Monday is in the books at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and for the second time in three days, Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing rookie Josef Newgarden led the speed charts. Another big tow helped propel him to the fastest lap turned at IMS thus far, 222.486mph, and the top 10 drivers all clocked in at over 220.
"I think a lot of people did (go faster) in the end," Newgarden said. "It looks like everyone was trying to race runs, and we kind of jumped in, as well. It was a lot of fun. It was good to run out there with the guys, and I think we need to do more of that probably and figure out how the car operates in the draft a little bit."
Andretti Autosport teammates Ryan Hunter-Reay and Marco Andretti were next; Andretti registering his fastest lap of the month at 221.599 for third. Sunday leader Sebastian Saavedra stayed relatively close in P5 at 220.785, with James Hinchcliffe 10th and Ana Beatriz 13th to complete the quintet of Andretti entries.
Several teams could still hit 218s on their own, Takuma Sato among them consistently running in that range for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing. Teammate Michel Jourdain Jr. had his first opportunity to work with his race engineer Bruno Couprie, who had been in Monterey on American Le Mans Series duty over the weekend with RLL's BMW M3s.
Meanwhile, at the bottom of the charts, it was an improved day for Jean Alesi, who completed his final phase of rookie orientation for this year's Indianapolis 500, with a best speed for both himself and Lotus of 211.516. Alesi is receiving guidance from 1996 Indianapolis 500 champion Buddy Lazier, who last started the race in 2008. Fellow Lotus runner Simona de Silvestro was among those who didn't run on Monday.
Graham Rahal had an engine failure toward the end of the session. It was the first actual on-track engine problem although engines have been in the news this month, with Dragon Racing attempting to figure out what engines it will have to power its two cars, plus the turbo boost increase slated to happen later this week.
In all, 29 drivers recorded 1,199 incident-free laps on the famed 2.5-mile oval. Indianapolis 500 practice continues on May 15 from noon - 6 p.m.
Pos Driver Team/Car Speed
1. Josef Newgarden Fisher DW12-Honda 222.486
2. Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti DW12-Chevrolet 221.639
3. Marco Andretti Andretti DW12-Chevrolet 221.599
4. Scott Dixon Ganassi DW12-Honda 221.499
5. Sebastian Saavedra Andretti DW12-Chevrolet 220.785
6. JR Hildebrand Panther DW12-Chevrolet 220.677
7. Dario Franchitti Ganassi DW12-Honda 220.453
8. Oriol Servia Panther/DRR DW12-Chevrolet 220.304
9. Takuma Sato Rahal DW12-Honda 220.090
10. James Hinchcliffe Andretti DW12-Chevrolet 220.006
11. Tony Kanaan KV DW12-Chevrolet 219.761
12. Justin Wilson Coyne DW12-Honda 219.508
13. Ana Beatriz Andretti DW12-Chevrolet 219.447
14. James Jakes Coyne DW12-Honda 219.038
15. Ryan Briscoe Penske DW12-Chevrolet 218.970
16. Helio Castroneves Penske DW12-Chevrolet 218.728
17. Will Power Penske DW12-Chevrolet 218.562
18. EJ Viso KV DW12-Chevrolet 218.345
19. Bryan Clauson Fisher DW12-Honda 218.334
20. Simon Pagenaud Schmidt DW12-Honda 218.240
21. Townsend Bell Schmidt DW12-Honda 218.143
22. Wade Cunningham Foyt DW12-Honda 217.786
23. Graham Rahal Ganassi DW12-Honda 217.477
24. Alex Tagliani BHA DW12-Honda 217.455
25. Mike Conway Foyt DW12-Honda 216.873
26. Rubens Barrichello KV DW12-Chevrolet 216.724
27. Ed Carpenter Carpenter DW12-Chevrolet 216.511
28. Michel Jourdain Jr. Rahal DW12-Honda 215.790
29. Jean Alesi Fan Force DW12-Lotus 211.516