It was another sunny and warm day of practice at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Speeds climbed in a furious last hour of practice, which saw Josef Newgarden at the top of the speed charts again.
On the day, 29 cars turned 1,199 laps on track and we were incident-free yet again. The only hiccup we saw was when Graham Rahal’s engine went up in smoke in turn four. The engine was near the threshold anyway, so it was no surprise when it expired. Most of the times on the day were courtesy of a tow, but the idea now is to work on race setup, not qualifying.
Teams will have an added boost beginning on Friday, and during qualifications, so it doesn’t make sense to prepare the car for qualifying trim right now.
American drivers held the top three spots on the chart, and 24 drivers were within one second of Newgarden’s time. Jean Alesi finally completed his Rookie Orientation in his number 64 Lotus machine. The other Lotus (Simona de Silvestro) did not turn any laps on Monday.
Newgarden, Hunter-Reay, Andretti, and Dixon were all over 221 mph, and six other drivers reached the 220 mph barrier. James Jakes turned the most laps (76) Monday, Alex Tagliani (17) the fewest.
While the focus had been on Honda this weekend, only six of them were represented in the top 15 today. The other nine were all Chevrolet-powered.
In the first three days of practice, we have run a total of 3,030 laps. The weather forecast looks sunny and warm all the way through Bump Day, so teams may consider cutting down some of their track time throughout the week to preserve tires and engine miles.
Tuesday’s practice will run from noon until 6 pm.