Palou Tops Post-Qualifying Indianapolis 500 Practice Session

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(Photo Credit: Matt Fraver / Courtesy of IndyCar)

Alex Palou caps off an exciting day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the top speed in the practice session after he qualified sixth for the Indianapolis 500. Sitting atop yet another session this May, Chip Ganassi Racing prove once again that they are the team to beat with all four cars inside the top five in the session. As teams prepare for “The Great American Race”, this session was filled with exciting pack racing and practice for green flag pit stops.

Thirty minutes into the session Team Penske‘s struggles continued as a caution was put out for Simon Pagenaud blew an engine on the frontstretch. He will not lose his qualifying spot for changing an engine, but he did lose an hour and a half of valuable practice time. Pagenaud said that he still believes that he “has a hot rod” despite this unfortunate issue.

Marcus Ericsson went second fastest on the day, while Tony Kanaan and Scott Dixon finished fourth and fifth quickest respectively. Slowly but surely since the beginning of the week, Ganassi cars have consistently worked their way to the top of the time sheets and put down fast laps when it counted most in qualifying. This team has so much pace, and it would not be surprising to see one of their faces on the Borg Warner trophy next.

The man that split all the CGR machines was Conor Daly of Ed Carpenter Racing, who finished third fastest and finishes in the top five yet again in a practice session. With his teammates Rinus Veekay and Ed Carpenter inside the fast nine in qualifying, ECR might be another team to watch for an upset win come next Sunday.

The defending Indianapolis 500 winner Takuma Sato finished the session in sixth with his Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing teammate Graham Rahal right behind him in seventh place. After both finished on the podium last year, they have their work cut out for them this year as they start in the middle of the pack in fifteenth and eighteenth respectively.

Stefan Wilson of Andretti Autosport was the best of the Indy 500-only entrants in this session, finishing eighth fastest. He was joined by fellow Indy-only Andretti driver Marco Andretti, who finished the session in tenth place.

Splitting the Andretti cars much like Daly did Ganassi was Felix Rosenqvist of Arrow McLaren SP, who finished the session ninth fastest. His teammates Juan Pablo Montoya and Patricio O’Ward finished the session sixteenth and twenty-fourth respectively.

Teams will now get a well earned break, and are scheduled to return to the track next Friday, 28 May, for the final practice session of the month. “Carb Day”, as it’s known, will take place at 1100 EST / 1600 BST.

2021 Indianapolis 500 Practice 8 Official Results

110Alex PalouESPChip Ganassi Racing225.649
28Marcus EricssonSWEChip Ganassi Racing225.632
347Conor DalyUSAEd Carpenter Racing225.453
448Tony KanaanBRAChip Ganassi Racing225.431
59Scott DixonNZLChip Ganassi Racing224.802
630Takuma SatoJPNRahal Letterman Lanigan Racing224.430
715Graham RahalUSARahal Letterman Lanigan Racing224.376
825Stefan WilsonGBRAndretti Autosport224.209
97Felix RosenqvistSWEArrow McLaren SP224.085
1098Marco AndrettiUSAAndretti Herta-Haupert w/ Marco & Curb-Agajanian223.843
1112Will PowerAUSTeam Penske223.565
121JR HildebrandUSAA.J. Foyt Enterprises223.531
1327Alexander RossiUSAAndretti Autosport223.455
1414Sebastien BourdaisFRAA.J. Foyt Enterprises223.446
153Scott McLaughlin (R)NZLTeam Penske223.212
1686Juan Pablo MontoyaCOLArrow McLaren SP223.099
1745Santino FerrucciUSARahal Letterman Lanigan Racing223.055
1824Sage KaramUSADreyer & Reinbold Racing222.953
1929James HinchcliffeCANAndretti Steinbrenner Autosport222.754
2018Ed JonesUAEDale Coyne Racing w/ Vasser-Sullivan222.670
214Dalton KellettCANA.J. Foyt Enterprises222.569
2260Jack HarveyGBRMeyer Shank Racing222.487
2321Rinus VeeKayNEDEd Carpenter Racing222.444
245Pato O’WardMEXArrow McLaren SP222.336
2520Ed CarpenterUSAEd Carpenter Racing222.277
262Josef NewgardenUSATeam Penske222.138
2759Max ChiltonGBRCarlin221.970
2822Simon PagenaudFRATeam Penske221.683
2926Colton HertaUSAAndretti Autosport221.410
306Helio CastronevesBRAMeyer Shank Racing221.348
3151Pietro FittipaldiBRADale Coyne Racing w/ Rick Ware Racing221.250
3228Ryan Hunter-ReayUSAAndretti Autosport221.201
3316Simona De SilvestroSUIParetta Autosport220.604
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Lifelong sports junkie, currently studying Broadcast Journalism at Hofstra University. Lead writer for Indycar at The Checkered Flag.
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