Marcus Ericsson leads CGR 1-2 in Thursday Indianapolis 500 Practice

By: Spencer Neff
May 17, 2023

Thursday Practice Results Combined Practice Results

As he looks to become the sixth driver to repeat as winner of the Indianapolis 500 on May 28, Chip Ganassi Racing’s Marcus Ericsson found himself atop the leaderboard when Thursday’s six-hour practice session concluded at the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Ericsson led the 34-car field with a best lap of 229.607 mph (39.1974) on the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He was the only driver to best the 229.439 mph-lap turned in by teammate Takuma Sato in yesterday’s practice.

Duplicating his performance from yesterday, fellow teammate and 2008 race winner Scott Dixon concluded the afternoon .072 of a second back from his teammate.

2019 pole and race winner Simon Pagenaud was third for Meyer Shank Racing with Team Penske’s Will Power (2018) made it a quartet of former race winners atop the speed chart.

Power, who is still in search of his first “500” pole to add to his series-record of 68. The 2022 NTT NDYCAR SERIES Champion has yet to record a pole win this season after winning five in 2022.

Of the four rookies in the running for their debut at the “500”, Juncos Hollingern Racing’s Agustin Canapino was the best. The driver of the No. 78 entry was 15th overall (226.648-39.7091)

Canapino during Thursday’s practice (Joe Skibinski/INDYCAR)

Although there were no caution flags for on-track incidents, Arrow McLaren’s Pato O’Ward and Abel Motorsports rookie RC Enerson nearly collided on pit exit. Thankfully, neither driver was affected from the dust-up.

Top No-tow Speeds: Ericsson breaks up Chevrolet lead

For much of the first two days of practice for the 107th Indianapolis 500 presented By Gainbridge, the no-tow chart was led by the Chevrolet-powered entires, mainly those from Ed Carpenter Racing and Team Penske.

Late in the six-hour practice, Ericsson showcased his team’s single-car speed, when he turned a best lap of 224.414 mph (40.1044). The Kumla, Sweden native was one of six drivers to eclipse the 224 mph barrier on a no-tow lap in practice today, the first six to do so in any session this week.

No-tow laps are measured as being completed without another car 10 seconds ahead or less.

Following Ericsson was Power, with Santino Ferrucci of A.J. Foyt Racing in third as he looks to make his fifth start in the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing”.

Although “Fast Friday” practice with the qualifying-level boost will provide a much better assessment of where the field stands for qualifying, the speeds from the first two days could provide something of a barometer for the weekend.

Best Trap Speeds:

Image By Chris Owens/INDYCAR

Yesterday, Dreyer and Reinbold Racing’s Ryan Hunter-Reay was quickest in all five speed traps. On Thursday, Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden matched Hunter-Reay’s feat as he looks to make his 12th start in this race. Newgarden’s trap speeds were as follows:

Start/Finish Line: 239.095 mph

Turn 1:237.017

Turn 2:228.958

Turn 3:235.313

Turn 4:227.969

Up Next

Tomorrow will see teams finalize their preparations for this weekend’s qualifications. All 34 cars will be given additional turbocharger boost prior to the noon-6:00 p.m. ET session.

At 6:15 p.m., teams will draw for their initial spot during Saturday’s opening round of Time Trials. The 34 teams will draw in finishing order from the “Fast Friday” practice.

 Streaming is available via with Timing and Scoring (including IndyCar Radio) from race, the INDYCAR app powered by NTT DATA and SiriusXM Channel 160. 

IndyCar1909 is on site at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and will have continued updates for each on-track session. Check out our social media channels for even more content. 

Header Image By Chris Jones/INDYCAR


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