Indy 500 practice: Andretti heads Fast Friday as Penske impresses

Marco Andretti topped IndyCar's 'Fast Friday' ahead of the 2018 Indianapolis 500, while Penske impressed most in a session that revealed the likely speeds for this weekend's qualifying

Indy 500 practice: Andretti heads Fast Friday as Penske impresses

Andretti had earlier topped Wednesday's practice but, in the most representative session of the weekend, set a best lap speed of 231.802mph on Friday.

That lap came with more than five hours of the session left to run and was enough to depose the impressive Schmidt Peterson Motorsports rookie of Robert Wickens and his 231.732mph lap from top spot.

Only Ed Carpenter was able to join the two leaders with a lap over 231mph, with a best effort of 231.066mph.

But in lap times without a tow, it was once again Will Power who demonstrated Penske's underlying pace.

His lap of 229.780mph was the fastest with no assistance, ahead of team-mates Josef Newgarden (228.993mph) and Simon Pagenaud (228.857mph).

It was enough for Penske to end its running two hours early, and the team helped Chevrolet lock out five of the top six slots in the fastest no tow timesheets.

Power's best lap with a tow was good enough for fifth overall behind Oriol Servia, ahead of his one-off Indy 500 drive.

Sebastien Bourdais was the fourth fastest Honda overall in sixth place, but he was also the quickest Honda-powered driver without a tow.

AJ Foyt Racing drivers Tony Kanaan and Matheus Leist locked out seventh and eighth. Andretti's Stefan Wilson, who sat out last year's Indy 500 for Fernando Alonso, was ninth ahead of 2016 winner Alexander Rossi.

Returning Penske driver Helio Castroneves was 12th, two places ahead of Newgarden. Pagenaud was 16th overall ahead of Ed Jones in what proved to be a difficult day for Chip Ganassi Racing, with Scott Dixon classified 21st behind ECR's Danica Patrick.

Patrick did set a highly competitive no-tow lap of 228.284mph in her best day of running ahead of her final career race.

Ryan Hunter-Reay suffered a fuel pressure problem early in the day in his Andretti-prepared car and ended the day 23rd ahead of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing's Takuma Sato.

His team-mate Graham Rahal topped yesterday's session but was 33rd of 35 cars on Friday afternoon.

James Davison was the second driver of the week to have a high-speed accident, getting loose through Turn 2 and clouting the outside wall.

When asked what he knew of the accident, he said: "Absolutely nothing, then I was backwards, so that was definitely a new experience for me here around at Indy or driving on ovals in general.

"I guess [I] became one of the drivers to slam the wall at Indianapolis, so joined the club today.

"Obviously, it's not ideal, but we had to try some things.

"We're 32nd quickest [at the time of his crash], right on the bubble and we are not going to go faster just standing there and looking at it, so no regrets there."

The much-heralded Happy Hour featured little running or improvements in the final 60 minutes.

Friday practice times

Pos Driver Team Car Gap Laps
1 Marco Andretti Andretti Herta Dallara/Honda 38.8262s 31
2 Robert Wickens Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Dallara/Honda 0.0117s 35
3 Ed Carpenter Ed Carpenter Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 0.1237s 37
4 Oriol Servia Scuderia Corsa Dallara/Honda 0.2622s 40
5 Will Power Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet 0.3417s 32
6 Sebastien Bourdais Dale Coyne Racing Dallara/Honda 0.3485s 40
7 Tony Kanaan AJ Foyt Enterprises Dallara/Chevrolet 0.3895s 24
8 Matheus Leist AJ Foyt Enterprises Dallara/Chevrolet 0.4126s 32
9 Stefan Wilson Andretti Autosport Dallara/Honda 0.4283s 47
10 Alexander Rossi Andretti Autosport Dallara/Honda 0.4349s 58
11 Gabby Chaves Harding Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 0.4520s 42
12 Helio Castroneves Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet 0.4542s 42
13 Spencer Pigot Ed Carpenter Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 0.4633s 15
14 Josef Newgarden Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet 0.4762s 30
15 Kyle Kaiser Juncos Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 0.4975s 62
16 Simon Pagenaud Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet 0.4997s 44
17 Ed Jones Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Honda 0.5359s 50
18 Charlie Kimball Carlin Dallara/Chevrolet 0.5569s 24
19 Jay Howard Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Dallara/Honda 0.5844s 25
20 Danica Patrick Ed Carpenter Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 0.5983s 13
21 Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Honda 0.6072s 13
22 Carlos Munoz Andretti Autosport Dallara/Honda 0.6426s 38
23 Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport Dallara/Honda 0.6667s 42
24 Takuma Sato Rahal Letterman Lanigan Dallara/Honda 0.6853s 44
25 Conor Daly Dale Coyne Racing Dallara/Honda 0.6995s 33
26 Sage Karam Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 0.7180s 43
27 Zachary Claman Dale Coyne Racing Dallara/Honda 0.7664s 11
28 Zach Veach Andretti Autosport Dallara/Honda 0.7666s 34
29 James Hinchcliffe Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Dallara/Honda 0.7757s 41
30 J.R. Hildebrand Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 0.7791s 49
31 Pippa Mann Dale Coyne Racing Dallara/Honda 0.7820s 45
32 Max Chilton Carlin Dallara/Chevrolet 0.8059s 34
33 Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Dallara/Honda 0.8544s 54
34 James Davison AJ Foyt Enterprises Dallara/Chevrolet 0.8729s 37
35 Jack Harvey Michael Shank Racing Dallara/Honda 0.8895s 19

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Marco Andretti
Teams Team Penske
Author Tom Errington
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