Marco Andretti leads day one of 500 practice

Marco Andretti pulls out of the pits during the first day of Indianapolis 500 practice (WTTV May 15, 2017)

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Marco Andretti turned the fastest lap on day one of practice for the 101st Indianapolis 500.

“Speed’s always good,” Andretti said.  “That’s the first thing you always want here, because then you can really put more focus on just getting a comfortable race car.”

The driver of the No. 27 United Fiber & Data Honda posted a speed of 226.338 miles per hour as 32 drivers completed over 1,300 laps on Monday afternoon at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

“My goal is to win the race,”  said Andretti, who will race in his 12th Indy 500.  “It’s good to know that we’re rolling off with some sort of speed.  From there, we just need some comfort.”

Scott Dixon clocked the second best speed at 225.296 mph as Honda posted five of the six best times of the day.  Ed Carpenter was the lone Chevy in the top five at 224.775 mph.

The day began with the rookie orientation program and a refresher test for veterans who haven’t driven an IndyCar in a while.  Two-time Formula One champion Fernando Alonso took part in the session despite completing his rookie orientation during a test on May 3rd.

He posted the fastest lap of the first two hours , recording a speed of 221.634 mph.  He had the 19th quickest lap during the full field session at 223.025 mph.

“Overall, it was an amazing day” Alonso said.  “I’m happier than the first day with the car, because I was able to feel some of the set-up changes we were planning in the morning.  I feel good.”

There was one incident on day one.   Jack Harvey made contact with the wall in turn two.  The rookie wasn’t injured, but he didn’t return to the track as the car suffered right-side damage.

“It was weird,”  Harvey told Indy Sports Central.  “I got to turn two and the car just went straight.  It was so bizarre.  Luckily, I wasn’t going fast.  It’s not painful at all, maybe just my pride.”

Indianapolis 500 practice continues on Tuesday at the speedway at noon.

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