Sato outpaces a strong Ganassi contingent at the last practice session of the Indianapolis 500

Two-time champion Takuma Sato led the Chip Ganassi Racing quartet at the final practice session of the Indianapolis 500 on Friday, while Graeme Rahal and Katherine Legge worked feverishly to get up to speed ahead of race day.

Sato made a quick 227.855 mph lap early in the session with teammate Scott Dixon right behind him, with pole sitter Alex Palow fourth in the speed chart. Markus Eriksson, the reigning race winner, has been keeping up with the Ganassi stable as they try to give their team owner his sixth “Greatest Show in Racing” victory.

“We’re better than most,” Ganassi said ahead of a two-hour Carb Day session. “Hopefully it will be the same in the race.”

A field of 33 cars completed 2,355 laps on a warm, sunny day, although many went offline early as the track got a little hot. At one point, Santino Ferrucci ran out of patience behind Alexander Rossi on the warm-up track and passed him, then saw Rossi drop so low to pass him on the track that his left tire was in the grass.

“The intensity has gone up. Everyone was racing today, sort of practicing how it’s going to be,” said Josef Newgarden of Team Penske, “and that’s a good thing. But there were probably some things you didn’t want to face.”

Felix Rosenquist of the powerful Arrow McLaren team, which has been edging out the Ganassi team for the past two weeks, was among those who shut it down early. Rosenquist was pleased with his car, but did not want to put it in unnecessary danger.

“We feel good,” said the Swedish rider, who was fourth a year ago and will drop from third on Sunday. “It was a little risky with people walking on the grass, so we were like, ‘Let’s park it.'”

It turned out to be a good idea. Less than 10 minutes later, Devlin DeFrancesco suffered a flat tire and sparks flew from the back of his car. He managed to keep it away from the wall and avoid further damage.

“It was an old set,” DeFrancesco said of the tires. “We’ll be fine and we’ll go to the race.”

Legge, who had a practice crash with Stefan Wilson on Monday, was still in trouble. She was given a special 15-minute session on Thursday alongside Graham Rachel, who replaced an injured Wilson on the Dreyer & Reinbold Racing entry, and a “wheezing” sound was heard in the car. Then on Friday, due to a loose tire, she stopped on the back leg.

Rahal has been buried deep in the speed chart, though the raw numbers can be misleading as drivers tune their cars differently. Some never complete a clean lap as they practice in traffic for the last time before a race.

However, it was a crucial session for Rahal, who failed to qualify in his Rahal Letterman Lanigan car last weekend. The longtime Honda racer had been doing his first laps for as long as he could remember in a Chevrolet-powered car, and Rahal had a long list of things to check. He also spent a lot of time working pit stops with a brand new team.

“I feel like we have a very good chance of doing that,” Rahal said. “I just need a few laps to figure it out. I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t think it was a good chance to win it. I don’t need trophies for participating, right? I want to win this.”


Ryan Hunter-Reay had to stop in the middle of the session when liquid began to squirt out of his car. His team determined it was a relatively minor transmission leak that needed to be fixed, but IndyCar apparently prevented the car from returning to the track.

“The guys are a little shocked that they closed us because of this. We haven’t had a single problem for the entire month,” Hunter-Reay said. “We lost an hour of training but I was very happy with the 23 car. Better to have it today than Sunday.”


Marco Andretti posted on social media that he is fine after news leaked that he was in a car accident last night on 16th Street, which goes around turns 1 and 2. However, his Lamborghini Urus was wrecked .

On the track, Andretti showed a fast lap, not inferior to Eriksson, Rosenquist and several favorites of the race.


RC Enerson, who competes in Abel Motorsports’ one-off ride, got some much-needed track time on Friday. But the newcomer also gained important experience in the pits, and he was needed. Enerson came once and nearly stopped in the wrong box, swerved at the last moment and found the right box.

“I think we have a strong car. It’s just going to be a big lesson for me,” Enerson said, explaining that he had a hard time distinguishing between the several teams in red uniforms. “I should get in the habit of looking for the box earlier.”

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