Tony Kanaan led final practice with a speed of 226.280 mph
NTT IndyCar Series

Carb Day Coverage from the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500

Story Credit: INDYCAR PR
Photo Credit: Jared DePouw

 

Kanaan leads Carb Day practice for 100th Indy 500

{boxplus href=”images/News/2016Indy500/Kanaan.jpg” title=”Photo Credit Jared DePouw”}Tony Kanaan led final practice with a speed of 226.280 mph{/boxplus}

He may be starting 18th in Sunday’s 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil, but Tony Kanaan believes he has a car that can win the historic race. Kanaan, who will start on the outside of Row 6 in the No. 10 NTT Data Chevrolet for Chip Ganassi Racing, was fastest in today’s Miller Lite Carb Day practice with a best lap of 226.280 mph on the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval. Carlos Munoz was second at 224.772 mph in the No. 26 United Fiber & Data Honda, just ahead of Kanaan’s teammate, Scott Dixon, third at 224.606 mph in the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet.

“I’m happy with my car,” said Kanaan, the 2013 Indy 500 winner. “Obviously, I have to pass 17 people before I get really happy with my car. After the struggle in qualifying, we really focused – me and Dixon – on the race. And you can see both of us at the top there. If anybody counts us out (for Sunday’s race), it will be a big mistake.”

Munoz, who will start the race from the middle of the second row, said Carb Day practice confirmed the strength of his car.

“Today was just a check to see the car was running good,” said Munoz, who finished second to Kanaan as an Indy 500 rookie in 2013. “Everything was running good. The conditions will be different on Sunday. Every practice and qualifying I’ve been on the top of the charts, but that doesn’t matter.”

Verizon IndyCar Series points leader Simon Pagenaud, riding a three-race winning streak, was 22nd in today’s practice with a speed of 222.581 mph in the No. 22 Menards Team Penske Chevy. Juan Pablo Montoya, the reigning Indianapolis 500 champion and two-time race winner, was 13th at 223.571 mph in the No. 2 Verizon Team Penske Chevy. Teammate Helio Castroneves, the three-time Indy 500 winner, was 10th at 223.959 mph. Will Power, runner-up to Montoya in last year’s race, had the fourth-fastest speed (224.384 mph) in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet. Ryan Hunter-Reay was fifth (224.327 mph) in the No. 28 DHL Honda. Pole sitter James Hinchcliffe was 12th fastest at 223.925 mph in the No. 5 Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda. More than 1,300 laps were turned in the 70-minute session, with Pagenaud and Charlie Kimball (No. 42 Tresiba Chevy) each logging 52. The only incident of the session came when Pippa Mann spun and crashed in Turn 4, backing her No. 63 Susan G. Komen Honda into the SAFER Barrier. Mann was uninjured.

“I’m absolutely fine,” Mann said. “I just really feel sorry for the crew. I was trying to find some clean air in pack running there, got a little too low on the inside. Dropped the ball and gave them some work to do overnight.

“The good news is the damage wasn’t too bad,” Mann added. “Hopefully it’s the right rear corner, rear attenuator, rear wing and that’s all we have to fix.”

The 33 cars now sit idle until Sunday’s epic race. Coverage on ABC and the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network begins at 11 a.m. ET Sunday.

Stoneman wins Freedom 100 in closest IMS oval finish in history

Dean Stoneman edged Ed Jones by 0.0024 of a second to win the Freedom 100 in the closest finish in Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval history, in the premier event on the Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires schedule. Starting fifth, Stoneman pushed his way to second place by Lap 9 in the No. 27 Andretti Autosport Dallara IL-15. He passed pole sitter Jones for the lead on the next lap and, while Stoneman led 30 of the final 31 laps at the start-finish line, the pair swapped the point numerous times throughout the race. Jones took the lead on the final restart, a one-lap shootout following a caution to retrieve the stopped car of Heamin Choi. Stoneman and Jones raced side by side heading into Turns 3 and 4 on the final lap, setting up a drag race down the frontstretch to the checkered flag. The margin of victory was a few inches.

“It was an amazing race,” said Stoneman, who collected his second straight Indy Lights win after capturing the second race of the Grand Prix of Indianapolis doubleheader May 14. “On that last lap it was pretty close. I knew in the race I was consistent and knew where to position my car to finish the race in the lead.”

Afterward, Jones felt he should have taken the outside line for the race to the checkers.

“I probably chose the wrong lane, it was my fault,” Jones said. “I feel like if I had gone outside maybe I would have held momentum and been able to hold him off. Unfortunately, I made the wrong call. That’s what cost us.”

Castroneves’ crew wins pit stop challenge record eighth time

{boxplus href=”images/News/2016Indy500/HelioPitStop.jpg” title=”Photo Credit Jared DePouw”}For a record eighth time, Helio Castroneves won the TAG Heuer Indy 500 Pit Stop Challenge{/boxplus}

Team Penske and driver Helio Castroneves won the TAG Heuer Indy 500 Pit Stop Challenge, earning a $50,000 prize. Castroneves celebrated his eighth win in the contest by climbing the fence in front of the Tower Terrance grandstand. Castroneves beat Mikhail Aleshin of Schmidt Peterson with Team Pelfrey in the final round. This is the 17th win for Team Penske in the annual competition for Indy 500 pit crews that started in 1977. The winner of the competition has gone on to win the Indianapolis 500 six times, most recently with Castroneves in 2009.

“I went for it. I was able to stop really deep,” Castroneves said. “I was able to slide in just perfect. The Pennzoil boys, the Team Penske boys, really. … they are the fastest. All the credit to those guys. Very happy to be part of this organization.”

The crew for Castroneves in the contest was made up of members from the cars of Castroneves and teammate Simon Pagenaud.

“This team has been outstanding in the pit stop competition,” team owner Roger Penske said. “They work every day at the shop. We took our best guys and put them together on the two cars. … This gives us momentum for Sunday.”

Jared DePouw
Jared is the founder of RealOpenWheel.com but works as a small business accountant. He also officiates high school football and lacrosse in his free time.

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