MAY 19, 2017
“Fast Friday” at Indianapolis Motor Speedway lived up to its moniker as 22 of the 33 entries for the 101st Indianapolis 500 Mile Race recorded a lap in excess of 230 mph on the 2.5-mile oval during the fifth day of practice.
Two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Juan Pablo Montoya led Chevrolet drivers with a lap of 231.682 mph/38.8463 seconds in the No. 22 Fitzgerald Glider Kits Team Penske Chevrolet. All 15 Team Chevy drivers utilized the extra boost granted the twin-turbocharged V6, 2.2-liter Chevrolet engines for Saturday and Sunday qualifications in combination with optimizing the aerodynamic set-up of the Chevrolet Aero Kit to prepare for the two days of on-track drama.
Thirty-three entries totaled 1,040 laps. Half of the six hours of available track time was interrupted by rain and other cautions, including two separate incidents in Turn 2 that involved Team Chevy drivers Spencer Pigot and Indy 500 rookie Zach Veach. Both were checked at the infield care center and cleared to drive.
Qualifying for the 33 starting positions is comprised of each entry making at least one timed four-lap/10-mile run. On Saturday, multiple attempts are permitted with or without withdrawing a previous time. The fastest nine entries at the conclusion of on-track activity are locked into the field and advance to Sunday’s Fast Nine Shootout to determine the pole and the remainder of the first three rows. Positions 10-33 advance to Sunday’s qualifying to determine the starting order.
ABC will telecast qualifications live from 4-6 p.m. ET Saturday and Sunday. The 200-lap race will be telecast live on ABC at noon ET May 28.
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 22 FITZGERALD GLIDER KITS TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET: “A little interruption by the rain today, but we got some stuff done today with the Fitzgerald Glider Kits Chevy. We didn’t do a lot of laps but we accomplished enough. We’ll see what the weather does tomorrow. If the schedule starts getting shuffled around, then we need to be ready to go when we can. Hopefully, it won’t affect us that much. I like where the car is, but we’ll find out for sure tomorrow.”
HELIO CASTRONEVES, NO. 3 SHELL FUEL REWADS TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET: “I’ve been coming here for a long time and handling the weather is part of the mix. We tried to anticipate what was going to happen the rest of the day and tomorrow morning to formulate our plan. The Shell Fuel Rewards Chevy felt good today. It would’ve been great to get a full day in, but none of us can control that. We did as much as we could do.”
WILL POWER, NO. 12 VERIZON TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET: “I would’ve liked to have gotten more time on the track today, but the weather kind of got in the way. That’s part of racing and everyone has to deal with it. It just wasn’t us that lost the time. The Verizon Chevrolet team has been spot on all through our time in Indy. We’re definitely looking for good things tomorrow.”
ED CARPENTER, NO. 20 FUZZY’S VODKA ED CARPENTER RACING CHEVROLET: “At the end of the day, I’m happy we even got to run today and get some time on the boost since it could have been a wash. I wish I could say I feel more confident going into qualifying, but we’ve got our work cut out for us. It's going to be really hard to make the Fast Nine right now, but we will keep doing what we can do on our end to make the best of it. The longer I ran today, the more focused I am on race running for the next day of practice to make sure the car is the best it can be just because qualifying is going to be a struggle right now.”
JR HILDEBRAND, NO. 21 PERFERRED FREEZER SERVICES ED CARPENTER RACING CHEVROLET: “I feel like we made good changes for where we are and have dialed ourselves into a window. It seems like the Hondas are pretty fast right now, so it’s hard to know how everything will stack up. We can only control what we can control! I feel like we’ve gotten pretty close to understanding what our optimal window is. The weather conditions lately haven’t helped for qualifying this weekend because it all comes down to the track conditions when it’s go time. Tomorrow, we will just have to see where and how we can get the best speeds to make something out of our week.”
JOSEF NEWGARDEN, NO. 2 HUM BY VERIZON TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET: “The weather definitely wasn’t a welcome sight for us. After losing a good chunk of yesterday, we could’ve used all of the track time would could get today. There’s nothing we can do about it. It was good to get the Hum by Verizon Chevrolet back out there today. Everybody did a great job in getting everything fixed. It’s unfortunate that they had to do that. We’re excited about getting out there tomorrow and we’ll see how it goes.”
SAGE KARAM, NO. 24 DRR MECUM AUCTIONS CHEVROLET: “Right now, we’re just trying to figure out our qualifying car. I really like my car in race trim. I think we can pass really anybody in that. We’ve been struggling a little with the qualifying speed. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter where you qualify, it’s where you finish the race. I think it’s going to be another year coming from the back. We obviously want to qualify in the top ten, but we’ll see if we can do that. I’m feeling good though. It’s going to be a good May. Good things are going to happen for me, the DRR boys, and Mecum. I’m really excited.”
CARLOS MUNOZ, NO. 14 ABC SUPPLY AJ FOYT RACING CHEVROLET: “The day was cut off a little bit with the rain. Our first two trims the car was OK – we missed a little bit of speed but the sensation of the car wasn’t bad. Then in the afternoon we wanted to change the car completely just to try something different to gain speed but it didn’t work. So we’ll see tomorrow. I think tomorrow we’ll just go through the day the best we can without overstepping and try to get half a good car for Monday for practice.”
CONOR DALY, NO. 4 ABC SUPPLY AJ FOYT RACING CHEVROLET: “We tried a lot today, honestly. There was more power so we have to try to get ready for qualifying trim-out. I haven't been entirely comfortable all day today, but at least we worked through a lot. And that's good. We worked through a lot of changes, tried a lot of things, but we have to do a little bit more tomorrow to see how we can gain more speed.”
GABBY CHAVES, NO. 88 HARDING RACING CHEVROLET: “It was definitely a day of up and down, well more like down and up. We missed a crucial first two hours of practice this morning. We just couldn't get the No. 88 Harding Racing car ready in time with the changes we made overnight, but we got out at the end and we got a lot of work done. I think we ended up in a spot where we can really take the next step and be right up where we feel we can perform."
ZACH VEACH, NO. 40 INDY WOMEN IN TECH CHAMPIONSHIP AJ FOYT RACING CHEVROLET: “Overall, I’m extremely disappointed that we had the accident so close to qualifying. We’d been making such progress all day for this to happen I feel badly for the entire crew and A.J. of course. Still trying to figure out what happened. At this point I’m thinking maybe it was a gust of wind. The entry to the middle of the corner felt perfectly fine like the runs before and then extremely late in the corner, the car just turned really suddenly. So we need to have a good look at everything to see exactly what was the cause but with where it happened and particularly how things were feeling then, it caught me out by surprise. I had no idea this was going to be the outcome when I turned into that corner because things felt quite well by that point. So we need to look over everything. I hate it for these guys because they’re going to have a long night and everyone’s been working so hard, and we were finally getting ahead of everything so for this to happen, I’m just extremely disappointed.”
SEBASTIAN SAAVEDRA, NO. 17 AFS JUNCOS RACING CHEVROLET: “First of all, I’m very appreciative of the amazing job the whole team did from yesterday to today. We got an amazing amount of speed without any tows, which is exactly what we’re looking for this weekend. Today still was not the day we wanted, still very draggy and we don’t know where that’s coming from. Tonight is going to be another one of those brain nights with the engineers to get more speed from the No. 17 AFS /Juncos Racing car, but we’re getting there. I’m very focused on continuing the good path that we’ve been on so far.”
SPENCER PIGOT, NO. 11 JUNCOS RACING CHEVROLET: “I’m not really sure (what happened). Entered Turn 2. It had not been an issue for us all week. Before I knew it, I was backwards. We’ll have to go back and look and see what happened. I’m fine. The cars are really safe and it wasn’t that bad a hit. I don’t think the actually chassis is damaged, so we’ll go put some new parts on it and get back out tomorrow.”
BUDDY LAZIER, NO. 44 LAZIER RACING CHEVROLET: “These guys have done a great job; they’ve built the car really since Monday. We are according to plan. We’re working on the race car and the speed is coming just as we expected trimming off. We’ll go about it methodically, and I think we’ve caught up a bunch. For one day, I thought it was a good day. We’re just one or two steps away from a good qualifying run.”

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Volume 2017, Issue 5, Posted 12:34 PM, 05.20.2017