Takuma Sato took to the track early in his No. 14 ABC Supply car and quickly demonstrated why the day before Pole Day has been dubbed Fast Friday. It took just 11 laps for him to post his fastest lap of the day—and the month—with his 227.038 mph run. Ranking tenth overall in practice, he was the second quickest Honda-powered car, just .042/second slower than Dario Franchitti.
Conor Daly’s No. 41 ABC Supply car was scheduled to be back on the track at 4 p.m. as the ABC Supply team worked until midnight and was back in the garage at 6 a.m. to repair the car following Daly’s mishap yesterday. Unfortunately, thunderstorms cut practice short just after 3 p.m. Athough Daly didn’t get any laps in today, he will have a chance to practice tomorrow morning before qualifying begins at 11 a.m.
“It's obviously not ideal that it's raining, I just got my suit on to go back out and unfortunately, we can't,” Daly said as torrential downpours soaked the Speedway and surrounding area. “At least we have a bit of practice tomorrow morning to get more comfortable with the car and get back to normal. So, it should be good, I'm confident and we'll just see what happens.”
Sato’s 227 mph lap is his fastest of the month to date. “Today was quite straightforward,” said the current IZOD IndyCar points leader. “On Fast Friday, we have higher boost and only look for the qualifying set up. After the first run, we made some good progress and the second run was quite satisfying. We were not able to explore more due to the rain but I think we're in quite good shape. We'll review the details tonight and fine-tune the ABC Supply car tomorrow morning to prepare for qualifying. It was short but quite a good day."
At 5 p.m. the qualifying draw to determine the order in which cars line up to attempt to qualify was held in the media center due to the inclement weather. Both of the ABC Supply/Foyt Racing drivers benefitted from a lucky draw: Sato will be the second driver to attempt to qualify while Daly will file out eighth to make his four lap qualifying run.
The fastest 24 cars will be locked in by 4 p.m. Saturday, with the top nine of those 24 cars doing an oval track version of the Firestone Fast Six (or Fast Nine in this case). From 4:30 to 6 p.m., the top nine cars can have three attempts to shoot for the $100,000 pole position. The remainder of the 33-car field will be determined on Sunday or Bump Day.