Howard, Dixon Head Honda Attack as Indianapolis 500 Practice Opens

Howard, Dixon Head Honda Attack as Indianapolis 500 Practice Opens

  • Jay Howard, Scott Dixon move to the top of the Honda speed chart in afternoon session
  • Marco Andretti tops Honda effort in opening practice
  • Tuesday the first of four practice days prior to Indianapolis 500 qualifying this weekend

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (May 15, 2018) – Returning veteran Jay Howard led the way for Honda Tuesday in Opening Day practice at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, in preparation for the May 27 102nd running of the Indianapolis 500.

Joining the Honda-powered Schmidt Peterson Motorsports effort again this year in a one-off effort, Howard posted a best lap speed of 224.518 miles per hour in warm and humid conditions during the second of two full-field practice sessions today. Marco Andretti led the way for Honda in the opening practice, from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m., and finished the day sixth overall.

Scott Dixon, pole qualifier for last year’s “500”, slotted in between Howard and Andretti on the speed chart, fifth. In all, 34 of the 35 drivers in the field took to the 2.5-mile oval today in an incident-free day halted for 30 minutes by a passing rain shower just after 4 p.m.

Practice activities continue through Friday, with qualifying action to set the field of 33 on the historic 2.5-mile oval scheduled for Saturday and Sunday.

Scott Dixon (Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) 5th on the Opening Day speed chart: “I think it was a good first day in the PNC Bank car. Opening Day here at Indianapolis is always such a cool deal. The track gets turned over from the road course to the oval, and then you know it’s time to go to work for the 500. We spent the majority of the time today making changes, going out, coming in, and working on the balance of the car.”

Marco Andretti (Andretti Autosport Honda) 6th fastest in Tuesday practice: “To be honest, we still have a lot of work to do on the 98 car. The car has an imbalance at the moment. We need to resolve that issue before we can be satisfied, but I have a good crew behind me and I know they’ll be able to listen to my feedback and give me a more comfortable car tomorrow. Luckily it’s only day one and we have three more days of practice before we qualify.”

Indianapolis 500 Opening Day Practice

Circuit:                             Indianapolis Motor Speedway (2.5-mile oval), Indianapolis, IN

2017 Winner:     Takuma Sato (Andretti Autosport) 156.395 mph average

Weather:           Mostly cloudy, humid, 83 degrees F

Indianapolis 500 Opening Day Top-10 Results:

Ps. Driver       Team Manufacturer Best Speed Notes
1. Simon Pagenaud Team Penske Chevrolet 225,787  
2. Helio Castroneves Team Penske Chevrolet 224.665  
3. Ed Carpenter Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet 224.523  
4. Jay Howard Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda 224.518
5. Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing Honda 224.353  
6. Marco Andretti Andretti Autosport Honda 224.217  
7. Sage Karam Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Chevrolet 223.998  
8. Charlie Kimball Carlin Racing Chevrolet 223.921  
9. Gabby Chaves Harding Racing Chevrolet 223.640  
10. Zach Veach Andretti Autosport Honda 223.551  

Other Honda-powered Results:

11. Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport Honda 223.488  
14. Takuma Sato Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda 223.305  
16. Robert Wickens-R Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda 223.133  
17. Sebastien Bourdais DCR with Vasser-Sullivan Honda 222.960  
18. Ed Jones Chip Ganassi Racing              Honda 222.848  
21. Carlos Munoz Andretti Autosport Honda 222.701  
33. Oriol Servia Scuderia Corsa/RLLR Honda 222.697
23. Stefan Wilson Andretti Autosport Honda 222.524  
24. Alexander Rossi Andretti Autosport Honda 222.471  
26. James Hinchcliffe Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda 221.900  
27. Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda 221.671
28. Jack Harvey Michael Shank Racing Honda 221.500
31. Zachary Claman De Melo-R Dale Coyne Racing                 Honda 221.089  
33. Conor Daly Dale Coyne/Thom Burns Honda 215.926  
34. Pippa Mann Dale Coyne Racing                 Honda 214.731