The weather has been beautiful all week, except for the first day of Indy 500 practice last Tuesday, and blue skies reigned today. Indianapolis Motor Speedway was packed with fans eager to watch the Indy cars tear down the straight for their final practice session at 230 mph.
„Carburetion Day,” the final practice session, was established to allow teams to adjust their carburetors prior to the race. It is now known as „Carb Day”. Friday’s event has become a popular day for local fans, as it not only allows the 33 entrants to make final adjustments and practice their pit stops, but also hosts a pit stop competition and concerts.
The two-hour session began at 11:00 am, with a slightly chilly 18 degrees Celsius, rising to 23 degrees Celsius by the end of the session. Although the forecast called for hot conditions on race day, today proved ideal for checking the cars for the 200-lap race.
Sixteen Honda-powered cars will compete in this year’s Indy 500. In today’s session, Takuma Sato (Chip Ganassi Racing) was fastest on the 2.5-mile oval track, averaging 227.855 mph. Chatto ran 86 laps, which not only allowed the team to make final changes to the car, but also to collect more data in preparation for the race. Following his wins in 2017 and 2020, Sato’s fastest lap of the day demonstrated his strong desire for a third Indy 500 win. Reacting to the cheering crowd as he got out of his car, Sato seemed satisfied with his progress.
Sato’s teammate, 2008 Indy 500 winner and six-time series champion Scott Dixon (Chip Ganassi Racing), was second fastest with a personal best of 227.285 mph. Alex Barrow (Chip Ganassi Racing), the 2021 IndyCar champion and this year’s Indy 500 pole-sitter, was fourth fastest at 226.945 mph, showing the Chip Ganassi Racing drivers performed well not only in qualifying but also in final practice. Kyle Kirkwood (Andretti Autosport), fresh off his first career win at Round 3 this year, was fifth fastest at 226.872 mph. Kirkwood’s teammates Colton Harta (Andretti Autosport with Curb-Akajanian) and Romain Grosjean (Andretti Autosport) finished the session with seventh and eighth fastest times.
Following tomorrow’s drivers’ meeting, 33 competitors will participate in a large parade through central Indianapolis. On Sunday, the Indy 500 will take place, now a tradition that heralds the arrival of summer in the Midwest.
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