Photo of Josef Newgarden by Joe Skibinski, Indycar
On a day that I wish we could save for may, 31 cars hopeful of making the field for the 105th running of the Indianapolis 500 completed the second day of open testing. Josef Newgarden, two time NTT Indtcar Series champion, had the quickest time of the two days, 226.819 miles an hour.
The first hour of the morning allowed the rookies, Pietro Fittipaldi and Cody Ware, to complete their rookie tests, and the drivers who needed to complete their refresher tests to co mplete their two phase runs.
Conor Daly led the veterans session from 10-11 before all cars were turned loose on the track. The day was interrupted twice for brief rain sprinkles and the afternoon action stopped for some track inspections.
Newgarden summed up his day in a zoom call with media after the session finished.
“It was a pretty good day,” Newgarden said. “I was happy enough with the car. I think we still need some work, for sure, but to just get an initial read on where we’re at is good. Obviously, there are a lot of new parts and differences to the last couple of years, so we’re just trying to assess what we need to really work on these last couple of weeks before we get back here in May. But I’m pretty happy.”
He responded to questions about the duifference between this year’s car and last year’s car. he likes the changes and thinks the racing will be better.
“Yes, definitely. It’s easier to follow. It’s still tough. You’ll still get a big front wash in traffic. 10 cars back, it’s always going to b e difficult. But I think they’ve made the ability to follow better. That balance separation between clean air and dirty air is definitely reduced.Some of them are tricky to drive, some of these parts. I think you’re seeing some split camps here along pit lane. Not everybody is running the same stuff. That’s been interesting to watch. There’s more downforce on the car. I think the balance shift in traffic is less.Yeah, the ability that we’re going to have to race compared to last year will be better.
I think you have a better opportunity this year looking at the amount of downforce we have, the balance shift in and out of traffic. I think you have a better opportunity to fight for the win in the third or fourth car inline.I think more than that, you are a quick car during the race,you somehow find yourself in the back, I think you have abetter opportunity of making your way forward. Those two elements will automatically help the show. But you don’t want to have it so easy where we’re packed up the entire field the entire time. I think that’s something that you would want to avoid.It’s a balancing act. I think it will be a lot better than last year as far as the ability to race up front. Time will tell. But I think you’ll have a better show.”
Juan Pablo Montoya, two time Indianapolis 500 is returning to the race after a three year absence. He gave his thoughts on the Arrow McLaren SP Chevy he drove in the test to the Indycar he last drove.
“They’re a little harder to drive, I think. I think the difference between clear air and dirty air is a little bigger. I think the changes from what INDYCAR did, from what everybody says, it’s a little harder as before, but not that bad.”
As for adjusting to the aeroscreen, Montoya felt the aeroscreen was similar to the sports cars he drove the last three years.
“It wasn’t too bad to get used to it. I thought it would be a little more intrusive. It’s definitely a pain in the butt to get in and out of the car, and it’s a lot hotter. I know like here it hasn’t been that bad in the oval. I did a test in Laguna. In a road course, you don’t get a lotof air. That was kind of shocking.Yeah, I mean, it’s kind of weird because, like, you’re really in a little bubble. It feels a little bit once you’re driving like a sports car.”
Andretti Autosport seemed to be struggling a bit as they did last year. The team did not have a driver in the top 10 today.
Takuma Sato and Graham Rahal look to be right wher they were last year with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing. Sato won the 2020 race and Rahal finished third.
Montoya and Helio Castroneves were quick in their first outing in cars not owned by Roger Penske. It’s still odd seeing them in non-Penske cars.
Arrow McLaren SP could be a factor in the 500 as well as during the rest of the season. Montoya’s input should help push the team up a notch this year.
Today’s results, followed by the no tow time sheet:
|1||2||Josef Newgarden||Team Penske||Chevy||226.819||121|
|2||30||Takuma Sato||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing||Honda||226.396||60|
|3||86||Juan Pablo Montoya||Arrow McLaren SP||Chevy||226.123||68|
|4||9||Scott Dixon||Chip Ganassi Racing||Honda||225.906||126|
|5||15||Graham Rahal||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing||Honda||225.644||157|
|6||47||Conor Daly||Ed Carpenter Racing||Chevy||225.639||137|
|7||12||Will Power||Team Penske||Chevy||225.501||162|
|8||60||Jack Harvey||Meyer Shank Racing||Honda||225.266||140|
|9||5||Pato O’Ward||Arrow McLaren SP||Chevy||225.118||156|
|10||6||Helio Castroneves||Meyer Shank Racing||Honda||225.074||128|
|11||22||Simon Pagenaud||Team Penske||Chevy||225.001||184|
|12||28||Ryan Hunter-Reay||Andretti Autosport||Honda||224.949||134|
|13||26||Colton Herta||Andretti Autosport||Honda||224.203||164|
|14||20||Ed Carpenter||Ed Carpenter Racing||Chevy||224.146||146|
|15||10||Alex Palou||Chip Ganassi Racing||Honda||224.134||112|
|16||7||Felix Rosenqvist||Arrow McLaren SP||Chevy||223.973||126|
|17||18||Ed Jones||Dale Coyne Racing With Vasser-Sullivan||Honda||223.905||104|
|18||3||Scott McLaughlin||Team Penske||Chevy||223.808||195|
|19||27||Alexander Rossi||Andretti Autosport||Honda||223.636||136|
|20||45||Santino Ferrucci||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing||Honda||223.519||137|
|21||16||Simona De Silvestro||Paretta Autosport||Chevy||223.458||92|
|22||29||James Hinchcliffe||Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport||Honda||223.458||127|
|23||48||Tony Kanaan||Chip Ganassi Racing||Honda||223.101||99|
|24||24||Sage Karam||Dreyer & Reinbold Racing||Chevy||223.095||81|
|25||98||Marco Andretti||Andretti Herta-Haupert w/Marco & Curb-Agajanian||Honda||222.815||138|
|26||14||Sebastien Bourdais||AJ Foyt Enterprises||Chevy||222.627||125|
|28||8||Marcus Ericsson||Chip Ganassi Racing||Honda||222.135||188|
|29||51||Pietro Fittipaldi||Dale Coyne Racing w/Rick Ware Racing||Honda||221.943||144|
|30||4||Dalton Kellett||AJ Foyt Enterprises||Chevy||220.196||97|
|31||52||Cody Ware||Dale Coyne Racing w/Rick Ware Racing||Honda||218.438||58|
Indianapolis 500 test – Friday all-skate – no-tow timesheet
|1||15||Graham Rahal||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing||Honda||221.549|
|2||3||Scott McLaughlin||Team Penske||Chevy||221.153|
|3||27||Alexander Rossi||Andretti Autosport||Honda||220.889|
|4||28||Ryan Hunter-Reay||Andretti Autosport||Honda||220.490|
|5||12||Will Power||Team Penske||Chevy||220.405|
|6||20||Ed Carpenter||Ed Carpenter Racing||Chevy||220.263|
|7||26||Colton Herta||Andretti Autosport||Honda||220.242|
|8||22||Simon Pagenaud||Team Penske||Chevy||220.099|
|10||60||Jack Harvey||Meyer Shank Racing||Honda||219.881|
|11||7||Felix Rosenqvist||Arrow McLaren SP||Chevy||219.670|
|12||2||Josef Newgarden||Team Penske||Chevy||219.668|
|13||5||Pato O’Ward||Arrow McLaren SP||Chevy||219.621|
|14||9||Scott Dixon||Chip Ganassi Racing||Honda||219.558|
|15||98||Marco Andretti||Andretti Herta-Haupert w/Marco & Curb-Agajanian||Honda||219.518|
|16||14||Sebastien Bourdais||AJ Foyt Enterprises||Chevy||219.293|
|17||30||Takuma Sato||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing||Honda||219.175|
|18||4||Dalton Kellett||AJ Foyt Enterprises||Chevy||219.174|
|19||6||Helio Castroneves||Meyer Shank Racing||Honda||219.027|
|20||24||Sage Karam||Dreyer & Reinbold Racing||Chevy||218.431|
|21||47||Conor Daly||Ed Carpenter Racing||Chevy||218.424|
|22||29||James Hinchcliffe||Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport||Honda||218.014|
|23||8||Marcus Ericsson||Chip Ganassi Racing||Honda||217.991|
|24||16||Simona De Silvestro||Paretta Autosport||Chevy||217.880|
|25||10||Alex Palou||Chip Ganassi Racing||Honda||217.670|
|26||51||Pietro Fittipaldi||Dale Coyne Racing w/Rick Ware Racing||Honda||217.619|
|27||86||Juan Pablo Montoya||Arrow McLaren SP||Chevy||217.600|
|28||48||Tony Kanaan||Chip Ganassi Racing||Honda||217.563|
|29||45||Santino Ferrucci||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing||Honda||217.068|
|30||18||Ed Jones||Dale Coyne Racing With Vasser-Sullivan||Honda||216.992|
|31||52||Cody Ware||Dale Coyne Racing w/Rick Ware Racing||Honda||215.776|