The Jay Graves Report

Windy conditions slow practice at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway! “Off the Pace”

Ed Carpenter reviewing notes after he puts up fastest time during practice on 3rd day. Photo: Seymour Tribune

It was a slow day literally and figuratively at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Wednesday. Only fourteen drivers hit the track in the six-hour practice session with Chip Ganassi driver Scott Dixon topping the speed charts at 222.599 MPH.

Drivers who didn’t participate in practice still used the session as a time to practice their pit stops for race day. Eight drivers who weren’t officially counted as practicing on Wednesday took a lap on the 2.5 mile course for pit stop practice.

Dixon’s top speed of the day was 4 MPH slower than Marco Andretti’s 226 MPH that was recorded during Monday’s practice and it can be attributed to the extremely windy conditions in Central Indiana Wednesday.

Dixon was the only driver that had a press conference and was very open about what he and what his team was trying to accomplish for Wednesday’s practice session.

“We tried to get through some big-ticket items. We weren’t real happy with the car yesterday across the board. Actually, with all four cars, we’ve been struggling. We had some ideas we needed to try, and actually today felt a lot better than yesterday. That’s a good improvement.”  

“If you had a car that you could learn something from today, it adds to what you can maybe use later in the week and maybe for race day,” he said. “But to be honest, today doesn’t mean anything.”

While the practice meant very little in preparations for this weekends qualifying, it was not a total loss for collecting data and experience in less than ideal conditions for qualifying and the race itself.

 

“You don’t need to amp up too much in conditions like this,” he said. “It takes care of itself pretty quickly. … In every condition, you’re going to have to try something. If it’s windy or warm come race day, the stuff we did today should help.”

Hopefully teams can get in more work on Thursday afternoon if the rain that’s scheduled to come in holds off.