Chaves Rises to the Top on Thursday’s Indy 500 Practice

By Josh Farmer, IndyCar Reporter

Dale Coyne Racing and Andretti Autosport led a clear and sunny Thursday practice for the 100th Running for the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil.

Gabby Chaves used a tow to set a flying lap of 227.961 mph on his third lap of the session to set the quickest lap of the day.

“It’s only practice, but it feels pretty good,” said Chaves. “It’s my first time at the top of the charts here at IMS in IndyCar. Just pleased with the work the team has been doing. Very pleased with the performance that Honda has been putting out, as well. Overall I think we’ve got a pretty strong package.”

Townsend Bell was near the front once again as the Californian set a lap that was just .0638s off Chaves’ time to make it three straight days inside the top ten. Andretti Autosport teammate Carlos Munoz was third quickest at 227.589 mph while Chaves teammate Conor Daly was clocked at 227.524 mph.

Charlie Kimball carried the flag for Chevrolet with the fifth quickest time of 227.477 mph and led the fellow Chevrolet’s of Scott Dixon, Helio Castroneves, Marco Andretti and Pippa Mann.

Ryan Hunter-Reay suffered an engine failure four hours into the session. A spokesman for Honda Performance Development confirmed to The Motorsports Tribune that the issue with the #28’s engine was similar to the failure that was suffered by the engine of the #7 entry of Mikhail Aleshin during yesterday’s practice. Both engines have been shipped back to HPD’s headquarters in Santa Clarita, California in order to determine the cause of the failure.

The crew of the #16 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing with Theodore Racing entry managed to fully repair Spencer Pigot’s car from his shunt yesterday. The car was rolled to the pit lane with just under an hour remaining, but he did not turn a lap.

Image: Chris Jones/IndyCar

 

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Josh Farmer joined the media center in 2012 after first discovering his love of IndyCar racing in 2004 at Auto Club Speedway. He has been an accredited member of the IndyCar media center since 2014 and also contributes to IndyCar.com along with The Motorsports Tribune.

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