Carpenter tops third day of Indy 500 practice as Alonso goes fourth

Ed Carpenter topped the third day of practice for the 2017 Indianapolis 500 as Fernando Alonso improved late on to finish an impressive fourth fastest

Carpenter tops third day of Indy 500 practice as Alonso goes fourth

Strong winds meant that far fewer laps were turned on Wednesday's third day of running that the previous two, although Carpenter's best lap was faster than the leading times from Monday and Tuesday's sessions.

Team owner Carpenter set the fastest lap of the day in his Chevrolet-powered car with an hour remaining, lapping at 222.894mph, to oust Ganassi's long-time leader Scott Dixon from the top of the leaderboard.

"I'm happy with the car, happy with the handling and I'm feeling comfortable," said Carpenter.

"We knew it was going to be challenging to go out there with all the wind, but that's why I thought it would be a good idea.

"We could have these conditions on raceday."

Dixon still ended up second and top Honda runner, recording a speed of 222.599mph - his laptime just 0.0536 seconds down on Carpenter's - as the New Zealander found himself sandwiched between Carpenter and his team-mate JR Hildebrand in ECR's second entry.

Behind them, Alonso turned his most eye-catching performance so far to end the day fourth in his McLaren Honda Andretti entry.

The Spaniard jumped to seventh within the final hour with an initial 218.375mph effort, eight tenths slower than Carpenter's fastest, before finding a further two tenths with half an hour remaining to record a lap of 219.533mph.

AJ Foyt Racing trio Conor Daly, Carlos Munoz and rookie Zach Veach grabbed fifth, seventh and eighth respectively - with Veach turning 46 laps, the most of anyone except for the ECR duo.

Max Chilton split Daly and Munoz with the sixth-fastest time in the second-fastest Ganassi entry, with team-mate Charlie Kimball ninth and Schmidt Peterson Motorsports-Honda's one-off third car for Jay Howard rounding out the top 10.

Only 14 of the 25 cars turned meaningful laps with Tony Kanaan, Graham Rahal, Mikhail Aleshin and James Hinchcliffe among a group of 10 drivers to completing fewer than 10 laps.

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