Rookie Munoz tops Indy 500 practice
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Rookie Carlos Munoz shot to the top of the speed chart in Indianapolis 500 practice Thursday with a lap at 225.163 mph, the fastest through the first six days of practice.
The Andretti Autosport driver turned the fast lap in the final 10 minutes of practice.
“I think everyone has been impressed with Carlos and his speeds so far,” teammate E.J. Viso said.
Defending series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay was second in 225.006.
Munoz and Hunter-Reay joined teammate Marco Andretti (225.100), and Helio Castroneves (225.075) as the only drivers to top the 225 mark.
Three of the top four practice speeds have been recorded by Andretti Autosport drivers.
“I have a great team behind me,” Munoz said. “I knew that we were going to be competitive. I really didn’t expect to be this comfortable in the car as I am right now.”
“Wait until qualifying,” Viso interrupted, smiling.
“Yeah, we have to focus on qualifying for sure,” Munoz said. “Every team is going to be a whole lot quicker.”
Earlier in the day, rookie Conor Daly wrecked his car coming through the first turn, the first crash of the month at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Daly came around the first turn, got a little high and spun into the outside wall. The No. 41 car skidded down the track and at one point flew on its side between turns one and two before coming back down. Daly climbed out of the car and didn’t appear to be seriously injured. Track safety officials said he was checked and cleared to drive.
The 21-year-old Noblesville, Ind., racer drives for A.J. Foyt. He raced twice last weekend in Spain and didn’t make it onto the track for practice until Monday.
Andretti was the third-fastest Thursday in 224.882. Target Chip Ganassi’s Scott Dixon was fourth in 224.468, Team Penske’s Castroneves was fifth in 224.457 and Viso was sixth in 224.221.