Indy 500 test day ends early after third pit exit incident

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Alexander Rossi spun harmlessly off pit road for an installation lap in the morning session which involved the 22 veterans plus two rookies – Romain Grosjean and Jimmie Johnson – who had already concluded their orientation program to the satisfaction of IndyCar.

The eight-car rookies and refreshers session went off without a hitch in the early afternoon. However, as four-time Indy winner Helio Castroneves accelerated down the warm-up lane inside the short chute between Turns 1 and 2 and his Meyer Shank Racing-Honda spun. The momentum carried him through the grass that separates this warm-up lane from the racing surface at Turn 2, across the track and into the outside wall, severely damaging the right side of his car.

Trackside Online has confirmed with Meyer Shank that the wrecked machine was last year’s winning car and will not be back on track tomorrow, nor will Castroneves be using a spare car.

Just 20 minutes after the Brazilian veteran’s incident, 2018 Indy-winning Will Power’s Penske Chevrolet team suddenly spun as the car left pit lane. It partially crossed the strip of grass that separates the pit exit from the track at Turn 1, and the rear of the car moved over the racing line. Colton Herta, speeding down the track, pulled up half a lane to avoid hitting the Penske, and that was enough to turn the Andretti Autosport-Honda into a long drift that turned into a spin.

After a lengthy inspection of the recently sealed pit exit lane, IndyCar officials decided to halt on-track activities for the day.

That left four-time Indy poleman and one-time winner Scott Dixon leading the speed charts, the #9 Chip Ganassi Racing-Honda revving 227.187 mph to finish ahead of Conor Daly’s Ed Carpenter Racing-Chevrolet.

Although the shortened track time meant lap speeds were largely inconclusive, Juncos Hollinger Racing could be very pleased that rookie Callum Ilott was third fastest in the 226mph speed bracket. The former Formula 2 ace had also dominated the rookie and refresher course.

Santino Ferrucci, just like in this morning’s session, was very impressive in his very first race for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Chevrolet, with a fourth fastest time, ahead of Ganassi’s Marcus Ericsson who had to swerve to avoid shunts of Castroneves and Herta.

His legendary NASCAR teammate Jimmie Johnson was very fast in practice this morning, so his P25 time this afternoon was completely unrepresentative of his potential.

P

Nope

name

FTime

Florida

Towers

Speed

Engine

Team

1

9

Scott Dixon

39.6150

9

11

227.187

Honda

Chip Ganassi Racing

2

20

Conor Daly

39.6502

24

26

226.985

Chevy

Ed Carpenter Race

3

77

Ilott Callum

39.7688

ten

11

226.308

Chevy

Juncos Hollinger Racing

4

23

Santino Ferrucci

39.7910

16

21

226.182

Chevy

Dreyer & Reinbold

5

8

Marcus Ericsson

39.9394

9

16

225.341

Honda

Chip Ganassi Racing

6

27

Alexandre Rossi

39.9624

25

27

225.212

Honda

Andretti Autosport

7

06

Helio Castroneves

39.9723

5

ten

225.156

Honda

Meyer Shank Racing

8

11

JR Hildebrand

39.9813

8

9

225.105

Chevy

AJ Foyt Enterprises

9

26

Colton Herta

40.0531

33

35

224.702

Honda

Andretti Autosport

ten

51

Takuma Sato

40.0664

11

12

224.627

Honda

Dale Coyne Racing with RWR

11

ten

Alex Palou

40.0947

14

17

224.469

Honda

Chip Ganassi Racing

12

29

Devlin De Francesco

40.1411

4

5

224.209

Honda

Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport

13

21

Rinus VeeKay

40.1418

4

11

224.205

Chevy

Ed Carpenter Race

14

60

Simon Pagenaud

40.2563

22

24

223.567

Honda

Meyer Shank Racing

15

28

Romain Grosjean

40.3130

30

34

223.253

Honda

Andretti Autosport

16

5

Pato O’Ward

40.3213

4

23

223.207

Chevy

Arrow McLaren SP

17

3

Scott McLaughlin

40.4964

8

15

222.242

Chevy

Team Penske

18

7

Felix Rosenqvist

40.5600

5

12

221.893

Chevy

Arrow McLaren SP

19

12

Will

40.5782

8

12

221.794

Chevy

Team Penske

20

33

Ed Charpentier

40.6656

11

16

221.317

Chevy

Ed Carpenter Race

21

45

Jack Harvey

40.7314

15

21

220.960

Honda

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

22

1

Tony Kanan

40.8475

7

8

220.332

Honda

Chip Ganassi Racing

23

15

Graham Rahal

40.9498

4

26

219.781

Honda

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

24

2

Joseph Newgarden

41.1004

4

ten

218.976

Chevy

Team Penske

25

48

jimmy johnson

41.1363

9

21

218.785

Honda

Chip Ganassi Racing

26

6

Juan Pablo Montoya

No time

1

Chevy

Arrow McLaren SP

27

14

Kyle Kirkwood

No time

Chevy

AJ Foyt Enterprises

28

30

Christian Lundgard

No time

Honda

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

29

18

David Malukas

No time

Honda

Dale Coyne Racing with HMD

30

98

Marco Andretti

No time

Honda

Andretti Herta Autosport with Marco & Curb

31

4

Dalton Kellet

No time

Chevy

AJ Foyt Enterprises

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