By Joey Barnes, Editor-in-Chief
After a dramatic pole-winning performance on Sunday afternoon, Marco Andretti followed it up by going fastest in post qualifying practice for the 104th Running of the Indianapolis 500.
The 33-year-old from Nazareth, Pennsylvania arrived late to the 2.5-hour session, but made an impact with a flying lap of 224.122 mph to go to the top of the scoring pylon in the final minutes of the session. The No. 98 Andretti Herta Autosport with Marco & Curb-Agajanian Honda completed only 27 laps.
Three-time Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves (Team Penske) was fully embracing his time out on the 2.5-mile superspeedway, completing 101 laps and ending with the second-best lap overall at 224.067 mph.
It was an eventful day for Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon. After qualifying second earlier on the day, he found trouble during practice and hit the wall in Turn 4 before sliding down the front straightaway. The five-time IndyCar champion wouldn’t remain in the garage, though, as his team finished repairs and got him back out on track with an hour left to spare. He even returned and went to the top of the timesheets, albeit temporarily before falling to third on the day (223.686 mph).
Ryan Hunter-Reay (Andretti Autosport) and Santino Ferrucci (Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser Sullivan) were fourth and fifth, respectably.
Pato O’Ward (Arrow McLaren SP) and teammate Fernando Alonso tied with the most laps logged in the session with 115. O’Ward ended the day eighth, while two-time Formula 1 champion Alonso came away 11th.
James Davison (Dale Coyne Racing with Rick Ware Racing, Byrd & Belardi) was the only one of the 33 drivers not to to post a single lap, and that was due to him competing in the NASCAR Cup race on the Daytona International Speedway road course.