By: Tanner Watkins
May 14, 2019 | 6:10 PM
It was a long, seven-hour day with cars on track at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Tuesday – and in the end we saw Will Power finish where he left off in the 2018 Indianapolis 500.
The defending race winner was quickest on the day with each of the 36 drivers posting times.
Power’s top speed (aided by the draft) registered a lap at 229.745 miles per hour, just a hair quicker than his Team Penske teammate Simon Pagenaud went at 229.703 mph.
Power and Pagenaud are the only winners at IMS in the last two years; Power won both races last May and Pagenaud won last Saturday’s INDYCAR Grand Prix in an impressive rain drive. Penske’s most accomplished Indianapolis driver was also in the mix today as three-time “500” winner Helio Castroneves was fourth-quickest at 228.441 miles per hour.
The defending Indianapolis 500 polesitter, Ed Carpenter, was quick out of the box today as well. The Indianapolis native was sandwiched between the Team Penske trio by going third-quickest today at 228.653 mph in the draft.
While Chevrolet drivers held the first four spots on the draft-aided leaderboard on Tuesday, Honda representatives picked up the next five spots in the top ten before you got to Ed Jones in 10th, the next Chevrolet entry.
Colton Herta was the quickest Honda on the day with a best lap speed of 228.284 mph. Herta caught the attention of his Harding Steinbrenner Racing team late in the day, though, when he spun on the pit exit road trying to re-enter the fray on the backstretch.
Fortunately for the No. 88 team, Herta didn’t hit anything and actually jumped back on track at the end of the day to get a few extra laps in.
Behind Herta in the Honda camp was Dale Coyne Racing’s Sebastien Bourdais (P6, 228.242 mph), then a trio of Andretti Autosport drivers in Zach Veach (P7, 228.133 mph), Alexander Rossi (P8, 228.061 mph) and Marco Andretti (P9, 228.000 mph).
While the overall speeds are fun to look at, the no-tow speeds tell the true story of who has gotten out of the box quickly.
It was Ed Carpenter Racing’s other Ed – Ed Jones – who was quickest on the no-tow timesheet. Jones went 224.542 mph without a draft to top the board. Here are the top five times without a tow:
- Ed Jones, Ed Carpenter Racing | 224.542 MPH
- J.R. Hildebrand, Dreyer & Reinbold Racing | 223.694 MPH
- Tony Kanaan, A.J. Foyt Racing | 223.275 MPH
- Charlie Kimball, Carlin | 223.235 MPH
- Ed Carpenter, Ed Carpenter Racing | 223.135 MPH
The day was slowed by 4 caution periods for a total time of 28m40s under yellow. The field of 36 drivers turned a total of 2680 laps in the seven hours of track time. Spencer Pigot (P11, 227.836 mph) completed the most laps on the day – he had 128 circuits around the IMS oval put on the No. 21 Ed Carpenter Racing machine.
Weather was not an issue today with temperatures just barely eclipsing 70 degrees Fahrenheit and the track temperature exceeding 100 degrees for most of the sunny afternoon.
More on the first day at Indianapolis soon! Stay tuned to Open-Wheels.com.
Header image by Chris Owens/INDYCAR.
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.