O’Ward tops final practice ahead of Indy 500

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Credit: NTT Indycar Series

Arrow McLaren SP driver Pato O’Ward ended the final practice session for the 104th Running of the Indianapolis 500 fastest as the only driver above the 225mph barrier.

The 21-year-old Mexican will start the 500 from the outside of the fifth row in fifteenth but was much more impressive on Carb Day than he had been during qualifying.

With this being the last track time anyone will get before the green flag drops on Sunday, everyone was very keen to get as much running in as possible with Marcus Ericsson the first to complete over 100 laps.

Sitting in second, both on the grid and in practice, was Scott Dixon who has looked like the man to beat all month and he surprised no one in being at the sharp end when the chequered flag flew.

Alexander Rossi was third fastest but perhaps more importantly, he was the first driver to call it a day with just under ten minutes of the session remaining. He was very satisfied with his Andretti Autosport Honda.

Much of those final minutes were reserved for pit-stop practice especially for the part-time and one-off entries such as Fernando Alonso and Helio Castroneves.

Takuma Sato, like Dixon, also starts on the front row and he too was typically fast ending the day fourth quickest ahead of O’Ward’s fellow rookie teammate Oliver Askew.

The speed from Arrow McLaren SP will be a confidence booster for Alonso with 2020 perhaps being his last chance for a few years thanks to his Renault F1 move. The Spaniard starts Sunday’s race from twenty-sixth.

Zach Veach was the only disappointment for Andretti Autosport in qualifying but he was sixth fastest ahead of the lead Penske car of Josef Newgarden, Ericsson, Jack Harvey and Alex Palou who completed the top ten.

Pole winner Marco Andretti was fairly anonymous in a lowly twenty-eighth but he will remain confident as he rolls off first come Sunday.

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