Every year, Carb Day at Indianapolis seems to take on its own personality. Sometimes, you will have drivers avoiding each other on the track like the plague while other times, drivers will test the limits of their cars to see how they’ll react in traffic.
This year, it was the latter and it happened in a big way. Drivers were running close together, taking turns dropping to the back of the pack and carving their way back toward the front. In the end, it was a marvelous preview of what’s expected to be a hyper competitive Indy 500; even better, it was a clean day with just one incident involving minor damage for Pippa Mann.
When the checkered flag fell on the session, it was Tony Kanaan who laid down the fastest time of the day. He ran 42 laps and the quickest was his 28th circuit, a lap which tripped the beam at 39.7738 seconds and a speed of 226.280 mph. Kanaan was the only driver to register a lap over 225 mph. Carlos Munoz was second fastest on the day at 224.772 mph, clocking in with a time of 40.0405 seconds. Scott Dixon, Will Power and Ryan Hunter-Reay rounded out the fastest five. Further back, Simon Pagenaud and Charlie Kimball both turned 52 laps, the most in the session while fine-tuning their cars for Sunday’s 500-miler.
In the Tag Heuer Pit Stop Challenge, Helio Castroneves and his Team Penske crew took the title and an associated $50,000 for the eighth time during his career. Castroneves took the victory over Mikhail Aleshin and his Schmidt Peterson with Team Pelfrey racing effort. The victory marks Penske’s 17th win in the annual competition among IndyCar pit crews, easily the most of any race team.
Note that the winner of the pit crew competition has won the 500 six times. Castroneves was the last driver to accomplish that feat, in 2009 and will start ninth for the 100th edition of the race.