Andretti Leads Honda Effort as Indianapolis 500 Practice Begins

* Opening Day for Indy 500 preparation, qualifying set for May 17-18
* Oval practice precedes Saturday’s Grand Prix of Indianapolis road course event

Marco Andretti led the way for Honda and his Andretti Autosport team in Opening Day practice at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Sunday in preparation for the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500. Andretti posted the third-fastest speed, an average of 226.268 mph, as 27 drivers took to the historic 2.5-mile oval.

Speeds increased dramatically during the final 30 minutes of the day-long practice, as drivers took advantage of the large number of cars on track to draft one another for a fast lap. Gabby Chaves, Honda’s sole first-year Indy car driver in this year’s 500, successfully completed his traditional Rookie Orientation Practice Sunday morning, prior to running the afternoon session and posting the 12th fastest speed. Making his debut with Andretti Autosport, veteran Justin Wilson led the morning practice session and was 15th for the day.

After today’s oval practice at Indianapolis, focus now shifts to the circuit’s 2.45-mile road course and preparations for the second annual Grand Prix of Indianapolis, Saturday, May 9.

Marco Andretti (#27 Andretti Autosport Honda) 3rd fastest in Indy 500 Opening Day Practice: “It was interesting; there are still some gremlins to work out. We have an overwhelming laundry list of changes to try. Fortunately, we still have some time to do that. I’m pleased with the speed. The only thing I wasn’t pleased with was the balance of the car, but we’ve still got a lot of things to throw at that, and it’s very, very early.

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Honda’s Justin Wilson led the morning practice session in his debut for Andretti Autosport