MAY 21, 2018 Savannah Bratcher
Indianapolis 500: Final Week Practice Report
INDIANAPOLIS—The final practice before Carb Day proved to be a temperamental day for the AJ Foyt Racing team. Each driver found issues early on in the practice session, but fortunately, all three moved in the right direction by the conclusion of the three hour session.
After finishing Pole Day as the fastest rookie qualifier, Matheus “Matt” Leist began his day with electrical problems that limited his practice time. “Tough day,” the rookie said. “We had a lot of problems with the car that caused us not to be able to run much. The issues left us with only 30 minutes to turn laps in traffic.” He turned 19 laps in his No. 4 ABC Supply Chevrolet. However, the problems have not deterred his focus on the upcoming 500-mile race. “Now, it’s time to just focus on the race. I want to get the car fixed and be as prepared as possible for race day.”
Veteran Tony Kanaan spent today’s practice session improving his No. 14 ABC Supply Chevrolet. “Today was a busy day. With the rain this morning, we only had two and a half hours,” shared the 16-time Indianapolis 500 starter. After some early issues, the No. 14 crew worked to find a solution. “In the beginning, we struggled, but at the end of the session, we found something that worked for us.” That solution landed the veteran in second on the timing and scoring pylon with a speed of 225.123 mph.
Even though he finished two days of practice in second place, Kanaan is determined to make his Chevrolet even better for the Indianapolis 500. “We have a lot of work left to do,” the veteran said. “Luckily, we still have Carb Day. I thought we were going to have an easier Carb Day, but we’ve got a lot to figure out on Friday.” With a few days off, the No. 14 team will work diligently to improve the car for one final practice.
Although he jumped the most positions between the first and second days of qualifying, James Davison struggled today to find a set up that worked for him. “Today was a challenging day for us,” the 32-year-old Australian said. “We just got a little lost on car setup trying some things.” The No. 33 Jonathan Byrd’s 502 East team spent the practice session working through a number of set ups to perfect the Chevrolet for race day.
After pulling an all-nighter Friday night to repair the No. 33, Davison’s team has proven that they will not quit. Unhappy early in the session, the team worked to improve the car and make the Australian driver more comfortable. Much like his teammates, time wasn’t on his side. “Ultimately, we ran out of time once we started heading in the right direction. From here on it’s important to us to ensure that we’re in the [correct set up] window on Carb Day.”
The AJ Foyt Racing drivers will have a few days away from Indianapolis Motor Speedway before they return for one final 60-minute practice on Carb Day (Friday) at 11 a.m. ET. Friday’s practice will be broadcast on NBCSN and live streamed at racecontrol.indycar.com. On Sunday, the coverage of the 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500 will begin at 11 a.m. ET on ABC-TV.