Race Report Indianapolis 500

Indy 500 Track Report - May 18 "Fast Friday"

Fast Friday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway was just that as the engines were given an increase in boost pressure which resulted in 40-50 additional horsepower and higher speeds. Chevy-powered cars claimed eight of the top 10 slots with Marco Andretti posting the fastest speed of 227.5mph. Mike Conway was 20th overall with a top speed of 224.3 mph in the No. 14 ABC Supply Honda. Driving the ECat/ABC Supply Honda, Wade Cunningham set his quickest lap of 222.8 mph in the beginning of the day's session.

Drivers will have a another chance to dial in their cars with 90 minutes of practice starting at 8 a.m. Pole Day qualifying begins at 11 a.m. The fastest 24 cars will be locked in by 4 p.m.  with positions 10-24 set at that time. From 4:30 to 6 p.m. those drivers who qualified in the top nine will have a chance to qualify for the pole or improve their position. On Sunday's Bump Day, positions 25 - 33 will be determined.

Mike Conway: “We’re as prepared as we can be. We got a few runs in today with as low downforce as we could get and the ABC Supply  car feels pretty good but we’re looking for just a little bit more speed. We wanted another mile an hour to be looking really good. Just have to try and polish the car as much as we can tonight and hope the speed comes in the morning  but right now we’re not quite as happy as we want to be. Have to go through the pit data tonight and see if there’s anything we can find there and come out stronger tomorrow.”

Wade Cunningham: “Unfortunately not. We went out this morning in the ECat/ABC Supply car and we were relatively happy in terms of times to the other guys with similar downforce level and we rolled back to the pad in the middle of the session with the goal to go back out later with low downforce level. Unfortunately there’s something going on mechanically with the car and I wasn’t able to complete a run after we went back out. So now there’s a big old question mark about where we’re going to be in our performance and where we’re going to slot in the field. After each day of positive momentum, it’s disappointing to roll into Pole Day tomorrow having probably our worst test so far. The first thing we have to do is set the car down and find out what’s going on mechanically. Until we know where the car is, we can’t really determine what’s wrong. We have a couple hours of practice tomorrow and then we can go out and make a couple of attempts so all is not lost; it’s just not the ideal situation.”

Indy 500 Track Report - May 17

The AJ Foyt Racing team enjoyed a productive day at Indianapolis as both cars were able to run race setups at the end of the day when the track was thick with traffic. Driving the No. 41 ECar/ABC Supply Honda, Wade Cunningham posted a top speed of 221.4 mph in just his third of nine laps on track today. He was seventh quickest overall. Piloting the No. 14 ABC Supply Honda, Mike Conway ran earlier in the day by himself and gained three miles per hour over yesterday with his speed of 218.7 mph. In Happy Hour traffic, Conway ran 220.9 mph which is the quickest he has run this month and was 11th on the speed chart.

Mike Conway: “We made some significant gains from yesterday to today in terms of speed; we seemed to have found a couple miles an hour. We’ve been trimming out a bit more today which obviously helped. I think to run high 218s was pretty good I think. Other cars around us seemed pretty similar, some were a little quicker so we have something to aim for. We’re glad we found more speed. We did a little bit of race setup at the end so it was nice to get a feel for what it’s like and it felt pretty good. We have to work on that as well but the main focus today was to get speed out of the car. At the end we thought we’d try running in traffic. We picked up some tows there running together.”

Wade Cunningham: “We rolled out full race setup, it was the first time we’d run full tanks so we matched tires with the fuel loads, full race downforce. We made some attempts at it yesterday but we improved the gearing a little bit for the race downforce. We were trying to get the package in the window and we were a lot closer so in the draft we were able to produce a stronger time than yesterday. I’m pretty pleased with the balance of the car. Mike did some solo running this morning to figure out if we’d made some improvements in the setup and everything and we definitely have. Tomorrow when we start working on qualifying trim we can go the direction Mike did this morning and show the same kind of gains. A positive end to the week so far.”

Indy 500 Track Report - May 16

The team found a little more speed with Wade Cunningham who also managed to to get a baseline on the race setup for the no. 41 ECat/ABC Supply Honda. Conway's no.14 ABCSupply Honda is still looking for speed. the 41 car turned 29 laps for a top speed of 219.9 mph which ended up 16th on the chart (seventh when he posted it in early afternoon). The no 14 car's quickest lap was 217.2mph after 41 laps on track. It was 25th fastest o 30 cars. Asked what he was doing for dinner, Conway quipped, "Having some fast food." The team is confident they will get things sorted out before qualifying this Saturday.

Mike Conway: [On your plans for tomorrow?] “We haven’t done any race setups and there are a lot of teams doing a bit of that today so we have to get out there and do some but at same time we have to find some speed and know what our speed is for a qualifying run. We have a lot to get through tomorrow. Friday we get a bit of a power boost so that could change things again, so tomorrow will be our best shot to get some race setups done.”

Wade Cunningham: “We made some gains today. We got an idea of where we need to be for race downforce and on the back of that you figure out what gearing you need and the kind of balance as well. We’re headed in the right direction that way. We improved the car mechanically in terms of feel and overall speed. I’d jumped up the charts and the time was really a function of being able to use a bit of gear for the draft. Hopefully making these sort of gains a few more positions tomorrow and a few more the next day and we’ll be chasing the back end of the top 10 which is our target. A relatively productive day, no major issues. And like I said earlier, if my rookie day was the worst day we have this month, we’ll have a good time.”

Indy 500 Track Report - May 15

The AJ Foyt Racing team was busy making changes -- good ones -- today and they found some speed, so there were more smiles in the garage after practice. Conway ran 29 laps with a quick speed of 218.6 mph while Cunningham ran 50 laps with a quick speed of 218.5 mph.

Mike Conway:

“We’ve been improving every day in terms of car balance and feel and slowly picking up speed. I don’t think we are quite as trimmed out as the others. Hopefully there’s still some time in our pocket that we need to explore tomorrow. We’re still figuring out this car as much as we can before we need to start going fast I suppose. The good weather has enabled us to do that."

Wade Cunningham:

“We made a few improvements later in the day. We lost some time earlier with a mechanical issue with the car that we didn’t catch until three runs in so that was unfortunate because tires and miles are so valuable.  We improved the car a little bit and the speed but it doesn’t really show in the time chart because the draft is so important to get a good time and we were under-geared so we just ran out of gearing. So basically what we ran in a draft is only slightly better than what we could run by ourselves. I think that’s why Mike and I were so close on the timesheets because we’ve got the same gear so we’re stuck at roughly the same speed. A relatively good day, a bit more positive than yesterday, and I don’t think where we are on the speedchart reflects the progress we’ve made but that’s why it’s only practice and it doesn’t count.”

Indy 500 Daily Track Report – May 13

Both Mike Conway and Wade Cunningham saw track action today at Indy. Logging 58 laps in the No. 41 ecat/ABC Supply Honda, Cunningham ran twice as many laps as Conway who ran 28 laps in the No. 14 ABC Supply Honda. Cunningham also completed the final phase of his rookie test at about 1:30pm this afternoon.

Conway’s top speed for the day was 215.725mph which was only slightly quicker than yesterday’s top speed in the No. 14.  Cunningham participated in Happy Hour and posted a 216.657mph lap--his quickest lap to date.

Conway:  “We didn’t really find any speed today but we got through quite a few changes which was good to feel what they do because it’s the first time we really explored some different areas. The ABC Supply car is better, it feels better every time we go out with the changes but we just have to find more speed. We looked for it at the end there but we went slower so we have to find out what’s going on with the rear of the car because we seem to be wearing the rear brakes and I’m sure that’s causing some drag. It could be part of it. We should be a bit quicker than we are. So we’ll explore that tonight and see what we find.”

Cunningham: “Today was productive. We struggled with rookie orientation last Thursday because we had a massive imbalance in the car which we looked at and found at the end of the day. I was a bit leery going in this morning, but from the outlap I could tell we had made improvements in the car, so I was comfortable straightaway. We had to go through the last phase of rookie orientation so we had to stay under 215. Then we started on the ecat/ABC Supply car for the day. It got hotter in the afternoon so I lost a bit of speed but we focused mostly on running by ourselves. Basically just trying to learn the car because we have no knowledge or background with the car so we’re doing basic mechanical changes and trying to find what the car needs. We weren’t setting the world on fire, we didn’t try but we made gains and I think we have a decent handle on what we need from the car and how it needs to be driven. It’s new for me and new for the team so a relatively happy day.”