Hot Temps Make For Big Challenge For Drivers In Fast Friday Practice

SPEEDWAY, Ind. — Fast Friday proved to live up to its name as drivers took advantage of having an extra boost of horsepower in order to try and trim out their cars in preparation for qualifying for the Indianapolis 500.

The hotter than usual conditions proved challenging for many drivers, while others were able to find some consistent speed.

The Honda cars clearly had the pace on Friday as the Chevy cars took a little longer to find speed.

Marco Andretti was the overall fastest car with a speed of 233.491, but the objective of the day was to be able to put together the best sequence of four laps with out an aerodynamic tow from a car ahead.

“We were really focused on getting laps along, but someone pulled out in front of us and figured I’d just run with the tow,” Andretti said of his fast lap. “We had a pretty solid four-lap run later, that’s what I really care about for tomorrow.”

Andretti’s best four-lap run Friday was 230.057. His teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay had the best run at 231.263.

The troublesome point for drivers today were the track conditions during a hot August afternoon. Hot track temperatures made the track slick.

“The condition at the end was so hot that you actually had to add a lot (of downforce),” said Will Power, who was 11th quickest. “It became evident that it would very tough to put four full laps together.”

After practice was the draw to decide the qualifying for Saturday. The Rahal-Letterman-Lanigan drivers of Graham Rahal and Takuma Sato were lucky and drew the top two spots in the order.

Andretti was not so lucky picking 28th. The hope among the drivers to get a run in as early as possible on Saturday before track temperatures get too hot.

On Saturday, positions 10-33 will be set for race day. The fastest nine drivers on Saturday will then go again on Sunday in the Fast 9 shootout for the pole. Qualifying starts at 11:00 a.m. and will run until 5:00 p.m. that evening.

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