Carlos Munoz Fastest On Day 2
AJ Allmendinger and a strong tow impeded James Hinchcliffe from completing an Andretti Autosport top-five sweep during the second day of practice for the 97th Indianapolis 500 Mile Race on May 12.
Business and the breeze were brisk during the six hours allotted on the 2.5-mile oval. Twenty-three driver/car combinations recorded 730 laps without incident. Michel Jourdain Jr., Ryan Briscoe and Oriol Servia were among the drivers seeing their initial track time.
The afternoon May 13 is reserved for practice, with Conor Daly participating in the three-phase Rookie Orientation Program earlier in the day in the No. 41 ABC Supply car for A.J. Foyt Racing. Pippa Mann in the No. 63 Dale Coyne Racing car is scheduled to go through a refresher program.
Carlos Munoz, who breezed through ROP a day earlier, topped the speed chart with a lap of 223.023 mph (40.3545 seconds) in the Chevrolet-powered No. 26 Unistraw car. Reigning IZOD IndyCar Series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay, an Indy 500 front-row starter last May, was second-quick (222.825 mph), while E.J. Viso (222.523) was third in the No. 5 Team Venezuela entry.
“The feeling on your first day on track is pretty special,” said Hunter-Reay, who has scored a victory and two Verizon P1 Awards this season. “Andretti Autosport has had a good season so far and we certainly had a strong run, but all of that has nothing to do with Indy, so it’s kind of like you start over here.
“We really don’t know where we stack up yet compared to everybody because we haven’t had a full field out there yet. Today was a good day to just check some things off the list. We went through some of the bigger changes trying to understand a few things that we were looking at in the winter, and we had a chance to run with the teammates, which got interesting at times. It was fun though.
“It was fun just getting back in that rhythm of running in traffic at Indy. This track is so special for so many reasons; it really drives like no other racetrack. It was good to get back in it, shake a little rust off at Indy and ready for the week.”
Marco Andretti (222.485 mph) checked in fourth in No. 25 RCA Cola entry. Allmendinger, who also completed ROP in short fashion May 11, got more comfortable with the No. 2 IZOD Team Penske car and posted a quick lap of 221.279 mph. Hinchcliffe, the quintuplet of the Andretti Autosport brigade in the No. 27 GoDaddy.com car, was six-hundredths of a second behind Allmendinger.
“I think the job we’ve done as a team has been impressive,” Viso summed up. “These guys have put together a fast setup for us for this year. Today we realized we actually went pretty fast; we had a good car on our own and a good car in traffic. I think it’s going to be a flawless and smooth month and I’m really looking forward to it.”
The top 17 cars were separated by less than a second.