Honda Drivers Post Eight of Top Ten Speeds Thursday at Indianapolis
• Jay Howard records fastest lap of the day and week
• Fernando Alonso ends day fourth overall, fastest rookie
• Eight Honda drivers, all five Honda teams represented among top ten
SPEEDWAY, Ind., (May 18, 2017) – Speeds increased Thursday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as practice continued in preparation for the May 28 Indianapolis 500, and Honda’s Jay Howard led the way for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, with his best lap of 226.744 mph both the fastest of the day and the week to-date.
Wind gusts, which had affected the last two days of practice, lessened considerably around the historic 2.5-mile “Brickyard” today, leading to 23 of the 33 drivers in the field running their fastest laps of the week-long practice during Thursday’s six-hour session.
Following Howard on the Thursday speed chart in second through fourth were Andretti Autosport teammates Ryan Hunter-Reay, Marco Andretti and two-time Formula One World Champion Fernando Alonso. Chip Ganassi Racing’s Charlie Kimball ended the day seventh quickest, with Honda drivers Orlol Servia, of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, and Dale Coyne Racing’s Sebastien Bourdais rounding out the top 10.
Pre-qualifying practice activities conclude on Friday, with qualifying action to set the field of 33 for the 101st Indianapolis 500 scheduled for Saturday and Sunday.
Jay Howard (#77 Sam Schmidt Motorsports Honda) fastest in Thursday practice: “It was a fantastic day. I can’t thank everyone involved enough – it feels like a fairy tale start. I feel like I’m in a dream and I’ll wake up tomorrow with it gone. Let’s keep this rolling. A big thank you to [primary team owner] Sam [Schmidt], the Schmidt Peterson guys, Honda, Team One Cure – everyone. I couldn’t ask for a better start to the month.”