The top two qualifiers for the 104th running of the Indianapolis 500, Marco Andretti and Scott Dixon, made headlines in Sunday afternoon practice for different reasons.
Andretti, who beat Dixon to pole earlier in the day, only turned 27 laps in the two-and-a-half-hour session, yet managed to post the fastest single lap of the session (224.122 mph, 360.689 km/h).
Dixon, however, stole the spotlight when he crashed leading onto the front straight.
The Honda-powered #9 required repairs after the New Zealander spun onto the front straight and made contact with the outside wall and then the inside pit wall.
Dixon, who was finishing his fifth lap when he crashed, managed to get out of the car on his own and explained afterwards: “Just getting up to speed, turned in, got a little wider than normal, kept turning.
“There’s actually a big bump there and I hit the bump, put more lock in, and then the rear just came around.”
<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>.<a href=”https://twitter.com/scottdixon9?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@ScottDixon9</a> goes around and hits the wall in <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/Indy500?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#Indy500</a> practice.<br><br>He had qualified second for the race. Watch on NBCSN or <a href=”https://twitter.com/NBCSportsGold?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@NBCSportsGold</a>'s <a href=”https://twitter.com/IndyCar?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@IndyCar</a> Pass: <a href=”https://t.co/PqVUeFoq4g”>https://t.co/PqVUeFoq4g</a> <a href=”https://t.co/nw9SCcVr4A”>pic.twitter.com/nw9SCcVr4A</a></p>— IndyCar on NBC (@IndyCaronNBC) <a href=”https://twitter.com/IndyCaronNBC/status/1295093102420660226?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>August 16, 2020</a></blockquote> <script async src=”https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” charset=”utf-8″></script>
The Chip Ganassi Racing crew repaired the car less than an hour later and Dixon not only returned to the track, but was the first into the 223 mph (358.884 km/h) bracket later in the session.
Andretti ended up fastest ahead of Team Penske’s Helio Castroneves, with Dixon third.
The session saw the turbos dropped back to the race day boost of 1.3-bar, as well as race day aerodynamic levels, as drivers looked to run in traffic and in race trim.
Chevrolet entries enjoyed a better day, with three-time Indy 500 winner Castroneves just behind Andretti on the single lap timesheets as four Chevrolet-powered runners finished in the top 10 overall.
Castroneves’ Australian teammate Will Power, the 2018 race winner, was only 13th fastest ahead of stable-mate and reigning series champion Josef Newgarden (20th) and last year’s Indianapolis 500 winner Simon Pagenaud (23rd).
Two-time Formula 1 champion Fernando Alonso (11th) and Arrow McLaren SP teammate Pato O’Ward (eighth) both turned 115 laps, more than anyone else in the session.
The final chance for drivers to acclimatise to the race day setups will come in a two-hour session on Carb Day this Saturday (Friday local time), ahead of Monday’s race (Sunday local time).