May 24, 2024 | By IndyCar

Dixon, Honda Drive to Top of Miller Lite Carb Day Practice at Indy

Photo by IndyCar photo

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Scott Dixon led the Miller Lite Carb Day final practice for the 108th Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge on Friday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, as Honda-powered drivers turned the qualifying form chart upside-down with two days remaining before “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”

Six-time NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion Dixon, who won this race in 2008, was fastest at 227.206 mph in the No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda. It was the ninth time in the last 10 years Dixon ended up in the top four on the speed chart in the final practice.

SEE: Practice Results | Starting Lineup

Dixon will start a career-low 21st in the race Sunday (11 a.m. ET, NBC, Universo, Peacock, INDYCAR Radio Network) but is confident he can climb through the field to contend for a long-awaited second “500” victory.

“We rolled off pretty good,” Dixon said. “It was a good day. The car seems pretty fast, pulls up well, pretty consistent.

“I think you have to take the moment as it is. You don’t want to rush it too much (with early-race passes). We’ve got some positions to make up. Hopefully move up as quick as possible. I’d like to pass all 20 cars (in front of me) on the first lap, but that’s probably not going to happen.”

Chevrolet-powered drivers captured the top eight spots on the starting grid last Sunday during PPG Presents Armed Forces Qualifying, including the Team Penske trio of Scott McLaughlin, Will Power and Josef Newgarden sweeping the front row, respectively. But Honda-powered drivers rebounded during the two-hour practice Friday on the 2.5-mile oval, taking seven of the top 10 spots on the speed chart.

Four-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves raised expectations for a record-breaking fifth victory Sunday after ending up second at 226.939 in the No. 06 Cliffs Honda fielded by Meyer Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian. Castroneves, at 49 the oldest driver in the field, is starting 20th Sunday in his only race of the season.

“These boys are doing a phenomenal job,” Castroneves said. “They don’t look a bit like one-offs (one start this season). It’s just like me: As you get older, you get better – just like fine wine. Great job.

“We’re going to have some work to do in the race, but the whole vibe is incredible.”

Pato O’Ward, who qualified eighth, was the top Chevy driver in final practice at 226.666 in the No. 5 Arrow McLaren Chevrolet. Colton Herta continued his strong performance in traffic during practice at this event by ending up fourth at 226.220 in the No. 26 Gainbridge Honda of Andretti Global with Curb-Agajanian.

Rookie Tom Blomqvist, who starts 25th, rounded out the top five at 225.450 in the No. 66 AutoNation/Arctic Wolf Honda fielded by Meyer Shank Racing, as the team put all three of its cars in the top eight in the session. Felix Rosenqvist, starting ninth, was eighth at 225.310 in the No. 60 AutoNation/SiriusXM Honda.

Pole sitter McLaughlin was 20th at 224.264 in the No. 3 Pennzoil Team Penske Chevrolet. Power, starting second, was 21st at 224.253 in the No. 12 Verizon Business Team Penske Chevrolet. Reigning race winner Newgarden, starting third, was 32nd in the 33-car field at 222.847 in the No. 2 Shell Powering Progress Team Penske Chevrolet.

All 33 cars were on track during a practice filled with passing and thick traffic, turning a combined 2,721 laps in the busiest session of the month despite lasting only two hours.

The session was slowed by just two cautions, one for debris and one for a tow-in for heralded rookie Kyle Larson, whose No. 17 Arrow McLaren Chevrolet ran out of fuel. 2021 NASCAR Cup Series champion Larson, the highest-starting rookie in fifth, is attempting to complete the “double” of racing in the “500” and the NASCAR Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sunday.

“My car handling was good,” Larson said. “I didn’t suck up (aerodynamic tow) as good as I thought I did on Monday. The pit stop stuff, just kind of getting familiar with that. It’s obviously a little different than a NASCAR pit stop.

“I felt comfortable with all that. I feel like we checked off a lot of boxes before the race.”

The Public Drivers’ Meeting, at 10:30 a.m. ET Saturday, is the only official function remaining at IMS for the field of 33 drivers before the race.

Penske Extends Pit Stop Challenge Record

Team Penske won its record-extending 19th One Stop to Start Pit Stop Challenge, as driver Josef Newgarden earned his second win in the prestigious annual contest between the best Indianapolis 500 pit crews. It was the first win for Team Penske and Newgarden since 2022.

Newgarden and Team Penske earned the victory by beating Arrow McLaren and driver Pato O’Ward in the best-of-three final round, sweeping the first two rounds.

Reigning Indianapolis 500 winner Newgarden entered the pit box in the No. 2 Shell Powering Progress Team Penske Chevrolet and Team Penske’s crew changed four tires and simulated fueling in 11.333 seconds in the first round, edging O’Ward and the No. 5 Arrow McLaren Chevrolet crew’s time of 12.121 for service.

In the second round, Team Penske and Newgarden completed its stop in 10.792, the quickest of the entire contest. Arrow McLaren and O’Ward trailed at 12.647.

Newgarden’s crew earned a $50,000 prize for the victory, while O’Ward’s Arrow McLaren crew earned $25,000 for its runner-up finish.

Members of the winning team: Chad Gordon, chief mechanic/outside front tire changer; Caitlyn Brown, inside front tire changer; Kyle Lapier, inside rear tire changer; Keenan Watson, outside rear tire changer; Derrick Ruppert, fueler; Tom Jones, air jack. Brown is believed to be the first female crew member to be a part of the winning team.

The last time a driver swept the Pit Stop Challenge and Indianapolis 500 in the same year was 2009, when Helio Castroneves of Team Penske achieved the feat.



INDIANAPOLIS, iNS. – INDYCAR has informed race teams of procedural updates ahead of the 108th Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge. During this morning’s drivers’ meeting, teams were made aware of:

The dashed white line from the exit of Turn 4 to the pit entry attenuator will be officiated for Sunday’s race. Cars that have left-side tires past the dashed line will be penalized unless entering the pit lane, for incident avoidance or in an obvious attempt to avoid a closed pit lane and return to the racetrack.
In accordance with INDYCAR penalty guidelines, INDYCAR can impose penalties that include:

Drive-through penalty
If at the conclusion of the race, a time penalty equal to a drive-through penalty
If under yellow condition, the car is ordered to the rear of the restart lineup
Consistent with its use at other NTT INDYCAR SERIES events, EM Motorsport light panels positioned around the track will illuminate all flag conditions, including green, to supplement the traditional cloth flag waved at the start-finish line for both starts and restarts. The EM Motorsport light panels are mounted in addition to the traditional track condition lights used at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Restart procedure:
In collaboration with NTT INDYCAR SERIES teams and drivers, the 2024 restart line designated in the last corner will not be implemented at the “500.”
As in previous years, cars may begin racing (including passing) at the declaration of a green condition.
The 2024 INDYCAR rulebook will be updated to reflect these changes later today.

The 108th Indianapolis 500, round five of the 2024 NTT INDYCAR SERIES championship, is Sunday, May 26. Coverage begins at 11 a.m. ET on NBC and Peacock with a Spanish-language version available on Universo. The award-winning INDYCAR Radio Network is available on SiriusXM channel 218 and the INDYCAR App powered by NTT DATA.


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