Honda Racing–Hunter-Reay Leads Honda Effort as Indianapolis 500 Practice Begins

• Opening Day for Indy 500 preparation, qualifying set for May 17-18 
• Oval practice follows 1-2 Honda finish at Saturday’s Grand Prix of Indianapolis

Ryan Hunter-Reay led the way for Honda and his Andretti Autosport team in Opening Day practice Sunday for the 98th running of the Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama race winner posted the fifth-fastest speed, an average of 222.124 mph, as 24 drivers took to the historic 2.5-mile oval in the first of six days of practice in preparation for the Memorial Day weekend classic.

E.J. Viso, substituting for an injured James Hinchcliffe, recorded the sixth-fastest speed in his Andretti Autosport Honda.  Hinchcliffe sustained a concussion when struck by debris from a collision ahead of him on the track during Saturday’s inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis on the speedway’s infield road course.  He will undergo further medical evaluation later this week.  The Grand Prix was won by Honda’s Simon Pagenaud, with Hunter-Reay finishing second. 

Other Honda-powered drivers to run today at the speedway included Kurt Busch – the former NASCAR champion making his first attempt at the “500” – Marco Andretti and Carlos Munoz, all driving for the five-car Andretti Autosport organization; Schmidt Peterson Motorsports’ Jacques Villeneuve, making his first appearance since winning the “500” in 1995; Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s Graham Rahal and Oriol Servia; Josef Newgarden and Alex Tagliani, both driving for Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing; and A.J. Foyt Racing’s Takuma Sato and Martin Plowman.

Practice at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway continues through Friday.  First-round qualifying for the coveted Indy pole takes place on Saturday, May 17, with live television coverage on ABC.