By: Spencer Neff
May 21, 2021
Today, the 35 entrants vying for a spot in the Field of 33 for next Sunday’s 105th Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge began preparations for this weekend’s Qualifying in earnest.
After being given 90 extra horsepower through a turbocharger adjustment, speeds climbed to their highest all week.
Here’s a look at how the last full day of practice before qualifying played out.
Dixon leads the way
Using a tow with other cars on track, points leader and 2008 Indianapolis 500 winner Scott Dixon ran a best lap of 233.302 mph (38.5766 seconds) on the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Speedway, Indiana.
As he looks for his fourth “500” pole, Dixon will be the first to make a qualifying attempt on Saturday.
Finishing just .0858 of a second back of the NTT INDYCAR SERIES points leader was Andretti Autosport with Curb-Agajanian’s Colton Herta.
Dixon’s CGR teammates Tony Kanaan, Marcus Ericsson and Alex Palou rounded out the Top Five sweep for Honda.
Arrow McLaren SP was the best among the Chevrolet’s with 2020 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year Pato O’Ward in sixth. O’Ward also topped the non-tow speed charts for Chevrolet in 3rd.
Overall, Andretti Autosport’s Alexander Rossi had the best no-tow lap. The 2016 Indianapolis 500 winner ran a best lap of 231.597 mph (38.8606).
After a hard practice crash and a trip to Methodist Hospital, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s Santino Ferrucci was cleared this morning and finished the day 14th overall (9th on the non-tow chart).
The session was stopped just twice and there were no incidents. With practice wrapped, the focus turns to qualifying.
Day 1 of Qualifying begins tomorrow with an hour of practice time split between two groups at 9:30 a.m. EDT.
At 12:00, four-lap qualification attempts will begin and last until 5:50 p.m. When Saturday’s attempts are finished, the Top 30 cars will be locked into the Field of 33.
The nine fastest drivers will advance to Sunday’s “Fast 9 Shootout” to determine the NTT P1 Award winner and first 3 rows for next Sunday’s race.
Cars that qualify 10-30 will not run additional qualifying attempts on Sunday. Prior to the run for the pole, the slowest five drivers in the field will compete to fill out the 11th row of 3 on Sunday afternoon in the “Last Row Shootout”.
Stay with IndyCar1909.com for all the latest regarding the Indianapolis 500 and check out our social media accounts for photos and videos from IMS this week.
Header Image By /INDYCAR