Newgarden pace second day of Indy 500 testing; ECR and Foyt cars show early raw speed
SPEEDWAY, Ind. — It was another shortened test day at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for IndyCar drivers preparing for the Indianapolis 500.
But the shortening of the session was due to the morning weather and not questionable track conditions as was the case on Wednesday.
For two hours and ten minutes, in more consistent sunny conditions once the rain had passed, 31 riders completed thousands of laps trying to figure out what they have or could have for the month of May.
Josef Newgarden surveyed the grounds for the second day of testing with a top speed of 229.519.
“It was very productive actually”, “When we got going it went very well. The weather conditions got pretty nice towards the end. Almost perfect.”
Reigning winner of the GMR Grand Prix Rinus Veekay had the best speed without the help of a tow from a rider ahead of him at 221.314. Of the top five cars in the non-tow class, two were Ed Carpenter Racing cars (Veekay & Daly), two were AJ Foyt cars (Hildebrand & Kellett) and one was Team Penske (McLaughlin).
Marcus Ericsson spent the most time on the track with 148 laps for the day. His Ganassi teammate Tony Kanaan, preparing for what could be his last Indianapolis 500, was the second fastest overall.
“As a team, we are competitive,” concluded Kanaan. “Today we did quite a lot. We have five cars so we share a lot of things. We had five cars in the top 10 so it was a really good day for us.
— Kurt Darling (@WIBCKurtDarling) April 21, 2022
Jimmie Johnson had the second most laps with a lap per fastest lap at 227.900, earning him the eighth fastest time of the day. Johnson, a seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion, is a rookie for the Indianapolis 500 this year, having raced only on the road the previous season.
“Yesterday I was disappointed not to do more laps, so to have the track as good as today was great,” Johnson said. “We all try to be the fastest car. I needed to get on the rev limiters in sixth gear before Turns 1 and 3. I feel like I really needed that. Now I have to learn to pass!
Some drivers said there was still work to be done on the racing surface in the warm-up lanes, but they agreed the grip level was better on Thursday than Wednesday. A few drivers spun during day one in the same spot of the warm-up lanes, prompting IndyCar race directors to end the session early.
For Newgarden, the test results are a big confidence boost.
“Things are feeling really good on the 2 cars”, “It’s moving forward every time. We want to keep this pace throughout the year. I feel really confident with what we have and I feel good about myself. present anywhere.
As the series points leader, that confidence will come in handy as the drivers sit on their data from the last two days and now focus on preparing for the next race on the schedule at Barber Motorsports Park for the Grand Prix of Alabama. May, the 1st.