Indy 500 Practice Day: Newgarden on Top, Larson Shines, Rookies Finish Training

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Newgarden fastest in rain-shortened first day of Indy 500 Open Test

The opening practice session for the Indianapolis 500 saw defending champion Josef Newgarden set the pace with a flying lap of 228.811 mph, establishing himself as an early contender on the 2.5-mile superspeedway.

Kyle Larson, the reigning NASCAR Cup Series champion, impressed with the second-fastest time of 226.384 mph, as he prepares for his inaugural Indy 500 appearance alongside his NASCAR commitments on Memorial Day.

Scott Dixon, the 2008 Indy 500 winner, and six-time IndyCar Series champion, piloted his No. 9 Chip Ganassi Racing Honda to the third-fastest time at 226.346 mph.

Alex Palou, the reigning IndyCar Series champion, followed closely behind Dixon in fourth place with a lap of 226.201 mph, demonstrating consistent competitiveness for Chip Ganassi Racing.

Indy 500 Practice Day
Indy 500 Practice Day (Credits: IndyCar)

Despite light running in the afternoon before rain interrupted proceedings, Colton Herta of Andretti Global managed to secure the fifth-fastest time overall with a lap of 225.907 mph, leading the afternoon session among 21 competitive drivers.

The top 10 was rounded out by Scott McLaughlin, Ed Carpenter, Kyle Kirkwood, Christian Rasmussen, and Felix Rosenqvist, with no incidents reported throughout the day, except for necessary track inspections or moisture-related stoppages.

All six drivers participating in the Rookie Orientation Program and Refresher completed the required phases, with Marco Andretti leading the group and finishing with the 17th fastest time overall, followed by Katherine Legge and Pietro Fittipaldi.

Rookies Christian Rasmussen, Nolan Siegal, and Kyffin Simpson also completed the program, with Rasmussen and Simpson logging the most laps by the end of the day, while Ryan Hunter-Reay and Callum Ilott had fewer laps, ending up 34th and 27th overall, respectively, in terms of speed and track time.

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