Carb Day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway provides teams and drivers an opportunity to bring their cars up to speed ahead of Sunday’s running of the 102nd Indy 500. Due to the nature of practice week and qualifications, the one-hour practice session often provides the closest conditions to what will be experienced come race day.
AJ Foyt Racing’s Tony Kanaan led this year’s final practice session, with a fastest lap of 227.791 MPH in his #14 ABC Supply Chevrolet.
“I think this is the closest that we’re going to get as far as weather for Sunday, so we tried to optimise that and run in the heat conditions and see what are we going to do,” Kanaan said. “But really, if you haven’t figured it out by today, you’re in trouble.”
Kanaan will line up 10th on the starting grid for Sunday’s big race.
Scott Dixon was the fastest Honda in the field Friday, finishing practice in second place with a lap of 225.68 MPH. Dixon will start Sunday’s race from ninth place on the outside of Row 3.
“I don’t really know if today told us too much about what the race will bring in the PNC Bank car,” Dixon said. “It’s really warm today and we think it could be even warmer on race day. The track temp was way up there today as well. I’m not really sure what you can learn from the times today.
Finishing third fastest in Friday’s session was Marco Andretti in the #98 US Concrete Honda, with a speed of 225.2 MPH.
This year’s pole sitter Ed Carpenter was 14th fastest in his #20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet.
“I wouldn’t say today was our best day by any means, but for me, we can rely on the work we have done over the previous week and a half,” said Carpenter.
Towards the bottom of the timing charts were a few surprises, with top Verizon IndyCar Series drivers struggling to find speed around the famed oval. Coming off a disappointing qualifying effort, Andretti Autosport’s Alexander Rossi finished Friday in 32nd position. Carlin Racing’s Max Chilton finished just ahead of Rossi in 31st.
Danica Patrick, a driver many will have their eyes on come Sunday, had some electrical issues to contend with in the final practice session. Despite the fact her #13 GoDaddy ECR Chevrolet spent the majority of Friday’s session in the garage, Patrick was able to set the eighth fastest time.
“Today we had a little bit of an electrical issue, but our team was able to get me back out there before practice was over,” said Patrick, whose glad the issue was dealt with before race day. “At the end of the day, these are things you’re actually glad for, because if this had happened Sunday, we would have been done. I’m glad to get the issues out of the way early on.”