Indy Day 2: Dixon tops 226 mph

2020 IndyCar points leader Scott Dixon, driving the #9 Ganassi Honda, turned the fastest lap Thursday in practice for the 104th running of the Indy 500.  Dixon was the only driver to top 226 mph, which was fast enough to beat two other Honda powered cars of #30 Takuma Sato and #98 Marco Andretti.

Sato sat atop the charts much of the day and Dixon put up the fastest lap of 226.102mph  in the final hour when temperatures were a bit cooler.

#47 Conor Daly was the quickest Chevy in 4th while rookie Alex Palou was an impressive 5th in his #55 Dale Coyne Honda.

Jack Harvey posted fastest no-tow speed of the day – 222.123 mph

Dixon, who opened the 2020 season with three straight victories, rose to the No. 1 spot on the 2.5-mile oval after recording the third-fastest speed Wednesday on Opening Day at 224.047. He looks to be a prime contender for both pole position during Armed Forces Qualifying Weekend this Saturday and Sunday and for his second Indy 500 victory on Race Day, Sunday, Aug. 23.

“Today, we made some minor changes and tried to figure out some different balances,” Dixon said. “We’re also focusing on how the car feels. The No. 8 car had some changes yesterday that (teammate Marcus Ericsson) liked and we tried them, but I’m on the fence. We’re just running through those variations and trying to run in as much traffic as possible and get the car as comfortable as possible for the race.

“We’re really just working hard on race setup. We’ve had a lot of options to work through, and we also wanted to run some of the things the other two cars have tried. We also worked on finding traffic today to see how the car would respond.”

The first incident over two days of practice came at 4:40 p.m. – 50 minutes before the end of practice – when two-time Formula One World Champion Fernando Alonso was unhurt in an accident. Alonso made right-side contact with the SAFER Barrier exiting Turn 4 after clipping the concrete apron in Turn 4 with his left front wheel, with his No. 66 Ruoff Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet then doing a half-spin to the left at pit entry and sliding into the inside pit wall, making secondary right-front contact.
The car suffered moderate damage.

Alonso wads up his IndyCar for the 2nd year in a row. Did someone say F1 drivers were better than IndyCar drivers?

Alonso, who also crashed in practice last year, was eighth fastest today at 224.363 before his accident.

“It was the car, the grip of the car,” Alonso said. “This place, the walls are coming very close. This is the way it is. Unfortunately, it happened again today. Hopefully it happens today instead of Sunday the 23rd.

“You learn every lap you do around here, and we learned from this. Tomorrow we start again. I think everything tomorrow is going to be OK. Let’s keep up the good work, and hopefully no more issues.”

Cars will receive increased turbocharger boost – generating approximately 50 horsepower and higher speeds – on “Fast Friday” practice in preparation for Crown Armed Forces Qualifying Weekend on Saturday and Sunday.

“It’s going to be cool,” Dixon said. “It’s a big jump (in power). We’re pretty low speeds (today). I expect to see some pretty big speeds tomorrow, especially in tows. Everybody will be trying to get a clear track, but that’s going to be tough to get. I’m excited for tomorrow – Fast Friday.”

Day 2 Speeds

Pos No Name Time Diff Gap Speed Engine Team
1 9 Scott Dixon 39.805 –.—- –.—- 226.102 Honda Chip Ganassi Racing
2 30 Takuma Sato 39.877 0.0722 0.0722 225.693 Honda Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
3 98 Marco Andretti 39.956 0.1508 0.0786 225.249 Honda Andretti Herta with Marco & Curb-Agajanian
4 47 Conor Daly 39.981 0.1762 0.0254 225.106 Chevy Ed Carpenter Racing
5 55 Alex Palou 40.005 0.2001 0.0239 224.971 Honda Dale Coyne Racing with Team Goh
6 88 Colton Herta 40.063 0.2576 0.0575 224.648 Honda Andretti Harding Steinbrenner Autosport
7 4 Charlie Kimball 40.069 0.2640 0.0064 224.613 Chevy AJ Foyt Enterprises
8 66 Fernando Alonso 40.114 0.3085 0.0445 224.363 Chevy Arrow McLaren SP
9 51 James Davison 40.122 0.3172 0.0087 224.315 Honda Dale Coyne w/Rick Ware /Byrd/Belardi
10 7 Oliver Askew 40.150 0.3451 0.0279 224.159 Chevy Arrow McLaren SP
11 28 Ryan Hunter-Reay 40.151 0.3459 0.0008 224.154 Honda Andretti Autosport
12 21 Rinus VeeKay 40.166 0.3613 0.0154 224.068 Chevy Ed Carpenter Racing
13 60 Jack Harvey 40.209 0.4044 0.0431 223.828 Honda Meyer Shank Racing
14 14 Tony Kanaan 40.237 0.4318 0.0274 223.676 Chevy AJ Foyt Enterprises
15 26 Zach Veach 40.240 0.4351 0.0033 223.657 Honda Andretti Autosport
16 3 Helio Castroneves 40.244 0.4395 0.0044 223.633 Chevy Team Penske
17 29 James Hinchcliffe 40.245 0.4401 0.0006 223.630 Honda Andretti Autosport
18 1 Josef Newgarden 40.247 0.4424 0.0023 223.617 Chevy Team Penske
19 15 Graham Rahal 40.305 0.5000 0.0576 223.297 Honda Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
20 5 Pato O’Ward 40.319 0.5138 0.0138 223.221 Chevy Arrow McLaren SP
21 18 Santino Ferrucci 40.346 0.5410 0.0272 223.070 Honda Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser Sullivan
22 45 Spencer Pigot 40.351 0.5460 0.0050 223.043 Honda RLL with Citrone/Buhl Autosport
23 12 Will Power 40.363 0.5577 0.0117 222.978 Chevy Team Penske
24 10 Felix Rosenqvist 40.423 0.6181 0.0604 222.645 Honda Chip Ganassi Racing
25 8 Marcus Ericsson 40.426 0.6208 0.0027 222.630 Honda Chip Ganassi Racing
26 27 Alexander Rossi 40.435 0.6297 0.0089 222.581 Honda Andretti Autosport
27 22 Simon Pagenaud 40.501 0.6961 0.0664 222.216 Chevy Team Penske
28 41 Dalton Kellett 40.548 0.7430 0.0469 221.959 Chevy AJ Foyt Enterprises
29 67 JR Hildebrand 40.617 0.8118 0.0688 221.583 Chevy Dreyer & Reinbold Racing
30 20 Ed Carpenter 40.620 0.8155 0.0037 221.563 Chevy Ed Carpenter Racing
31 24 Sage Karam 40.630 0.8253 0.0098 221.510 Chevy Dreyer & Reinbold Racing
32 59 Max Chilton 40.797 0.9917 0.1664 220.606 Chevy Carlin
33 81 Ben Hanley No Time Chevy DragonSpeed USA

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