Simon Pagenaud set the fastest time on Carb Day at Indianapolis as the cars made their final on-track appearance before Sunday's 500-mile race.
Schmidt Peterson driver Pagenaud moved to the top of the timing screens in the final minutes with a 225.827mph effort, bettering the 225.304mph lap that had been laid down by Andretti's EJ Viso a few minutes earlier. Reigning IndyCar champion Ryan Hunter-Reay claimed the third-fastest time.
The morning was an encouraging one for Honda, which recovered from being routed in qualifying last week to get six cars into the top 10. Prior to Viso's lap, Honda entrants had held sway, with Ganassi's Dario Franchitti and Scott Dixon occupying the top spot for much of the session.
"The car is really good in race trim. We are really happy with the way it used up the tires, the way it goes through its stints," related Pagenaud. "Honda has done a lot of work before qualifying and after qualifying, and Honda's racing mentality is to go racing and that's exactly what they're doing. They provided us with an engine that is clearly a lot better, so it's a good sign for the race. The car is up there. It's good for HP, and it's good for Honda."
Ana Beatriz caused a brief stoppage when she was caught out by a slow-moving Carlos Munoz while trying to enter the pits and ran into the back of the Andretti car, earning herself just enough damage to sideline her from the rest of the session.
There was also a spot of late drama when Ryan Briscoe's car suddenly slowed on the back straight just after the checkered flag. The Ganassi driver steered it toward the grass verge, whereupon it immediately caught fire. Safety teams were quick to respond and the situation was quickly brought under control.