INDIANAPOLIS – “Fast Friday” dawned and lived up to its name at Indianapolis Motor Speedway as 23 cars posted single lap speeds over 230 mph and the top speed of 233.4mph was the fastest since 1996. Today the cars were given more boost for tomorrow’s qualifying and it showed.
The AJ Foyt Racing team’s only entry that topped 230mph was Charlie Kimball who posted the 16th fastest speed overall in the No. 4 Tresiba Chevrolet and was the fastest among Chevy-powered teams in the no tow ranking. The No Tow Ranking is calculated when a car does not receive the benefit of a “tow” from the car ahead otherwise known as the slipstream effect.
The teams drew for qualifying tonight and Dalton Kellett and his No. 41 K-Line Insulators USA Chevrolet won that draw as he will go out third when the track is cooler at that time of the day. Kimball is 26th to qualify while Tony Kanaan in the No. 14 ABC Supply Chevrolet will be the 29th driver to make a qualifying run.
Charlie Kimball (Fastest lap: 230.861mph, speed rank: 16th, total laps: 29): “Well it’s Fast Friday and that means we get to go fast. It was pretty challenging I think for everybody today. The track temps came up, the ambient temps came up, the wind picked up and when you’re hanging and Indy car out at over 230 miles per hour it’s a handful, it can be around here especially, but the No. 4 Tresiba Chevrolet team here at A.J. Foyt Racing I think did a really good job to maximize the car we had. We had some pretty big challenges early in the day but we made some big improvements and came out better at the end of the day so as a team I think we have a little more confidence going into tomorrow, but tomorrow’s just the first battle. It’s next Sunday we’re really working towards.”
The Tresiba crew buttons up the engine cover after making adjustments.
Tony Kanaan (Fastest lap: 229.946mph, speed rank: 24, total laps: 31): “Difficult day. I was really hopeful that yesterday, since we had such a great day, that today with the increasing of boost we were going to be competitive and we struggled today. I think a lot of the teams did, too. I think the temperatures didn’t help but we have a lot of work to do tonight. Still an awesome day to be at the track, still an awesome day to run 230 plus miles per hour. I mean it had been a while that I haven’t done that so, we’ll see what’s going to happen tomorrow. It’s going to be interesting. We have a lot of work to do.”
Kanaan gives feedback to his race engineer Mike Colliver.
Dalton Kellett (Fastest lap: 229.099mph, speed rank: 28th, total laps: 40): “Just finished up my first Fast Friday. I feel like I can finally breathe now. It was a long day of qualifying runs. Felt like we have a pretty good car in us for the four lap average. We played around with various trim levels and we were working on mechanical balance, so I think we’ve got a good compromise between outright speed and also just having the car for the entire four laps. It’s my first time going into qualifying at Indy. With my previous experience in (Indy) Lights in the Road to Indy it’s only two laps for qualifying so that four lap run does feel like it takes a long time and you really have to work your tools, work your weight jacker during the run to stay ahead of whichever way the car is going but the team’s been doing a good job and we drew third for qualifying order tomorrow so looking forward to getting on track early.”
The cars have the option to practice in the morning for 30 minutes (8:30 – 9:30). Most of the cars will not take advantage of this session because the track conditions will be too different from those when the cars will actually qualify.
The first day of qualifying takes place from 11 a.m.-4:50 p.m. (ET) Saturday. The nine fastest cars will earn a berth in the Fast Nine Shootout from 1:15-2:15 p.m. Sunday, which will determine the pole winner and the starting grid for the first three rows of the race Sunday, Aug. 23.
NBC will air qualifying from 3-5 p.m. Saturday. NBC’s NTT INDYCAR SERIES streaming platform, INDYCAR Pass on NBC Sports Gold, will cover qualifying from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday.