Dixon tops Indy 500 Carb Day practice

Scott Dixon led the Carb Day times at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Friday as the IndyCar field completed their final preparations ahead of Sunday’s Indianapolis 500.

Dixon’s best lap of 227.226mph in the No. 9 Chip Ganassi Racing Honda came within the first half hour, and remained unbeaten for the two hour session.

“I think we rolled off pretty good,” said Dixon, who will start from 21st. “We tried to go through some sequences changes; some were a little bit OK, some not quite so much. I think the track conditions changed quite a bit from the start to the finish, as well. But it was a good day — the car seems pretty fast, it was consistent. We had a few moments where the car was a bit neutral but I think others were in the same situation. It’s just Carb Day man, it doesn’t mean much, so we’ll just keep our head down and try to make the most of it.”


Helio Castroneves made it a Honda 1-2 with a 226.939mph best in the No. 06 Meyer Shank Racing entry, leaving Pato O’Ward to round out the top three at 226.666mph in the No. 5 Arrow McLaren Chevrolet. Colton Herta (No. 26 Andretti Autosport Honda) and Tom Blomqvist (No. 66 Meyer Shank Honda) rounded out the top five.

The day passed mostly without drama, the only yellow of any consequence coming with 15 minutes to go when Kyle Larson ran the fuel tank of the No. 17 Arrow McLaren Chevrolet dry. A short time earlier, Larson also had bit of a moment in the pits when he was practicing a live stop and the team had a problem securing the left-front, forcing him to jump back on the brakes just as he was preparing to launch.

“I thought my car handling was good,” he said afterwards. “I didn’t suck up [to other cars] as good as I thought I did on Monday. and then the pit stop stuff, just getting familiar with all that. It’s a bit different obviously to a NASCAR pit stop — charging pitlane, I got to leave hard a couple of times there. I got comfortable with all that, so I feel like we checked off a lot of boxes ahead of the race.”

Elsewhere, a few drivers were disappointed to find themselves with cars not behaving as well as they had on Monday, but none more so than A.J. Foyt’s Santino Ferrucci, who’s No. 14 Chevrolet went back to the garage after just 30 minutes because it was handling so poorly.

“Obviously we rebuild the cars over the week; our aero balance was three and a half percent wrong towards the front, which is unusual,” he said during the session. “The weight distribution is not where we want it. They’re not going to fix any of that stuff on pitlane, unfortunately. We tried to do a Band-aid, it didn’t work, and the car was super, super loose in the middle of Turns 1 and 3, and I’ve already countersteered the car multiple times. Way looser than I had in qualifying. So the boys are hustling and right now I’m really counting on them getting it back here in the next 20 minutes so we can get some practice in.”

The team did get the car back out and it was better, but not better enough. It went back into the garage with 40 minutes to go, and that did the trick: he came back out and finished the day with a more representative 223.963mph.

There were similar complaints from RLL’s Christian Lundgaard, who spent the day settling in with new strategist Ben Siegel after Peter Baron departed the team on Monday. His problems weren’t quite Ferrucci-level though, and he ended the day 19th fastest at 224.287mph.

The session ended under caution when the yellows came out for debris in the final minute, although most cars had already returned to the pits.


Story originally appeared on Racer