One of the storylines coming into the fourth day of practice for the Indy 500 was the impressive young drivers. Josef Newgarden had been the fastest driver on two of the three days, and others like Bryan Clauson, Charlie Kimball, and Sebastian Saavedra were always at the top of the speed charts.
Today, big boys took their place.
The drivers for Penske, Ganassi, and Andretti put on quite a show on Tuesday at IMS. The Andretti stable was out early, then put on a great show around 3:30 pm. Hunter-Reay, Andretti, Hinchcliffe, and Saavedra all went out together, and ran in a pack for about twenty minutes. They swapped positions multiple times, including some risky moves that were made going into turn one.
The Penske boys put on their own three-car show about an hour later, just before the furious Happy Hour began. Castroneves reached the 222 mph barrier with about thirty minutes remaning in practice. Happy Hour was quite busy, as we saw 14 cars on track at one point.
In the final minutes of Happy Hour, Marco Andretti put his name at the top of the speed chart. He did so with a lap of 223.676 mph, the fastest of the month. Over 1,600 laps were turned today, and by the end of practice, Andretti Autosport had three of the top five cars, with the other two spots going to Castroneves and Rahal.
As Tuesday’s practice concluded, the top ten was made up of three Andretti cars, four Ganassi cars, two Penske cars, and Takuma Sato.
Sebastien Bourdais was present today, and the signs for Dragon Racing were going up in the late afternoon hours. Pippa Mann and Jay Howard were both here too, anxiously waiting for something to open up. Simona de Silvestro gained some speed, as she posted a speed of 210 mph on her third lap. Unfortunately, she is still a good six miles per hour behind the next group of cars.
We have now had four full days of practice, and it doesn’t look like we will get any rain all the way through the weekend. Obviously teams are considering how much they want to run, given they only have a limited number of tires and engine miles to use. Wednesday’s practice could see the coolest temperatures of the month, but it should still be in the 70’s. Practice runs from noon until 6 pm.