INDIANAPOLIS – We already knew that this year’s 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 would be bigger and better than ever. That was an obvious giveaway. But, what we didn’t know was that the opening day of practice for next Sunday’s race, would be the best ever too.
Overall, there were 1,972 laps turned today, as all 33 drivers took to the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval on opening day for Indy 500 practice Monday afternoon. It was the most action for an opening day on the track since 2010.
What makes things so good, was the majority of those laps were run in a four hour time frame from 2-6 p.m. ET when all the cars were able to take to the track on a cloudy unseasonably cool afternoon.
But, with the added importance of this year’s race, mixed with the new domed skid plate, track time was at a premium, as there’s only four days of practice on race trim before qualifying this weekend. On Friday, the boost gets turned up, so there’s no reason to practice on race day setups as they won’t have that much horsepower after qualifying.
To make maters worse, tomorrow looks to be rain filled, as it made today’s session even more important to get up to speed and see what you’ve got.
With that being said, we saw race day like action, as there were big groups of cars running in tow all day long as it wasn’t uncommon to see groups of 10+ cars running together.
Plus, with 33 cars taking the track, it was the first time in years that the entire field took to the track on opening day.
The winners of the day were the Andretti Autosport team as they swept the top four speeds on the speed charts.
The schedule gets back to normal tomorrow, as practice runs from 12-6 p.m. ET, or as long as the track is dry.