Dixon Goes 233; Pole Battle Wide Open

Photo: Scott Dixon by Chris Owens, Indycar

Scott Dixon had the fastest single lap of 233.302 mph on unusual final day of practice before qualifications start tomorrow for the 105th running of the Indianapolis 500. The lap was with a tow. Today is the second day this week that Dixon had the fastest lap.

It was a different type of practice day. The NNT Indycar Series allowed each car an additional 85-90 horsepower, which helped increase speeds by about five to seven miles an hour. Most of the day saw cars on track by themselves, or at most maybe two other cars also running. All the teams were doing simulated qualifying runs, and the drivers seemed to allow each other space to get their runs in. Each team hoped to do four or five runs today. In the final half hour several cars hit the track for a final shakedown. It was the busiest time all day.

The best lap results:

While a great single lap is nice, tomorrow it’s an average of four laps tha makes up the qualifying speed. The best four lap averages today:Marcus Ericsson – 231.950 mph

Colton Herta – 231.726 mph

Pato O’Ward – 231.522 mph

Alexander Rossi – 230.999 mph

Stefan Wilson – 230.844 mph

Takuma Sato – 230.819 mph

Ed Carpenter – 230.423 mph

Santino Ferrucci – 230.364 mph

Ed Jones – 230.251 mph

Rinus VeeKay – 230.234 mph

Qualifying happens with no other cars on track. here are the cars who were best running alone:

Alexander rossi had the best lap without a tow from another car.

Saturday’s qualifying will lock in starters 10-30. Qualifiers 1-9 will each get one qualifying run Sunday to determine the pole. The last rwo will also have a Sunday session among qualifiers 31st -35th, with the fastest three on Sunday starting the race.

Big Crowd, Race Atmosphere

Today was closer to a normal day at the track. The crowd was by far the largest of the week. It took me 30 minutes to park, something I used to experience on qualifying days. The B and E penthouse stands were quite full.

The Pagoda Plaza also had fans everywhere, much more like a typical day at the track. IMS will have more grandstands open tomorrow, including some in turns 2 and 4.

Pole Favorites?

We could sse the youngest pole sitter in history. We also might see the okldest pole sitter in history. This is a wide open battle. My Fast Nine picks who will be going for the top spot on Sunday are Dixon, Alexander Rossi, Takuma Sato, Marcus Ericsson, Conor Daly, Ed Carpenter, Alex Palou, Colton Herta, and Josef Newgarden.

Who’s Going Home?

Two drivers will not make the race. I think R. C . Enerson and Dalton Kellett will be on the outside looking in after Sunday.

I will be abck early in the morning with a preview of the day, including seating and parking information. I will also have the qualifying order.