Carb Day Notebook

Simon Pagenaud hopes Coors Light Carb Day is a good indication of Indianapolis 500 Race Day.

Pagenaud, who will start the 97th Indianapolis 500 from the outside of the seventh row, topped the speed chart for the final practice session, the final opportunity for teams to fine-tune their cars before Race Day.

Pagenaud, driving the No. 77 Schmidt Hamilton HP Motorsports Honda, topped the speed chart with a quick lap of 225.827 mph with Andretti Autosport E.J Viso (225.304 mph) and Ryan Hunter-Reay (225.053) right behind.

Similarly, Helio Castroneves hopes that winning the IZOD Indy 500 Pit Stop Competition could be a good omen for him.

Castroneves, driving the No. 3 Shell V-Power/Pennzoil Ultra Chevrolet, defeated Dario Franchitti of Target Chip Ganassi Racing in the championship round. His pit crew received the $50,000 first place prize for its speed and accuracy.

The winner of the competition has gone on to win the Indianapolis 500 six times, most recently with Castroneves in 2009. It was the 14th win for Team Penske and sixth for Castroneves in the pit stop contest, which extended their records.

Also on Coors Light Carb Day, Peter Dempsey came from fourth place on the final corner of the final lap to overtake Gabby Chaves, Sage Karam and Carlos Munoz and win a thrilling Firestone Freedom 100.

Exiting Turn 4 Munoz, Karam and Chaves were racing side by side to the start-finish of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Suddenly, Dempsey found a seam close to the outside wall on the 50-foot-wide frontstretch.

The 27-year-old native of Ashbourne, Ireland, immediately knew he had won the marquee race of the Firestone Indy Lights season, raising his left hand off the steering wheel, though it was a photo finish. The margin of victory was .0026 of a second — the closest on an oval in the 100-plus-year history of the Speedway.

Chaves was second and pole sitter Karam was 0.0280 of a second behind the winner in third. Munoz, who led Laps 13-39, was 0.0443 of a second off the winner.

Poison headlined a concert to conclude the busy day.

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