By David Morgan, Associate Editor
INDIANAPOLIS – Friday marked the final time the NTT IndyCar Series teams and drivers would have the chance to dial in their cars for the Indianapolis 500 during Carb Day at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and it was a familiar face at the top of the pylon when all was said and done.
Tony Kanaan, driver of the No. 14 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet and the 2013 winner of the Greatest Spectacle in Racing, posted a lap of 39.908 seconds, 225.517 mph to lead the way.
Santino Ferrucci timed in second, followed by Takuma Sato, Jordan King, James Davison, Sebastien Bourdais, Alexander Rossi, Charlie Kimball, Colton Herta, and Will Power to round out the top-10.
“A good day for us,” Kanaan said. “Obviously, conditions look like pretty similar to what we’re going to see on Sunday hopefully, so you know, it was a pretty easy day for us. I wasn’t really happy with my car on Monday, and I was extremely vocal about it, and I think my engineers heard me, so we made it better today.
“Today, now you know where you’re starting, so I was really working on my car, the level of downforce and grip that I wanted to have starting 16th. So really, we worked in traffic a lot and trying to find the grip and scan to some of the items that we had on the list to be able to — once we put ourselves in the front during the race, to know what to do.”
Throughout the 90-minute session, drivers weren’t afraid to make moves and really feel their cars out to get an idea of how Sunday’s race might play out given the track conditions, putting on an entertaining show for the thousands of fans in attendance.
The only issue of practice came when Graham Rahal sideswiped the wall off of Turn 2, but was able to keep running without any significant damage to his Honda.
“It’s the most competitive field I’ve ever seen in my 18 years here,” Kanaan said. “Qualifying was extremely hard, and it’s really tight. So yeah, I think it’s going to be a difficult race. I do strongly believe that everybody, every single guy is starting this race, and girl, they think they can win this race, which is true.”
Now that practice is over, the only thing left to do is race, with Sunday’s 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500 Presented by Gainbridge set for a 12:45 pm Eastern green flag on NBC.