SPEEDWAY, Ind. – Day one of Indianapolis 500 practice began with a prophetic prediction from Team Penske driver Will Power.
“I think it’s gonna be very interesting,” the IndyCar Grand Prix champion said. “I think a lot of people will run a lot today cause we’re not sure of the weather during the week.”
After around 1,400 total laps turned, even with some time lost due to rain and lightning, Power was proven correct, both on the action and the weather.
His Penske teammate, Simon Pagenaud, topped the speed charts on day one, clocking a best lap speed of 225.787 miles per hour. Another Penske driver, Helio Castroneves, finished second-best at 224.665 MPH.
“It’s great to be back again in Indianapolis,” said the three-time Indy 500 champion. “Right now, it’s knowing a little more about the car. April 30th, we tested here. It was everything new. Now we go back, collect data from the other guys, and it looks like we’re going in the right direction here.”
Rounding out the top five were Ed Carpenter (224.523 MPH), Jay Howard (224.518 MPH), and Scott Dixon (224.353 MPH).
“There’s no words that can describe the feeling you have just driving around this place,” said Howard. “I never take any of it for granted, enjoy every second of it, and regardless of the outcome, we’ll be smiling all month long.”
Public gates at Indianapolis Motor Speedway open Tuesday at 10:00 a.m. with practice scheduled for 11:00 a.m. through 6:00 p.m.