Ed Carpenter tops group of five drivers over 220 mph in first Indy practice
By WIlliam LaDow Post-Tribune correspondent May 11, 2013 11:12PM
The "Wing and Wheel" logo of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is shown on the sidewall on one of the front tires of the car driven by Dario Franchitti, of Scotland, on the opening day of practice for the IndyCar Indianapolis 500 auto race on opening day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Saturday, May 11, 2013. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Updated: June 13, 2013 7:39PM
INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Motor Speedway opened for business Saturday with gray skies and a chill in the air.
But during the course of the afternoon, the sun shown long enough for some quality teams to post some substantial speeds as they began the long, arduous task of readying themselves for qualifying beginning on May 18. By the end of the day, the 220-miles-per-hour mark had been broken by five drivers from five different teams.
The fastest speed of the day was recorded by Ed Carpenter in his Chevy-powered No. 20 car at 220.970 mph. Next was second-year driver Josef Newgarden at 220.920 mph, followed by Andretti Autosport rookie Carlos Munoz at 220.720 mph, Charlie Kimball at 220.663 mph and Alex Tagliani at 220.248 mph.
“We had a good race and a good car in the race, but really I have bad memories from last May because we struggled a lot and we weren’t prepared,” Carpenter said. “I think the whole team was really determined to come in prepared this year and they’ve done that.”
Of the 13 drivers who put their cars through the paces, three were Indy 500 rookies who completed the speedway’s Rookie Orientation Program prior to their running in full practice.
AJ Allmendinger was the first to complete the ROP. He was followed by Tristan Vautier and Munoz. The three drivers completed the ROP program in 90 minutes of the allotted two-hour window.
The only Indy 500 rookie yet to participate in the ROP is Conor Daly, who is in Barcelona, Spain, where he finished in third place in Saturday’s GP3 race. Upon his return stateside, Daly will complete his ROP on Monday.
In other news at IMS, the qualifying field was increased to 35 entries (for the 33 spots on the grid;) when Sam Schmidt announced he will now be involved with three entries in this year’s race, as he filed an entry for the No. 99 car (no driver yet named.) Schmidt will also field the No. 55 and No. 77 cars. All will be Honda-powered.