Upstart Indy 500 Team Finds Speed, Consistency in Fast Friday Practice

News from Abel Motorsports

Driver RC Enerson makes laps on Day Three of Indy 500 Practice. Photo courtesy Lumen Digital Agency: Richard Dole

Upstart Indy 500 Team Finds Speed, Consistency in Fast Friday Practice

Next Up: Qualifying on Saturday


First-year Indy 500 entrant ABEL Motorsports of Louisville, KY and driver RC Enerson faced plenty of pressure in the week of preparation leading up to Saturday’s qualifying round for the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing”.   But the new squad responded with a strong “Fast Friday” of practice and now is gearing up

for a successful bid to make the 500 field.

The Chevy-powered team posted the day’s 30th best lap of 231.242 mph, and a best four-lap simulated qualifying run of 230.203 mph.  34 cars are entered and the fastest 33 will make up the field on May 28th for the 107th Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge.

26-year-old rookie driver RC Enerson knew his team faced long odds.  “I think today was tough.  I think there were a lot of people off their game early.  A lot will change for tomorrow.  We learned a lot today, and we’ll probably come with a whole different downforce setup for tomorrow.   That last run was decent and now we’ll just go back to work for tomorrow morning”.   

Team Manager John Brunner noted, “it was nice to put 4 laps together at the end of the session.  We need to be a little faster than that, but our problem earlier was consistency over a 4-lap run for qualifying.  That last run was encouraging.  We just need to find a little speed now.   There’s more in the car; we put a little more downforce in for that last run to find the consistency.   We can take a little bit out and make a little more mechanical grip for tomorrow, and that’ll be the key.”

Team Principal Bill Abel wrapped up the day by drawing the 16th position in the qualifying order for his #50 team and driver Enerson.   That could well be an advantage.  The earlier qualifying position should provide better track conditions thus improving the team’s odds of making the 500 field.    

The ABEL Motorsports #50 team will have a half-hour of practice Saturday morning at 8:30 AM before qualifying starts at 11:00 AM ET.   The team’s Saturday goal is to make the top 30 on speed, thus avoiding any chance of being bumped from the 500 field on Sunday.