Indy 500 Practice Report: Opening Day
INDIANAPOLIS (May 17, 2022) -- The first day of practice for the Indianapolis 500 went off without incident as two of AJ Foyt Racing's three entries found themselves in the top half of the grid.
Dalton Kellett logged 97 laps and paced the team with a top speed of 225.836mph, good for 13th in the speed ranking.
"Overall, I think we had a pretty productive first day here at Indy," said the 28-year-old Canadian. "I think we ended the day more towards the front end of the timesheets from where we've been in the
past so that's a good improvement. The balance of the car when we rolled of the truck was a bit on the free side. We made some changes, went to an alternate package that we wanted to try and that seemed to really help the comfort in the car and then we made another change that was really helpful. Now working on the front end of the car, having it be more consistent behind cars where you can time the run and not get the front washing out on you too much. From a setup standpoint, i think we've been doing some good investigations today. Happy to see the no. 4 K-line car a little closer to the front and hopefully we can keep chipping away at it. But it's the first day of the month so there's still a lot of work to be done."
J.R. Hildebrand, who is driving the oval tracks in the No. 11 Chevrolet for AJ Foyt Racing, debuted the patriotic Homes For Our Troops livery on his car which spent most of the day in the top-10 but ended up 14th with a top speed of 225.813mph after 79 laps of practice.
"Altogether a pretty good day," said Hildebrand, the Californian who makes his home in Boulder, Colo. "It's always great to be back here. We definitely made some progress. We came in to the real month of May here--especially after the test--sort of knowing at least to some degree as much as you can know around this place, what we needed to work on from a handling perspective. We made a lot of progress over the course of the month last year-through practice, qualifying, carb day and the race, but I think by the end of the race, we thought we might be boxed into a little bit of a corner here in terms of needing to try some different things as opposed to just tweaking on the car. We came here with a list of ideas in terms of how we might accomplish that and got through enough of those today to feel like okay we got some different feelings from the car, maybe some better ones and definitely enough to give us some direction to get more of what we need for the rest of the week."
Rookie Kyle Kirkwood logged the fewest laps -- 49 -- of the three Foyt entries and posted a top speed of 224.705mph for a 21st speed ranking in the No. 14 ROKiT Chevrolet.
"The first thing we noticed when we went out is that IndyCar did a good job of fixing the transition lane--it's all back to normal now," said Kyle Kirkwood.. We got through a ton of test items, there were no big mistakes made by anyone today so that's always important in testing. I think all three of us dispersed in different directions on setup and have now reconvened on what we need to do for the next couple of days and see what we've learned with other things and try and match a setup up that could be good for all of us. We all feel quite happy with the car, it's not a long ways off. We're able to run in traffic and able to run pretty decent laps in no-tow as well."
The top speed of the day was posted by two-time Indy 500 winner Takuma Sato, whose 228.939mph lap was over one mile an hour faster than second fastest Scott Dixon. Rounding out the top five were: Jimmie Johnson, Marcus Ericsson and Rinus Veekay.
Practice resumes on Wednesday from 12 noon to 6 p.m. ET and can be followed on Peacock Premium which is streaming the daily practice sessions at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.