This 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 is going to be one for the record books, and not just for obvious reasons. The whole field was putting on a show for the packed stands today, going two and three-wide down the stretches with racy maneuvers reminiscent of a choreographed dance, showing fluidity, natural talent, and learned skill. The drivers barreled down the front stretch with the intensity of a freight train.
Tony Kanaan, 2013 winner of the Indy 500, ran quickest today averaging a solid mile and a half faster than the field at 226.280mph. This is good news for Chip Ganassi Racing, as all of their cars failed to make the Fast Nine in qualifying last weekend and haven’t placed extremely high numbers in practices throughout the month.
The driver of the No. 10 NTT Data Chevy spoke on this saying,
“…after the struggle in qualifying, we really focused, me and Dixon, on the race and I think you can see both of us up there. You know, anybody count us out, it’s a big mistake. But it will be more exciting for the fans.”
That is an understatement! This track is unpredictable, and therefore the race takes on the same nature. Kanaan even made comment yesterday on how what they do as a team in preparation and in the car during the race, are not the only determining factors to how the Indianapolis 500 turns out, “I think this track will pick the winner. Whatever she picks, it’s going to be a very lucky (driver). So I’m trying to massage the track a little bit, talk to her nicely and then see if she will pick me on Sunday.” Kanaan starts from P18 on Sunday. His single Indianapolis 500 win came in 2013 when he battled from P12 to victory lane.
Running behind Kanaan was Andretti Autosport driver Carlos Munoz. Munoz has history with this track going back to 2013, when he was given the opportunity to race in the ‘500’ as an Indy Lights driver. He ended up stunning the field, with a P2 qualifying outcome and a podium finish of the same position. Munoz moved up to a full-ride in IndyCar with Andretti Autosport in 2014 after finishing third in the Lights standings for 2013.
Munoz is piloting the No.26 United Fiber & Data Honda this weekend and starting from P5, between his Andretti teammate Townsend Bell (No. 29 California Pizza Kitchen/Robert Graham Honda) who has put up impressive lap times throughout the month of May and Team Penske driver Will Power (No. 12 Verizon Chevrolet). Power garnered the series Championship in 2014 but like his opponents that he shares Row 2 with, he has yet to secure an Indy 500 win.
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