SPEEDWAY, Ind. (May 15, 2014) – Team Penske showed its speed Thursday in the penultimate full day of practice for the 98th running of the Indianapolis 500 by recording three of the eight fastest laps, including the fastest of the day.
Three-time Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves led the field with a lap clocked at 39.6186 seconds - 227.166 mph - in the No. 3 Pennzoil Ultra Platinum Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet.
“The weather dropped a lot today, but right now the car is handling really well,” said Castroneves. “Certainly the draft counts a lot here and I feel very confident in the Pennzoil No. 3 machine, so right now we will keep going and keep working. Right now, I really like what I have, but tomorrow we will go to the boost and you are going to see big numbers up there again."
Will Power, who leads the Verizon IndyCar Series standings, had the third-fastest lap - 225.889 mph - in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet.
"The No. 12 Verizon Chevrolet had a good day today,” stated Power. “After our engine change yesterday, we went out there and had a few good qualifying runs today. The weather created some tough conditions with it being so cold, but we got what we needed done and we're getting where we need to be for qualifying."
Juan Pablo Montoya, who won the Indy 500 in 2000, posted the eighth-fastest lap - 224.782 mph - in the No. 2 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet.
“We ran out the miles on our first engine this morning and had an engine change this afternoon,” said Montoya. “The guys on the No. 2 Verizon Chevy did a really quick job on that to make sure we got as many laps as we could afterwards. Now we are starting to understand a little bit of what we need for qualifying; just trying to get the basics of how the car feels in that trim. We’ll start taking more downforce off to get ready for the weekend.”
Team Penske is looking forward to the increase in horsepower for the Fast Friday practice, with top lap speeds possibly reaching 230 mph.
“We are really looking forward to tomorrow to see those numbers keep going higher,” continued Castroneves. “I think 229 or 230 (miles per hour)...it's possible."
Practice begins Friday at 12:00 pm ET. Indianapolis 500 pole qualifying will start Saturday at 11 am ET.