Carb Day is always one of the more popular days at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and today was no exception. Thousands poured into the speedway to witness an action packed day that did not disappoint.
Teams and drivers had one final hour of practice time in preparation for Sunday’s race. All 33 drivers made it onto the 2.5-mile oval, putting in a total of 1,273 laps. Fortunately there were no incidents, although Danica Patrick’s car had to go back to the garage after just six laps because of an ECU issue. The Ed Carpenter Racing crew was able to get her back on track in the closing minutes of the session, as she finished 8th on the speed chart.
The fastest speed today came from 2013 Indy 500 winner Tony Kanaan. The Brazilian put down a lap of 227.791 mph in his AJ Foyt Racing machine, but acknowledged that it doesn’t mean much for the race. Still, the hot and sunny conditions were very similar to what is being predicted for Sunday’s race.
Indianapolis 500 Final Practice Results
Following IndyCar practice was the 16th annual Freedom 100 race in the Indy Lights series. The 40-lap race featured side-by-side racing, and 20 lead changes. The race was won by 18-year old Colton Herta of Andretti-Steinbrenner Racing. Herta held off teammate Patricio O’Ward by 0.0281 seconds in the fastest Freedom 100 in history. Pole sitter Dalton Kellett led the most laps and finished in 3rd place for the third year in a row. It was a 1-2-3 finish for the Andretti Autosport team, and a clean sweep at IMS for Herta, after he won the two road course races earlier this month.
The Pit Stop Competition was up next. This year’s event featured nine drivers, with several of them squaring off against a teammate. James Hinchcliffe was back in his black and gold SPM car, and made it all the way to the finals to compete against Scott Dixon. The best-of-three final round was won by Dixon on the third run. The last 13 winners of this competition have either been a Penske driver, or Dixon. The last time one of them didn’t win, was RLL in 2004 with Buddy Rice. The Ganassi crew earned $50,000 in the competition, which is the third victory for Dixon.
The 33 cars will now rest in the garage area as crews make final adjustments in preparation for Sunday. While there is no on-track activity tomorrow, there will be an autograph session, the public drivers meeting, and the IPL 500 Festival Parade in downtown Indianapolis. The 102nd running of the Indianapolis 500 begins at 11 AM on Sunday.