INDIANAPOLIS – Race runs and full-tank runs dominated most of Wednesday’s hectic day of running for 100th Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil practice, and again, an Andretti Autosport car topped the timesheets.
Ryan Hunter-Reay led the way on the day in the No. 28 DHL Honda with a best speed of 228.202 mph. Carlos Munoz was second to make it a 1-2 result in the No. 26 United Fiber & Data Honda, in the 228.066 mph.
Josef Newgarden, who was fourth overall in the No. 21 Preferred Freezer Chevrolet, topped the no-tow speed charts at 224.541 mph. He clocked in ahead of four Andretti Autosport drivers, Townsend Bell, Hunter-Reay, Munoz and Alexander Rossi.
The last hour and a half was particularly frantic with big groups of cars all running in formation. It looked similar to a race display, or certainly the Fast Friday sessions when the boost gets turned up.
The other story of the day beyond the speeds at the top of the chart was Spencer Pigot’s accident, which saw the Indy Lights champion and Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing driver crash in Turn 1 and force the team to build a backup car.
Pigot was fine, albeit frustrated with himself to have the crew need to spend extra time to build up a new car. It was later diagnosed that Pigot hit something in Turn 1.
Other quick tidbits of note:
- There were 2,779 laps turned on Wednesday – nearly double the Monday number – in an insane amount of running. Rookie Matthew Brabham in the No. 61 PIRTEK Team Murray Chevrolet led the way with 126 laps while Max Chilton in the No. 8 Gallagher Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet was only one behind at 125 laps. Jack Hawksworth only ran 31 laps and was slowest on the day at 217.789 mph.
- Chilton and Pippa Mann ran really close, nose-to-tail, ahead of a big train of cars in the last hour.
- The Andretti train was fun to watch, albeit briefly interrupted by Helio Castroneves when he came out of the pits in the No. 3 Pennzoil Team Penske Chevrolet.
- Quick one-or-two-word answers from Oriol Servia and rookie Stefan Wilson on their days: “Not great” and “OK” respectively. Servia ran 59 laps and was only at a 223.373 mph for 32nd overall but was 20th in no-tow at 221 and change. Wilson was 30th, 223.781, overall and 19th on no-tow.
- James Hinchcliffe ran in both his No. 5 Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda and the No. 7 SMP Racing Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda, shaking down Mikhail Aleshin’s car. Aleshin later went back out and had a mechanical issue in the last hour.