Indy 500 practice, day two 

Day one — quick. Day two – rain.

click to enlarge Marco Andretti in practice on Monday - MIKE WILLIAMS
  • Marco Andretti in practice on Monday
  • Mike Williams

Today is day two of practice for next weekend’s Indianapolis 500. With rain forecast throughout the day it’s hard to tell exactly how much track time we will see. Yesterday’s practice session was dominated by Andretti Autosport. Andretti drivers took the top four spots on the speed chart for day one.

Speeds reaching nearly 229 are surprising to see early in the practice week, and Andretti really seemed to be in Fast Friday form. “As a team, because of weather, we kind of accelerated our program and moved some things forward that we had planned for the end of the week. I think that’s why we look pretty stout right now,” said Marco Andretti after day one practice was complete.

Andretti driver Alexander Rossi finished fourth on the speed chart with a speed of 226.865. This was Rossi’s first time turning laps on the famed oval of Indianapolis Motor Speedway. “It felt fast. It was definitely eye-opening in terms of not having any kind of prior comparison to a place like this,” said Rossi on his first experience on the oval. He never experienced an overwhelming moment yesterday, he added that it happened when visiting the track recently. “I had that moment when I came here about a month ago and was wandering around and in the stands and saw the track from a very different perspective.”

1996 race winner Buddy Lazier turned seven laps in his return to the track. Lazier is expected to make his 19th start next weekend. Lazier admitted to dealing with some electrical issues, but said that was to be expected. "We're just getting sorted out. Early in the session we worked on some electrical gremlins, and then we did basic set-up stuff. It feels great to be back in the car. The track is in great shape. It's a fresh car and the first time we're all working together, and on the first day these things are to be expected. We're only getting started,” said Lazier.

If cars do make it to the track today, speeds aren’t expected to reach 229 as they did yesterday. There were a lot of cars running in late week form yesterday and cars driving in packs. We don’t generally see this until closer to qualifying and race day. The cars did look to handle well in traffic. This year’s race is shaping up to be a memorable if day one of practice is any indications.

The track has been seeing light rain most of the day and the track will need to be dried before cars can begin taking laps. Practice will run until 6 p.m. this evening.

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