Sato Leads Again

Takuma Sato kept the fastest lap of the day in leading Thursday’s practice as he did Tuesday. His best lap, 227.519 mph, was a bit slower than Tuesday’s best of 228.939 mph. Scott Dixon again was second after leading until the final half hour.

Sato at Tuesday’s post practice conference

The Dale Coyne team also had its second driver, David Malukas, with today’s third best time. Malukas was seventh on Tuesday.

In the final hour Romain Grosjean had three close calls with the outside wall. He did not make contact, but with tomorrow’s higher speeds Grosjean needs to be careful about drifting out on that far on corner exit.

A. J. Foyt Racing jumped into the top 12 with J. R. Hildebrand fourth and Dalton Kellett 11th.

The top 12, by teams:

Ganassi- 3

Coyne- 2

Foyt- 2


Carpenter- 2


Although no Penske driver cracked the top 12, Will Power was the fastest on the no tow list. I expect Penske drivers to be in the hunt for the top 12 on Saturday.


After practice Ed Carpenter said no one knows who will be really good for qualifying

“…a lot of people haven’t shown their hand just yet. I don’t think Ganassi has really shown anything — there’s someone else,
McLaren I don’t think did any Q sims either today. So
there’s some big hitters that still are concealing what they
can do.” he said.

Ed Carpenter, Jimmie Johnson, and Kyle Kirkwood after today’s practice

Kyle Kirkwood said of the additional power that cars will have tomorrow and Saturday,

“For me it’s a little bit intimidating going
from qually sim and pulling out the downforce out and
feeling how light the car is there. It’s kind of like you don’t
really want to turn the wheel because you’re just unsure
what the car is going to do, and adding another 10 or 15
miles per hour to it is going to be less than comfortable, I
would have to say.
From the people that I’ve talked to they all say it’s not that
big of a step. It actually feels better because you get the
runs out of the corners and it’s not like you lose tons of grip
due to the speed. I guess I’ll let you know after I go
through Turn 1 the first time with more power.”

Jimmie Johnson added, “Yeah, all of that, and then the only
thing to add is the last time I was in qualifying trim here
was in a Cup car, and we let off used little brake to get into
Turn 1.
So to feel the boost and the straightaway speed and look
down at that 90-degree turn and think that I’ll hold it flat, it’s
going to be an interesting conversation with my right foot.”