Newgarden on top as focus turns to race set-up at Indy

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Josef Newgarden: Credit: Mike Harding / IndyCar

Josef Newgarden sat at the top of the time sheets as practice resumed at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Monday after the excitement of the two-day qualifying, with the focus now purely on race set-up for all thirty-three qualifiers.

A total of 2,886 laps were turned by the drivers in just three-and-a-half hours, with Newgarden, who is set to start in the middle of the front row for Sunday’s Indianapolis 500 for Ed Carpenter Racing, setting a best lap of 227.414mph early in the day as drivers spent the majority of their time on track running in large groups as they tried to understand how their car’s worked in traffic.

Former Indy 500 winners Tony Kanaan and Scott Dixon were second and third respectively for Chip Ganassi Racing, both of whom turned laps in excess of 226mph.

Sage Karam was fourth for the Dreyer & Reinbold Racing entry, while Pippa Mann took her Dale Coyne Racing entry into the fifth position, and was the leading Honda-powered driver with the first four all powered by Chevrolet.

Charlie Kimball made it three Chip Ganassi Racing entries in the top six, with Mikhail Aleshin seventh for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, while JR Hildebrand was eighth for Ed Carpenter Racing.

Alexander Rossi continued to be the leading rookie as he finished the session in ninth for Andretti Herta Autosport, while his Andretti Autosport team-mate Ryan Hunter-Reay was tenth.

For all the close action on track, it was a very clean session, with the only real talking point coming when Jack Hawksworth stopped on track with what appeared to be a blown engine on his #41 AJ Foyt Racing entry. The session was halted while his car was recovered and the trail of fluid dropped from the car was cleared up.

Alex Tagliani missed most of the session as his Foyt mechanics worked overtime to get his car repaired following his qualifying session crash on Sunday, but the Canadian veteran made it onto track with little over ten minutes remaining, and completed ten valuable laps as they tried to make up for lost time.

Drivers will now only have a hour of track time available to them on Carb Day on Friday before they head to the circuit for race day on Sunday.

Polesitter James Hinchcliffe was down in seventeenth for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, but with the top thirty being covered by less than a second, it looks good to be another close and potentially classic Indianapolis 500 for the events 100th running.

Scott Dixon & Ryan Hunter-Reay - Credit: Jim Haines / IndyCar

Scott Dixon & Ryan Hunter-Reay – Credit: Jim Haines / IndyCar

Indianapolis 500 Monday Practice Times

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