights champion was ninth in his Verizon IndyCar Series debut this race last year. He returns to the cockpit after missing the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis, with Sebastian Saavedra in the No. 8 car.

Beyond the Ganassi trio, Marco Andretti also ended the day over 225 at 225.184 in fourth. CFH Racing’s pair of JR Hildeband and Ed Carpenter were next up.

Note the times below the actual fastest laps, here were the fastest “no-tow” speeds, via Indianapolis ABC affiliate reporter Dave Furst:

The top 27 cars did a reasonable amount of running (from as few as 6 laps up to 83 for Josef Newgarden), but there were some notable exceptions.

Team Penske’s trio of Juan Pablo Montoya, Will Power and Helio Castroneves ran installation laps only. Simon Pagenaud served as the team’s guinea pig and banked 31 laps, with a best speed of 222.885 mph.

The four cars entered that didn’t turn any laps today were Jack Hawksworth and Alex Tagliani, in the Nos. 41 and 48 A.J. Foyt Enterprises Hondas, 1996 champion Buddy Lazier in the No. 91 Lazier Racing Partners Chevrolet, and the as-yet-to-be-determined No. 19 Dale Coyne Racing Honda.

Here are the speeds:


Ryan Hunter-Reay hired as replacement for Conor Daly at Ed Carpenter Racing

Ryan Hunter-Reay Carpenter
Michael Allio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Ryan Hunter-Reay was named to replace Conor Daly in Ed Carpenter Racing’s No. 20 Dallara-Chevrolet, starting in the NTT IndyCar Series event next week at Road America.

Hunter-Reay is the 2012 series champion and 2014 Indianapolis 500 winner. He finished 11th for Dreyer & Reinbold last month in the 107th Indy 500, his first start since the 2021 season finale. He drove full time for Andretti Autosport from 2010-21.

“We need to improve our competitiveness and I wanted to add a fresh perspective from a driver like Ryan who has a massive amount of experience and success as well as a reputation as a team leader. I am excited to welcome Ryan to the team,” team owner Ed Carpenter said in a team release. “We have worked together in the past as teammates and he tested for ECR at Barber Motorsports Park in October 2021, where he made an immediate impact as we were able to qualify one of our cars on the pole following that test. I am confident that his experience and technical abilities will be an asset to ECR as we move forward toward our goals as a team.”

Hunter-Reay has 18 IndyCar victories, most recently in 2018. He also is a winner in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, having been a part of winning entries in the 2020 Twelve Hours of Sebring and 2018 Petit Le Mans. Last year, he was an endurance driver for Cadillac Racing while being on standby for Chip Ganassi Racing.

He replaces Daly, whose departure was announced a day earlier in what the driver and team said was a mutual decision.

“I was surprised when I got the call from Ed,” Hunter-Reay said in a team release. “He described how frustrated he was that his team has not been able to realize its potential despite their efforts, investments, as well as technical and personnel changes over the past few years and asked for my help. Ed and I are very close friends and have been for a long time. I’ve worked with the team in the past and they are a very talented group with high expectations and a committed partner in BITNILE.COM.

“This will certainly be a challenge for me as well. It’s a tough situation jumping in a car in the middle of the season without any testing in what I believe to be the most competitive series in the world. Certainly, part of my motivation in saying ‘yes’ to Ed is the great challenge ahead. The last time I turned right driving an NTT IndyCar Series car was in October of 2021 with this team at Barber. However, I remain very confident in both my driving and technical abilities and believe by working with the talented people at ECR and Team Chevy, while representing BITNILE.COM, we will make progress. I am going to do everything I can do to help the team achieve its long-term objectives.”

Said Milton “Todd” Ault, the chairman of sponsor BitNile.com: “It is great for BitNile.com to be aligned with an Indy 500 Winner and an NTT IndyCar Series champion. I have followed Ryan’s career for years and I am confident he will challenge the entire ECR team to perform at higher levels. I wish everyone luck at Road America.”