Andretti Autosport continued to set the pace at the end of the sixth day of practice for the Indianapolis 500, with Carlos Munoz leading teammates Ryan Hunter-Reay and Marco Andretti for a 1-2-3 Andretti sweep of the times.
Munoz set the fastest time so far this week with his 225.163mph lap, which came during a late flurry of activity following a restart with 20 minutes of running left.
"The fastest lap was an unbelievable tow," Munoz said. "Each time [I got out], I felt more comfortable. We are improving the car, and I think right now we are really strong. But tomorrow and Saturday is another thing entirely. We will have to prepare for qualifying."
Andretti managed to get four of its five drivers into the top six in the times, with EJ Viso finishing up just behind Scott Dixon and Helio Castroneves with the sixth fastest lap.
The only Andretti driver not among the front-runners was James Hinchcliffe, who was down in 20th and admitted that he was struggling.
"Earlier in the day, we accomplished a few useful things," he said. "We had another long run that, in all honesty, proved that we have a slow car even if the handling wasn't terrible.
"But, late in the day, getting ready for our second long run, we scared ourselves with something. I'm not sure what it was, but there was definitely something amiss on the car because I couldn't even run a corner flat by myself in clean air, never mind a full lap or with traffic in the mix.
"Sometimes that happens. I'm sure whatever the culprit is, we'll diagnose it and fix it."
Eight drivers managed to post times above the 224mph mark, with speeds expected to climb higher again on Friday when the boost is turned up in preparation for qualifying.
The day was marked by the first accident of the week when Connor Daly crashed heavily at the exit of Turn 1 (see notebook). His car briefly lifted off the ground before finally coming to rest at Turn 2. The rookie was taken to the speedway's medical center, but was quickly released and cleared to drive.
"I'm just glad that the car wasn't as damaged as it might have looked flying through the air," he said. "I tried to save it, and I would have saved it if we had about another 100 yards wider.
"But I know they're going to work hard and get it all prepared, and as long as we can get out tomorrow and shake it down and make sure she's pulling in the right direction, I think we'll be fine."
Also notable was the first appearance by 1996 race winner Buddy Lazier, who began his campaign in his family-run car with a handful of installation laps toward the end of the day.
Pos Driver Team Engine Mph Time Gap
1. Carlos Munoz Andretti Chevy 225.163 39.9711s
2. Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Chevy 225.006 39.9990s + 0.0279s
3. Marco Andretti Andretti Chevy 224.882 40.0210s + 0.0499s
4. Scott Dixon Ganassi Honda 224.468 40.0948s + 0.1237s
5. Helio Castroneves Penske Chevy 224.457 40.0968s + 0.1257s
6. EJ Viso Andretti Chevy 224.221 40.1389s + 0.1678s
7. JR Hildebrand Panther Chevy 224.075 40.1652s + 0.1941s
8. Ed Carpenter Carpenter Chevy 224.019 40.1751s + 0.2040s
9. Oriol Servia Panther DRR Chevy 223.995 40.1795s + 0.2084s
10. Takuma Sato Foyt Honda 223.660 40.2396s + 0.2685s
11. AJ Allmendinger Penske Chevy 223.660 40.2397s + 0.2686s
12. Simon Pagenaud Schmidt Honda 223.465 40.2748s + 0.3037s
13. Justin Wilson Coyne Honda 223.460 40.2757s + 0.3046s
14. Townsend Bell Panther Chevy 223.182 40.3259s + 0.3548s
15. Dario Franchitti Ganassi Honda 222.818 40.3918s + 0.4207s
16. Will Power Penske Chevy 222.383 40.4708s + 0.4997s
17. Tony Kanaan KV Chevy 222.165 40.5104s + 0.5393s
18. Sebastien Bourdais Dragon Chevy 222.130 40.5169s + 0.5458s
19. Tristan Vautier Schmidt Honda 222.020 40.5369s + 0.5658s
20. James Hinchcliffe Andretti Chevy 221.887 40.5611s + 0.5900s
21. Charlie Kimball Ganassi Honda 221.886 40.5614s + 0.5903s
22. Simona de Silvestro KV Chevy 221.776 40.5815s + 0.6104s
23. Alex Tagliani Herta Honda 221.584 40.6166s + 0.6455s
24. Ryan Briscoe Ganassi Honda 221.414 40.6479s + 0.6768s
25. Sebastian Saavedra Dragon Chevy 221.315 40.6661s + 0.6950s
26. Pippa Mann Coyne Honda 221.241 40.6797s + 0.7086s
27. Josef Newgarden Fisher Honda 221.152 40.6960s + 0.7249s
28. Conor Daly Foyt Honda 220.780 40.7646s + 0.7935s
29. James Jakes Rahal Honda 220.676 40.7838s + 0.8127s
30. Graham Rahal Rahal Honda 220.555 40.8061s + 0.8350s
31. Ana Beatriz Coyne Honda 219.930 40.9221s + 0.9510s
32. Buddy Lazier Lazier Chevy 106.867 1:24.2170s + 44.2459s
All cars Dallara DW12