Will Power fastest on first day of Indy 500 practice; Ryan Hunter-Reay second

Indy 500 opening practice
Marc Lebryk/USA TODAY Sports Images

Taking advantage of ideally cool conditions, Will Power turned the fastest lap Tuesday on the opening day of Indy 500 practice.

The Team Penske driver toured the 2.5-mile oval at 226.470 mph in his No. 12 Dallara-Chevrolet ahead of the Dallara-Hondas of Ryan Hunter-Reay (226.371) and two-time and defending race winner Takuma Sato (226.132).

“Definitely happy with the car in traffic,” Power told NBC Sports reporter Dillon Welch during coverage on Peacock. “As far as running behind cars, this is the most comfortable I’ve felt here for a while. I feel good. Cool weather does help a lot. Everyone can run close.”

INDY 500 PRACTICE SPEEDS: Second session l Day 1 combined

With temperatures expected to spike over the weekend, Hunter-Reay said it was important to make laps before the track grew slicker.

“The car was pretty good, but these conditions are really nice,” he said. “When this track temperature goes up, it gets really tricky.”

Sage Karam, who is attempting to make his first IndyCar start of the season, was a surprising fourth.

“When I came across the line, I just screamed when I saw that lap,” Karam, who has a best Indy 500 finish of ninth (as a 2014 rookie) in seven starts, told Welch. “I’m just stoked and so pumped. The last few years I haven’t been happy a lot here. I’ve been struggling. This is the most preparing of a car that I’ve ever had. I couldn’t be happier.

INDY 500 INFO: Start times, schedules, TV, stats, historical details about the race

MONTH OF MAY SCHEDULEWhen cars are on track at Indianapolis Motor Speedway

ENTRY LIST: The 35 drivers vying for 33 spots in the Indy 500

“This is probably the best Day One I’ve ever had at the Speedway, and I’ve had some really good cars here.”

Though rain put the speedway under caution for more than two of a scheduled eight hours of track time, there were no crashes Tuesday. There was one incident: a minor fire on Sebastien Bourdais’ No. 14 that brought out a yellow flag for 10 minutes.

In the morning session, Graham Rahal, who is seeking his first Indianapolis 500 victory in his 14th start, turned the fastest lap at 223.449 mph lap at Indianapolis Motor Speedway during an abbreviated opening practice as Indy 500 warmup sessions began.

The Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing driver turned a 223.449 mph lap on the 18th of 19 laps in his No. 15 Dallara-Honda on the 2.5-mile oval.

Six-time NTT IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon was second (223.420), followed by Team Penske rookie Scott McLaughlin (223.836), two-time Indy 500 winner Juan Pablo Montoya (222.781) and Ed Jones (222.700).

TUESDAY MORNING: Chart from the first practice session at IMS

Driving the No. 86 Dallara-Chevrolet for Arrow McLaren SP, Montoya is making his first Indy 500 start since 2017. Jones, who is in the No. 18 Dallara-Honda of Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser Sullivan, is back at IMS after missing the 2020 Indy 500.

The rest of the top 10: 2018 Indy winner Will Power (222.436), Santino Ferrucci (222.204), Pato O’Ward (222.181), James Hinchcliffe (221.990) and Helio Castroneves (221.861).

Click here to see how the veterans fared on the speed charts in the opening practice.

The track opened at 10 a.m. for a five-minute period of installation laps, and veterans were allowed to make laps starting at 10:07 a.m.

Two-time and defending Indy 500 winner Takuma Sato, Rahal’s teammate, was the first driver on track, per IMS.

The yellow flag flew multiple times for light rain throughout the morning, and the final 15 minutes of the veteran session was cut short by a shower.


Drivers in the Rookie Orientation and Refresher Tests program were scheduled to hit the track at noon, but rain delayed the start until shortly after 2 p.m. IndyCar announced the ROP/Refresher would run for two hours, followed by the track being open to all cars until 6 p.m. ET.

Tuesday was the first of four consecutive days of Indy 500 practice before qualifying Saturday and Sunday.

Kyle Larson wins third consecutive High Limit Sprint race at Eagle Raceway, Rico Abreu second again

Larson High Limit Eagle
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It took four attempts for Kyle Larson to win his first High Limit Sprint Car Series race in the series he co-owns with brother-in-law Brad Sweet, but once he found victory lane, he has been undefeated with his win at Eagle (Nebraska) Raceway. For the second week, Abreu led early only to fall prey to Larson.

The win was Larson’s third straight victory and the fifth consecutive top-five, giving him a perfect sweep of the season after finishing 10th in last year’s inaugural race at Lincoln Park Speedway in Putnamville, Indiana.

Larson started third behind Abreu and Brent Marks but was embroiled in a fierce battle with Anthony Macri for third during the first dozen laps. Larson slipped by Macri in traffic until a red flag waved for a flip by Lachlan McHugh.

Meanwhile at the front of the pack, Marks retook the lead from Abreu on Lap 18. Larson followed one lap later and then caution waved again. Tyler Courtney lost power and fell to 24th after starting eighth.

Marks scooted away on the restart but tragedy struck in Lap 26. Leading the race, Marks hit a pothole in Turn 1, bicycled and then flipped, handing the lead to Larson.

Abreu caught Larson again during the final laps and in a reprise of their battle at Tri-City Speedway, the two threw sliders at one another for several laps until Larson built some separation and ran away to the checkers.

“I didn’t feel like my pace in [Turns] 1 & 2 slowed down a ton,” Larson said from victory lane. “I missed it once there and then I saw his nose in 3 & 4. I didn’t know if he nailed the bottom that well behind me and I think he might have slid me in the next corner, so he was definitely on the top.

“I was nervous to move up there because my car was really pogoing up in the entry of 1. I got up just in time, made a few mistakes and he threw a couple more sliders at me but he was just a little too far back and I was able to squirt around him. Then I really had to commit to hitting my marks – back my effort down a bit to avoid mistakes.”

After leading early, Abreu fell back as far as sixth, but faith in his car kept hope alive.

“I just needed to do a few things a few laps before I did and fix some angles, then my car got a whole lot better,” Abreu said. “I’m thankful for this team; they do an amazing job. They don’t give up on me. I know my car is going to be there right at the end of these races, so it’s just the discipline of being patient.”

For Abreu, it was his third near-miss this season. He was leading at Lakeside in the 2023 opener until a tire went flat in the closing laps and he lost the lead to Larson late in the Tri-City Speedway race. Abreu has finished sixth or better in his last three High Limit races with each result being progressively better until his pair of runner-up results.

Third-place finisher Scelzi was the hard charger, advancing from 17th.

“I had a very specific plan; don’t go near [the hole in Turn 1],” Scelzi said. “It worked out. No one wanted to start on the top. I think I gained a couple of rows there on the choose cone and ran the middle, which seemed to be better than right around the bottom.”

Michael “Buddy” Kofoid in fourth and Macri rounded out the top five.

World of Outlaws star and former NASCAR driver Kasey Kahne was one of 41 entrants, but he was not among the 26 starters. He failed to advance to the Main after finishing eighth in the B Main and seventh in his heat.

Feature Results

A Feature (40 Laps): 1. 57-Kyle Larson[4]; 2. 24-Rico Abreu[1]; 3. 18-Giovanni Scelzi[17]; 4. 71-Michael Kofoid[5]; 5. 39M-Anthony Macri[3]; 6. 9-Chase Randall[9]; 7. 26-Zeb Wise[14]; 8. 1X-Jake Bubak[15]; 9. 8-Aaron Reutzel[10]; 10. 14D-Corey Day[18]; 11. 11-Cory Eliason[12]; 12. 5T-Ryan Timms[11]; 13. 88-Austin McCarl[13]; 14. 21H-Brady Bacon[22]; 15. 48-Danny Dietrich[16]; 16. 7S-Robbie Price[19]; 17. 21-Brian Brown[23]; 18. 22-Riley Goodno[26]; 19. 52-Blake Hahn[25]; 20. 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr[21]; 21. 3J-Dusty Zomer[6]; 22. 14-Cole Macedo[7]; 23. 19-Brent Marks[2]; 24. 7BC-Tyler Courtney[8]; 25. 25-Lachlan McHugh[20]; 26. 53-Jack Dover[24]

2023 High Limit Sprint Car Series

Race 1: Giovanni Scelzi wins at Lakeside Speedway
Race2: Anthony Macri wins at 34 Raceway
Race 3: Kyle Larson wins at Wayne County Speedway
Race 4: Kyle Larson wins at Tri-City Speedway