INDIANAPOLIS – Monday’s Indianapolis 500 practice session from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway lived up to its annual billing. It’s always one of the most thrilling sessions of the year. 2,526 laps were turned, but among those laps, it appears that the Andretti Autosport organization may very well have found something.
See, Chevrolet had the clear advantage in qualifying. They were well represented in the Firestone Fast Nine with taking seven of the nine spots. Overall, seven of the top eight starting spots are Chevy’s and nine of the top 11.
But, some of the Chevy drivers warned me over the weekend that where Chevy picked up in qualifying trim, they’d fall back down and even up with the Honda’s in terms of race pace. That showed to benefit the Andretti Autosport group the most on Monday.
They had two cars in the top five of the overall speed charts and the top three fastest cars in terms of Honda teams. Ryan Hunter-Reay was fastest among the Honda drivers and third overall on Monday with a speed of 224.820 mph in his No. 28 Honda. Alexander Rossi was fifth in his No. 27 Honda circling the famed 2.5-mile track with a speed of 224.507 mph.
Marco Andretti was P8 (224.148 mph) to give Andretti 1-2-3 for Honda. Furthermore though, Andretti had five cars in the top eight among top speeds for Honda drivers.
Stefan Wilson (223.714 mph) and Carlos Munoz (223.218 mph) were 12th and 16th overall respectively but were seventh and eighth respectively for Honda.
None of the group qualified very well as the top starter among their six drivers is Andretti in 12th. Hunter-Reay rolls of 14th, while Munoz, Wilson, Veach and Rossi will start 21st, 23rd, 25th and 32nd respectively.
It appears though that they can likely come through the field and vie for their fourth ‘500 win in the last five years.