Jay Howard: “I still can’t believe we’re top of the charts”

Jay Howard was fastest on day four at Indianapolis - Credit: Matt Fraver / IndyCar

Jay Howard admitted that setting the pace on the fourth day of practice for the 101st Indianapolis 500 was ‘like a dream’, but the British racer still knows there is work to be done to have a good month of May.

The Schmidt Peterson Motorsport driver, racing in conjunction with retired NASCAR star Tony Stewart’s Team One Cure this month, set the best lap seen so far this week at 226.744mph, and he said it was a good feeling to see his name at the very top of the time charts.

“This is like a dream right now,” said Howard. “I don’t know if I’m going to wake up tomorrow and it’s all gone. I still can’t believe we’re top of the charts; feels good.

“We all had confidence coming into this, but this is obviously a very good start. We still have a lot of work to do.”

Howard is competing for the first race in an IndyCar since 2011, but attributes his strong start to the few laps he was able to at the oval at Gateway Motorsports Park at the beginning of the month, which made him comfortable in the car.

“[I] just got back in the groove of things,” said Howard. “[It was] kind of like riding a bike, you know, you don’t forget. Definitely, St. Louis was a big help for me, to go out at Gateway and do a few laps there, knock the rust off, just get used to those high speeds again.

“Yeah, this place just as magical as it was last time I was here.”