News & Multimedia

Day 6 At IMS

Following six days of practice totaling 35 sun-splashed hours on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, it’s time for teams to literally switch gears.

INDYCAR, the sanctioning body of the IZOD IndyCar Series, approved an increase in the turbocharger boost level for “Fast Friday” on May 18 and the May 19-20 time trials for the Indianapolis 500 from 130 kPa (kilopascals) to 140 kPa. The increase will add 40-50 horsepower to the 2.2-lter, turbocharged V-6 engines supplied by Chevrolet, Honda and Lotus, resulting in an increase of 4-5 mph per lap.

The 2.5-mile oval is open for practice from noon-6 p.m. May 18, with Pole Day qualifying featuring the top-nine shootout commencing at noon May 19. 

“It’s kind of like starting over,” said Bill Pappas, lead engineer for the Honda-powered No. 18 Sonny’s BBQ car driven by Justin Wilson. “With the speed going up, the set-up we have at this (practice) speed may not even work. First thing we’ll do is go out and do a baseline run with what we think is a good package.

“Then it might be shuffling springs to change the balance of the car and deciding how much downforce you’re able to take off and run flat still with higher speeds. It will be an exciting day.”
Selecting the correct gearing for the new Dallara chassis is another issue, according to Schmidt Hamilton HP Motorsports lead engineer Ben Bretzman.

“Unfortunately, we’re not going to have a lot of running on it,” he said. “It’s up to simulations and what information Honda can give us on how fast they think we might go based on just general power. From a chassis standpoint, it’s a bit of an unknown.”

The boost level will be returned to 130 kPa for the 200-lap race May 27. Teams/drivers continued to work on race set-ups and simulations May 17 (the session was delayed an hour at the start for Katherine Legge to start her Rookie Orientation Program). Scott Dixon, the 2008 race winner, was quickest on the day with a lap of 40.3428 seconds (223.088 mph; second-quickest of the month) in the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing car.

Twenty-nine drivers recorded 1,391 laps without incident. Josef Newgarden, who was quickest a day earlier, was second on the speed chart (40.1115 seconds, 222.709 mph) in the No. 67 Sarah Fisher Hartman/Dollar General car. Graham Rahal jumped to third late in the session with a month-best 222.080 mph, and IZOD IndyCar Series championship points leader Will Power (221.932) was fourth.

“Today was our last chance until Sunday – and I hope the weather stays good until Sunday – to try race set-ups and understand what the car does in traffic," Power said. "I think you can run closer with this car than with the old car. It punches a massive hole in the air, so the tow effect is huge. You could be leading doing a 217 and the guy behind you could be 5 mph quicker.”
Wilson finished fifth at 221.715 mph.

“Everything we’ve learned to now has been at a certain speed and now you’re going to go 6 mph quicker, so do you need more downforce?” said Wilson, who ran more of a qualifying set-up for part of the session “to see what it’s like so we have more of a reference point before we get more power."
There's 90 minutes of practice time available before qualifications, too.

“The general rule of thumb is the better the car is the more it can take,” said Wilson, who has a best finish of seventh in four Indy 500 starts. “We’ve been generally happy with the car so far, but there’s always room to get better.”


Show More Show Less
Now Viewing
Day 6 At IMS
Day 6 At IMS
Following six days of practice totaling 35 sun-splashed hours on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, it’s time for teams to literally switch gears.
Read More
Related Media
Gasoline Alley
Month of May Bronze Badges Now On Sale
One of the most treasured pieces of racing memorabilia and among the greatest entertainment values in sports, Indianapolis Motor Speedway Month of May Bronze Badges are on sale now just in time for the holiday season. Visit for purchasing information.
Read More
Miller Lite Carb day
Legendary Band Journey to Rock Miller Lite Carb Day over Historic 100th Running Indianapolis 500 Weekend
The historic 2016 Indianapolis 500 weekend, culminating with the 100th Running of the Greatest Spectacle in Racing, will kick off on Friday, May 27, with the legendary rock band Journey on Miller Lite Carb Day.
Read More
Kyle Busch
Monday Racing Roundup: Kyle Busch Wins NASCAR Sprint Cup Title at Homestead
Finishing off one of the most remarkable comebacks in NASCAR history—indeed, in the annals of sport—Kyle Busch won Sunday’s Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway and, with it, his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship.
Read More
Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Monday Racing Roundup: Championship Foursome Set
A serendipitous sequence of pit stops and a drizzle that turned into a downpour made a winner of Dale Earnhardt Jr. in Sunday night’s Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 at Phoenix International Raceway, the start of which was delayed from day to night by rain in the afternoon.
Read More
Hulman Terrace Club
New Hulman Terrace Club Offers Premium Seating for IMS Events
The Hulman Terrace Club, located on the outside of the front straightaway of the famed 2.5-mile oval past the exit of Turn 4, will feature more than 1,000 seats plus ADA-accessible seating for fans seeking a club option similar to what is offered at many other major U.S. stadiums. It’s the first new seating option at IMS in more than a decade and a key piece of the ongoing Project 100 initiative. Pre-sale registration is available here with tickets officially going on sale Dec. 1.
Read More
Items 1 - 5 of 2,070
Reserve one of our hospitality suites for your next event!
To start planning your event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway please fill out our Information Request Form or contact Laura Wyamn at (317) 492-8557 or email at
Latest Tweets
Win a VIP experience and ride the first 2 seater @IndyCar ride in 2016 at Indy New Year’s Eve celebration!
November 27