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Dixon Tops 229 on Rain-Shortened Opening Day at Indy – Speedway Digest – Home for NASCAR News

Short, but still speedy.

Persistent rain curtailed the opening day of practice May 14 for the 108th Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, as the 2.5-mile oval was open for just 23 minutes, until 9:26 a.m. ET. Showers intensified during the afternoon, preventing any more laps.

SEE: Practice Results

Speeds were impressive despite the brief session. Six-time NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion Scott Dixon led at 229.107 mph in the No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda. 2020 “500” pole sitter Marco Andretti was second at 228.399 in the No. 98 MAPEI/Curb Honda fielded by Andretti Herta w/Marco & Curb-Agajanian. Both Dixon and Andretti benefited from aerodynamic tows as morning traffic was brisk while teams eyed the leaden skies.

Two-time Indy 500 winner Takuma Sato was third at 225.551 in the No. 75 AMADA Honda of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing. Pato O’Ward was fourth – and the fastest Chevrolet-powered driver – at 224.993 in the No. 5 Arrow McLaren Chevrolet.

Christian Lundgaard ended up fifth at 223.844 in the No. 45 Hy-Vee Honda, as Rahal Letterman Lanigan was the only team with multiple cars in the top five.

Just 219 total laps were turned before the rain arrived, with 29 of the 34 entries on track and no driver exceeding 13 laps.

2021 NASCAR Cup Series champion Kyle Larson managed just two laps in the No. 17 Hendrickcars.com Arrow McLaren Chevrolet before the rain. Larson, Racing for Arrow McLaren/Rick Hendrick, is attempting to become the fifth driver to complete the “double” of Racing in the Indianapolis 500 and the NASCAR Cup Series’ Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on the same day. Kurt Busch was the last to achieve the feat, in 2014.

“It’s good to finally have the Indy 500 here,” Larson said. “I’ve known about this (double attempt) for a couple of years now, so it’s been a lot of waiting. Just happy to get this experience underway. The weather is getting in the middle of things today, but once we get through today, it should be good.”

This is the second consecutive year rain hampered the first day of practice. Last year’s opening day was a washout, with no laps turned.

Practice is scheduled to resume from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. ET Wednesday. PPG Presents Armed Forces Qualifying is this Saturday and Sunday, with Race Day on Sunday, May 26.

NTT IndyCar Series PR

Speedway Digest Staff
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