By: Tanner Watkins
May 15, 2019 | 6:30 PM
In a day that saw over 3,000 laps turned at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, a Team Penske driver topped the speed charts for the second consecutive Indianapolis 500 practice. The Tennessee native posted a draft-aided top speed of 228.856 miles per hour.
All 36 drivers reached the track today, though two would see their week of practice and qualifications become a little more challenging following on-track accidents.
Just after noon Eastern time, Fernando Alonso became the first driver to find the wall during May 2019. The two-time Formula One world champion was trailing Graham Rahal in a bit of race simulation when Alonso lost the air to his front wing.
The ensuing understeer forced the No. 66 McLaren into the wall at the exit of Turn 3, and Alonso would then back into the inside wall in the North Chute before coming to a halt along the wall in Turn 4.
Alonso’s car was damaged enough that despite their initial strategy, McLaren has elected to bring in their backup car that was prepared by Carlin. The team is still going to work on repairing the primary car but it appears that they will move forward with preparations in the secondary machine.
The second accident of the day came with just a couple hours left in practice. Chip Ganassi Racing’s Felix Rosenqvist was entering Turn 2 at a shallow angle when he lost the rear end of his No. 10 Honda, which sent him into a 180 spin before making contact with the wall.
Rosenqvist’s car sustained heavy left side damage before sliding into the tire barrier at the inside of Turn 2 nose-first. Thankfully, both drivers climbed out of their cars under their own power and were cleared to drive by the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
As always, the draft-aided speeds on the overall leaderboard are fun to look at, but let’s take a look at the no-tow leaderboard to get a better feel for outright speed on day two.
- Alexander Rossi, Andretti Autosport Honda | 224.648 MPH
- Tony Kanaan, A.J. Foyt Racing Chevrolet | 224.630 MPH
- Ed Jones, Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet | 224.229 MPH
- Charlie Kimball, Carlin Chevrolet | 224.106 MPH
- Kyle Kaiser, Juncos Racing Chevrolet | 223.744 MPH
The story here is Kyle Kaiser and Juncos Racing. On Monday, the team lost their two primary partners for the Indianapolis 500 and have had to run the first couple days of practice without a decal on their No. 32 Chevrolet. Hopefully, in their case, the performance on Wednesday will pay off by the weekend in terms of a sponsorship arrangement.
On this day, Chevrolet placed eight drivers inside the first 12 spots as the Bowtie dominated the day. That included four of the top five no-tow times, despite Rossi carrying the flag for Honda atop the leaderboard.
There were a total of 3,219 laps completed today with Jordan King of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing adding the most laps to the day’s tally with 132. In total, 13 drivers completed 100-or-more laps on Wednesday and Dale Coyne Racing’s Santino Ferrucci was the quickest rookie – third on the overall chart with a top speed of 228.561 miles per hour.
With the second day of practice under our belts that means we are past halfway to Fast Friday! All teams will be back in action on Thursday for another seven-hour day of practice, which begins at 11:00 AM Eastern. The public gates open at 10:00 AM, if you are visiting the track, and the practice session will once again be streamed online via the NBC Sports Gold INDYCAR pass.
Stay tuned to Open-Wheels for continued coverage of the 2019 Indianapolis 500.
Header image by Tanner Watkins/Open-Wheels.com
Open-Wheels coverage of the 2019 month of May at Indianapolis is presented by Driven 2 Save Lives. Driven 2 Save Lives, an entity of the Indiana Donor Network, is a program that utilizes motorsports as a platform to encourage race fans to become organ donors. Currently, there are 114,000 individuals that are waiting for a life-saving organ transplant. Register as an organ, tissue, and eye donor at Driven2SaveLives.org/register and follow Driven2SaveLives on Facebook and Twitter.