Power tops 'Fast Friday' practice speeds for Indianapolis 500

Updated: 

INDIANAPOLIS – After four full days of on-track running consuming 8,162 laps around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval, one thing is certain: the battle for pole position in the historic 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil is wide open.

The last practice before Saturday’s first day of qualifying – dubbed “Fast Friday” because it’s usually when the top lap speeds are produced as teams trim out their cars and run four-lap qualifying simulations – lived up to its name. Aided by the planned increase in turbocharger boost for the 2.2-liter, twin-turbocharged V-6 engines that added about 30 horsepower, 18 drivers turned laps in excess of 230 mph today, including 15 without benefit of a “tow” from cars in front of them.

CLICK HERE: Practice 5 resultsCombined practice results; Qualifying draw

The fastest lap of the day and week came from Will Power in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, at 232.672 mph. Power earned $10,000 from Harding Group for posting the fastest lap on Fast Friday, but admitted he had help from the draft of a car running in front of him on the 2.5-mile oval.

“I got a good tow,” Power said. “Even when the car is out of traffic, it was pretty good, pretty solid. I think it's fast. I think it's going to be really, really tight for pole. There's a lot of quick guys out there and I think Honda is right there, too.”

Power sitting atop the leaderboard marked the first time in four practice sessions this week that a Chevrolet was first. Josef Newgarden, in the No. 21 Preferred Freezer Chevrolet for Ed Carpenter Racing, was second at 232.344 mph. James Hinchcliffe was third at 231.972 in the No. 5 Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda, with Carlos Munoz fourth at 231.952 in the No. 26 United Fiber & Data Honda for Andretti Autosport. All were with benefit of a tow.

“It's been a really good week,” said Munoz, who has finished in the top four on the speed chart every day this week. “Today was my worst position in the whole few days. It's more or less like 2013 in my rookie year when I was always in the top (and finished second in the race). The car feels great. Really fast car, for sure, in traffic and alone.”

The all-important “no-tow” speed chart for laps without benefit of a draft was headed by Munoz’s teammate at Andretti, Townsend Bell in the No. 29 California Pizza Kitchen/Robert Graham Honda, at 231.342 mph. Bell was barely ahead of Power (231.339) and Andretti drivers Ryan Hunter-Reay (231.284) and Marco Andretti (231.255).

Indianapolis 500 qualifying again is scheduled for two days. The nine drivers who log the fastest four-lap qualification attempts Saturday are locked into the Fast Nine Shootout for the pole the following day. The other drivers move on to Group 1 qualifying Sunday, when race starting positions 10-33 are determined.

“To get pole here, it's just got to be your day and it's got to work out,” said Power, the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series champion whose best Indy 500 start is second in 2010 and 2015. “That's the way it is around this place. I think it's the same for the race.”

The draw for qualifying positions following today’s practice saw 2013 Indy 500 winner Tony Kanaan earn the first spot in line in the No. 10 NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet. Simon Pagenaud, the current Verizon IndyCar Series points leader who’s won the last three races on the schedule, drew the second spot in the No. 22 Menards Team Penske Chevy. Juan Pablo Montoya, the reigning Indianapolis 500 champion, is slated to be the 27th primary car to qualify, in the No. 2 Verizon Team Penske Chevy.

Each of the 33 entries is guaranteed one qualifying attempt Saturday, provided it is in the qualifying line at its designated time and follows the proper procedures until it reaches the head of the line. Cars may make multiple attempts throughout the day to better their position.

A final practice session Saturday morning (streamed live on RaceControl.IndyCar.com from 8-10 a.m. ET) precedes first-day qualifying from 11 a.m.-5:50 p.m. ET. First-day qualifying coverage takes place on ESPN3 (11 a.m.-3 p.m. ET) and ABC (4-6 p.m. ET), with additional on-track action that day streaming on RaceControl.IndyCar.com.

Group 1 qualifying on Sunday runs from 2:45-4:45 p.m., with the Fast Nine Shootout from 5-5:45 p.m. to determine the Verizon P1 Award pole winner and recipient of $100,000. Sunday coverage is again on ESPN3 (2:30-4 p.m. ET) and ABC (4-6 p.m. ET), with practice from noon-2 p.m. streaming on RaceControl.IndyCar.com.

Coverage of the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 begins at 11 a.m. ET May 29 on ABC and the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network.

Friday's practice results:

Rank

Car

Driver Name

C/A/E/T

Time

Speed

Diff

Gap

Best Lap

Total Laps

1

12

Power, Will

D/C/C/F

00:38.6810

232.672

--.----

--.----

24

32

2

21

Newgarden, Josef

D/C/C/F

00:38.7356

232.344

0.0546

0.0546

57

58

3

5

Hinchcliffe, James

D/H/H/F

00:38.7978

231.972

0.1168

0.0622

36

37

4

26

Munoz, Carlos

D/H/H/F

00:38.8012

231.952

0.1202

0.0034

30

31

5

27

Andretti, Marco

D/H/H/F

00:38.8226

231.824

0.1416

0.0214

47

54

6

29

Bell, Townsend

D/H/H/F

00:38.8670

231.559

0.1860

0.0444

24

29

7

28

Hunter-Reay, Ryan

D/H/H/F

00:38.9132

231.284

0.2322

0.0462

40

41

8

19

Chaves, Gabby

D/H/H/F

00:38.9381

231.136

0.2571

0.0249

41

43

9

7

Aleshin, Mikhail

D/H/H/F

00:38.9502

231.064

0.2692

0.0121

37

41

10

98

Rossi, Alexander (R)

D/H/H/F

00:38.9867

230.848

0.3057

0.0365

10

59

11

77

Servia, Oriol

D/H/H/F

00:39.0020

230.757

0.3210

0.0153

34

35

12

9

Dixon, Scott

D/C/C/F

00:39.0514

230.465

0.3704

0.0494

17

29

13

22

Pagenaud, Simon

D/C/C/F

00:39.0554

230.442

0.3744

0.0040

18

27

14

6

Hildebrand, JR

D/C/C/F

00:39.0717

230.346

0.3907

0.0163

30

38

15

3

Castroneves, Helio

D/C/C/F

00:39.0739

230.333

0.3929

0.0022

25

29

16

20

Carpenter, Ed

D/C/C/F

00:39.0907

230.234

0.4097

0.0168

36

47

17

15

Rahal, Graham

D/H/H/F

00:39.1067

230.140

0.4257

0.0160

42

46

18

2

Montoya, Juan Pablo

D/C/C/F

00:39.1217

230.051

0.4407

0.0150

15

17

19

63

Mann, Pippa

D/H/H/F

00:39.1444

229.918

0.4634

0.0227

27

30

20

10

Kanaan, Tony

D/C/C/F

00:39.1725

229.753

0.4915

0.0281

36

39

21

11

Bourdais, Sebastien

D/C/C/F

00:39.1969

229.610

0.5159

0.0244

42

42

22

41

Hawksworth, Jack

D/H/H/F

00:39.2046

229.565

0.5236

0.0077

29

35

23

8

Chilton, Max (R)

D/C/C/F

00:39.2240

229.451

0.5430

0.0194

39

46

24

61

Brabham, Matt (R)

D/C/C/F

00:39.2580

229.253

0.5770

0.0340

56

57

25

18

Daly, Conor

D/H/H/F

00:39.2693

229.187

0.5883

0.0113

45

53

26

16

Pigot, Spencer (R)

D/H/H/F

00:39.2799

229.125

0.5989

0.0106

62

66

27

14

Sato, Takuma

D/H/H/F

00:39.3141

228.926

0.6331

0.0342

37

44

28

42

Kimball, Charlie

D/C/C/F

00:39.3241

228.867

0.6431

0.0100

17

26

29

35

Tagliani, Alex

D/H/H/F

00:39.3713

228.593

0.6903

0.0472

41

41

30

24

Karam, Sage

D/C/C/F

00:39.4707

228.017

0.7897

0.0994

48

50

31

88

Clauson, Bryan

D/H/H/F

00:39.5074

227.805

0.8264

0.0367

36

37

32

25

Wilson, Stefan (R)

D/C/C/F

00:39.7234

226.567

1.0424

0.2160

9

40

33

4

Lazier, Buddy

D/C/C/F

00:39.8789

225.683

1.1979

0.1555

17

47

(R) Rookie (C)hassis: D=Dallara | (A)erokit: C=Chevy, H=Honda | (E)ngine: C=Chevy, H=Honda | (T)ire: F=Firestone

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