By: Spencer Neff
August 14, 2020
Following a relatively tame pair of opening practices, the 2020 edition of “Fast Friday” practice saw even higher speeds. As the NTT IndyCar Series gears up to qualify for the 104th Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge, here were some of the headlines from today’s on-track activity.
- As was the case on Wednesday and Thursday, Honda was the engine to beat in Friday practice. This time, Andretti Herta Autosport with Marco Andretti and Curb-Agajanian driver Marco Andretti led the way with a best lap of 233.471 mph. For the 2006 Rookie of the Year, it is the second time in three years he has earned top speed on Fast Friday.
- For the no-tow speeds, Andretti Autosport teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay topped the speed charts with a best lap of 232.124 mph. Overall, the 2014 Race Winner was third.
- Despite Honda sweeping the Top 9 spots on the no-tow charts, Ed Carpenter Racing’s Conor Daly finished second to Andretti overall today. Last year, Daly drove for Andretti and was first on Fast Friday.
- Following a long night of repairs, Arrow McLaren SP was able to get Fernando Alonso back on track. Following his early pace, look for Alonso to be competitive on Race Day, even if he qualifies further back in the back.
- Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s Graham Rahal drew the top speed. Given Honda’s advantage so far added to cooler temps early in the day, look for him to be among the contenders for the Fast 9.
- Drawing 33rd, Dreyer and Reinbold Racing’s JR Hildebrand will look to reverse Chevrolet’s fortunes.
- Although my Thursday prediction for pole speed may have been way off, I’ll venture again to say this year’s pole speed will not top 232 mph.
Here is the qualifying order for tomorrow:
1. Graham Rahal
2. Takuma Sato
3. Dalton Kellett
4. Rinus VeeKay
5. Jack Harvey
6. Scott Dixon
7. Spencer Pigot
8. Pato O’Ward
9. Josef Newgarden
10. Will Power
11. Sage Karam
12. Alexander Rossi
13. Fernando Alonso
14. Ryan Hunter-Reay
15. Zach Veach
16. Marcus Ericsson
17. Oliver Askew
18. Felix Rosenqvist
19. Ed Carpenter
20. James Hinchcliffe
21. Ben Hanley
22. James Davison
23. Alex Palou
24. Santino Ferrucci
25. Conor Daly
26. Charlie Kimball
27. Simon Pagenaud
28. Marco Andretti
29. Tony Kanaan
30. Colton Herta
31. Max Chilton
32. Helio Castroneves
33. JR Hildebrand
With all that said, here are my predictions for the starting lineup-
Row 1: Scott Dixon, Alexander Rossi, Ryan Hunter-Reay
Row 2: Colton Herta, Connor Daly, Jack Harvey
Row 3: Marco Andretti, James Hinchcliffe, Josef Newgarden
Row 4: Graham Rahal, Ed Carpenter, Rinus VeeKay
Row 5: Takuma Sato, Will Power, Simon Pagenaud
Row 6: Zach Veach, Helio Castroneves, Tony Kanaan
Row 7: Charlie Kimball, Santino Ferrucci, Spencer Pigot
Row 8:Felix Rosenqvist, Alex Palou, Patricio (Pato) O’Ward
Row 9:Marcus Ericsson, Oliver Askew, Sage Karam
Row 10: James Davison, JR Hildebrand, Fernando Alonso
Row 11: Dalton Kellett, Max Chilton, Ben Hanley
Thank You for stopping by IndyCar1909. Look for coverage of qualifying tomorrow, including a preview of the Fast 9 run for the pole.
Header Image By Walter Kuhn/IMS Media