Opening Day has Helio on top of the Speed Charts

By Michael Hogg
Speedway, IN

On a day that has a Driver who is going for his 4th win to join the ranks of AJ Foyt, Al Unser Sr and Rick Mears, Helio Castroneves led the Speed Chart after the opening day of practice for the 102nd Indianapolis 500 with a lap of 224.665.

The day was highlighted with the return of Danica Patrick who was 18th on the Speed Chart with a lap of 222.728. When she talked about her return she said: “I am glad that the test was moved to 2 weeks ago compared to 6 weeks ago. It felt good to be by myself and I was able to spend some time behind Ed today during the practice.”

While she is still feeling her way back here after a 7-year absence, Patrick, stated that “It did feel good today but I still have a ton of work to do especially with the short amount of time this week.”

Adding to the speeds that Team Penske was able to produce was when Simon Pagenaud turned a Lap at 225.787 during the Veterans portion of the Practice this morning.

With the condense practice sessions which is a huge help with the new start time, this could be beneficial for the Drivers.

When asked about his day today, Simon Pagenaud felt really good about the car, but said, “There is a lot of things to still go through with the Daily Checklist.” Pagenaud added, “Each day is going to be different as no one knows what could the day brings as it could be Weather Related or Mechanical issues.”

Towards the end of the Press conference, Patrick was asked if she were to win the Indianapolis 500 would she consider coming back to defend her Championship. Patrick was quoted as saying, “I would NOT come back. “I would have never thought that I would be back here to run this race, but I am glad that I have had the experience of driving in the Indianapolis 500.”

Practice for the 102nd Indianapolis 500 resumes tomorrow morning at 11 a.m.

 

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