SPEEDWAY, Ind. (WISH) — The Indianapolis Motor Speedway expected fireworks on Friday, and they arrived early behind a boost in turbo for the 33 drivers vying for the 104th Indianapolis 500.
The speeds, particularly before noon Friday, turned back the clocks to the late 1990s. 233.4 mph? Yes, that reading is correct.
Marco Andretti pulled off the fastest lap of the day (233.4 mph) and, in the process, posted the fastest lap ahead of qualifying at Indianapolis since 1996.
“It is a drivers dream, honestly to get to today,” Meyer Shank Racing driver Jack Harvey said. “Fast Friday is always such a cool day. It is nice when your engine provider, Honda, gives you more power.”
“Even today, we are like, ‘That is great, do you have anymore power?’”
Well, yes Mr. Harvey, in fact Honda did.
The manufacture dominated the speed charts Friday as Team Penske and Chevrolet struggled to find consistency.
With the turbo boosted above levels seen in recent years, Andretti Autosport’s Colton Herta tried to describe the scene in the cockpit to race fans at home.
“For the average fan, it would be like if you were going 50 miles per hour on the freeway and then all of a sudden you are going 100 miles per hour,” Herta said. “It is that big of a change.”
As for Marco Andretti, he was surprised to learn his speed on Friday topped all race cars at Indianapolis over the past 24 years.
“Is that right?” Andretti said. “That is a pretty cool stat. But, I want the Borg Warner (Trophy) though (laughs). I think right now, we got over the biggest hurdle and that is speed.”
The one ride deemed too fast this week?
Santino Ferrucci’s four wheeler he attempted to take from the garage area to the pits — before he was stopped by a watchful Indianapolis Motor Speedway yellow shirt.
“We knew that there was a driver with a four wheeler that was not registered to be going back and forth,” IMS Yellow Shirt Bill Schnackle said.
After a brief conversation, Ferrucci parked the four wheeler for the rest of the week.
“Thankfully, he went peacefully, and I didn’t have to get physical,” Schnackle joked.
Even on Indianapolis’ fastest day in over two decades, you can’t speed everywhere at the Racing Capital of the World.