Photo: Jim Haines/INDYCAR

Chilton Fastest in Post Pole Day Practice At Indianapolis

By Christopher DeHarde, IndyCar & Road to Indy Writer

INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana — In the last complete day of practice before the 101st Indianapolis 500, Chip Ganassi Racing’s Max Chilton was the fastest car on track.

The former Formula One driver turned a fastest lap of 228.592 mph in a day that saw more laps turned than any other day of practice so far with 2,705 laps completed.

Chilton knew that this wasn’t a full six hour session like what was had during the week and had to get in the car as often as he could.

“Tried to get as many laps in as possible, the more laps you do around here, the more you learn,” Chilton said. “I don’t think anyone out there is overly happy with their car in race traffic. You keep trying to learn, trying to get it better.”

“I started to stop fighting that, find ways to drive around it. In clear air, I seem to be pretty competitive. In dirty air, I started to learn how to time the moves,” Chilton added.

Second fastest was Dale Coyne Racing’s Ed Jones with a lap of 228.118 mph. Jones was fastest in the brief practice held before qualifying on Sunday. Third fastest was polesitter and one of Chilton’s teammates Scott Dixon with a lap of 227.165 mph.

The fastest Chevrolet was fourth place runner Simon Pagenaud as his Team Penske Chevrolet went 226.998 mph.

There was no wall contact in the session that has seen two major incidents in the last three years with Kurt Busch and James Hinchcliffe hitting the wall in 2014 and 2015, respectively.

There was an engine failure. Oriol Servia’s Honda for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing blew massive plumes of smoke and stopped on pit lane right beside Juan Pablo Montoya’s pit.

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A 2012 graduate of LSU, Christopher DeHarde primarily focuses on the NTT IndyCar Series and the WeatherTech Sports Car Championship. DeHarde has actively covered motorsports since 2014.