Last Chance to Set Up for the Race, Scott Dixon 2nd and Takuma Sato 3rd in Practice 8
The starting grid for the 107th Indianapolis 500 was finalized yesterday during qualifying. On Monday, the 33 drivers advancing to the race, including pole-sitter Alex Palou (Chip Ganassi Racing), were on the track for the two-hour Practice 8 session starting at 1:00 pm.
Once again the skies were clear, with temperatures higher than during the qualifying session. With Sunday's race forecasted to be even hotter, today's conditions provided a good opportunity for the teams to gather useful data. The 33 IndyCar drivers, with their turbo boost pressure set back to race specs, were looking for stable and fast settings for turbulent conditions, in preparation for the race.
Scott Dixon (Chip Ganassi Racing) was second fastest in the two-hour session, averaging 229.184 mph, after the 2008 INDY 500 winner and six-time series title winner qualified sixth yesterday. He completed 67 laps today in preparation for the race.
Takuma Sato (Chip Ganassi Racing), winner of the Indy 500 in 2017 and 2020, ran 58 laps for a personal best of 228.382 mph. He was third fastest, just behind Dixon.
Alex Palou (Chip Ganassi Racing), who averaged 234.217 mph for four laps in yesterday's qualifying session for his first and Honda's fourth consecutive INDY 500 pole position, was fourth fastest in today's Practice 8 at 227.382 mph. The 2021 series champion ran a total of 53 laps for the day. Winner of Round 5 last weekend at the Indianapolis road course, Palou will be looking to win both races at the track in May.
Marco Andretti (Andretti-Herta Autosport with Marco and Curb-Agajanian), pole-sitter in the 2020 Indy 500, was seventh fastest with 53 laps and a best average of 226.632 mph. Colton Herta (Andretti Autosport with Curb-Agajanian) was 10th with 225.943 mph. Last year's Indy 500 winner Marcus Ericsson (Chip Ganassi Racing) was 13th with 225.688 mph. Kyle Kirkwood (Andretti Autosport), fresh off his first career win at this year’s Round 3 Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach, was 14th with 225.404 mph.
Drivers will next be on track on Friday for Carb Day, where they will make their final checks and adjustments before the 200-lap/500-mile race kicks off at 12:45 pm. on Sunday, May 28 in front of a 300,000-strong crowd.