Scott McLaughlin, driver of the No. 3 Pennzoil Team Penske Chevrolet, led Team Chevy and the NTT INDYCAR SERIES field with a fastest speed of 229.493 mph at the checkered flag of the second day of Indianapolis 500 practice.
McLaughlin’s teammate Will Power, driver of the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, followed in second with his fastest speed of 228.767 mph to give the Bowtie brand lead of the top two positions on day two.
Chevrolet finished with four in the top-five, five in the top-seven, and six in the top-10 at the conclusion of Wednesday’s practice session.
A total of 2,084 laps were turned overall on Wednesday, with Chevrolet completing 979 laps at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Thursday’s practice at Indianapolis Motor Speedway has been extended to accommodate for shortened days due to inclement weather, with Chevrolet drivers and teams on track from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

TEAM CHEVY TOP-10 PRACTICE RESULT:

Pos. Driver

1st Scott McLaughlin (229.493 mph)

2nd Will Power (228.767 mph)

4th Josef Newgarden (227.675 mph)

5th Alexander Rossi (227.484 mph)

7th Pato O’Ward (226.965 mph)

9th Ryan Hunter-Reay (226.490 mph)

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING (Quotes);

Pato O’Ward, No. 5 Arrow McLaren Chevrolet:

“The No. 5 Arrow McLaren Chevrolet feels good. I ended the day really happy with the car. Obviously, the rain hasn’t cooperated in a perfect manner these first couple days, but it’s just part of the process sometimes. I’m looking forward to tomorrow when we’ll get more running in; it looks like it’s going to be a beautiful day. With the rain in the forecast for Fast Friday, our focus tomorrow will probably be on getting our qualifying car setup in a good place.”

Callum Ilott, No. 6 Arrow McLaren Chevrolet:

“It was a pretty productive day, and it was nice to get some proper running in, as well. The car feels good; it’s very comfortable. We’ve been working hard and chipping away at it. There are a couple of clear things that we need to look at overnight, and hopefully we can sort that out for tomorrow, but I think overall, it’s not a bad start.”

Alexander Rossi, No. 7 Arrow McLaren Chevrolet:

“I think we got through a lot of what we were trying to do. We were getting close to completing everything. That’s the way it goes. I think the Arrow McLaren cars are in a really good window. I think Chevy has done a good job with some of the developments in the offseason. We feel good.”

Kyle Larson, No. 17 Arrow McLaren Chevrolet:

“There’s plenty of track time, so trying to remember that. I’m glad to have got out there and get running. Still trying to figure a lot out, and kind of work through the car balance some, timing of runs and all that. Maybe the timing of runs will becoming easier when the car balance gets better. Just trying to play around with things and try to be able to make runs and pass people like I see some others are able to pass pretty easily. There’s a lot of guys that just seem stuck, maybe. Just trying to figure that out. Overall, pretty happy with the few hours we’ve got. We’ll go back and talk to the teammates now, and listen in on what they were working through, what they felt, and if it matches up with what I’m feeling as well. Good to get out there.”

Do you feel confident in the feeling you want from the car, or is that something you’re still having to learn?

“I feel like know what I need to feel in traffic to maintain those runs, but then it’s like if you miss that a little bit or get some clean air, and then you’re now like weirdly loose, I feel like there are moments where it’s a little bit unpredictable when I feel the couple of times I’ve had a loose moment. Just talking to them and see what’s normal and all that. Tony (Kanaan) has been a great help throughout this evening in talking to him, but it would be nice to hear what the guys’ thoughts who were also in traffic today.”

Are you looking forward to getting a full day in tomorrow?

“I am. Sounds like there may be some qualifying trim runs, which will be interesting in seeing how that feels differently without the boost turned up. I think Friday doesn’t look good, so getting into that and keep learning.”

Ed Carpenter, No. 20 Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet:

“Today wasn’t a full day, but after an abbreviated open test and short day yesterday, it felt like a full day of running. Today went well and we were quite strong, before the conditions changed towards the end of the day. We are in a decent spot and happy with what we learned today. Looking forward to carrying on the program and hopefully the weather cooperates tomorrow.”

Rinus VeeKay, No. 21 Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet:

“It is nice to finally get some decent running in today. The first day is all about building confidence and getting the car into a window where you can follow close. We did that today and feel good after running a full stint on a set of tires. There is still time to gain and confidence to build, but I am in a happy place to finish our first official day of running. Onto tomorrow!”

Christian Rasmussen, No. 33 Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet:

“Today has been a learning process, but it’s been good. We made great strides and I am feeling more comfortable. We spent most of the day peeling out downforce and it was like we couldn’t do it quickly enough, which is a good sign. I feel good and a lot better having half a day under my belt. I am feeling confident, and I can’t wait to get into tomorrow!”

Agustin Canapino, No. 78 Juncos Hollinger Racing Chevrolet:

“It’s a very hard-working day. We tried a lot of things, but I was in clean air, no tow, so this is our work for today. Trying to get a better car for qualifying, trying to get confidence. We tried many, many different settings, so it was a good day.”

With the track so busy today, was it tough to find a clean lap?

“Every time we were looking for a hole, trying to get distance with cars in front, especially when you have a big pack of cars, it’s difficult and hard to find a no-tow lap. We did a good job, I think. Of course, I am last because I didn’t have a lap with any tow, but we learned a lot today. I think it was a good way to start the Indy 500.”

Josef Newgarden, No. 2 Team Penske Chevrolet:

“It’s great. I love this place. It’s always a privilege to run an Indy car around here. I very much felt that the last couple of years. I’ve just tried to enjoy the opportunity. It’s just cool to be here in an Indy car. To win it, is a whole other thing and I’m so grateful to be able to do that with Team Penske last year. Get win No. 19 for Roger (Penske). Just being here, driving the car, being able to qualify for the race, that’s a huge deal. I enjoy it. I enjoy it a little more after last year now. I love this place. It’s the best racetrack in the world.”

Will Power, No. 3 Team Penske Chevrolet:

“It can be frustrating to sit inside on the first couple days of practice for the Indianapolis 500 because of rain. You’ve been waiting to get back here for almost a year so you want to see what you have. It was good to finally get the Verizon Chevy out for a run. Very happy with the speed so far, but obviously a long way to go.”

SCOTT MCLAUGHLIN, NO. 3 PENNZOIL TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET – Wednesday Practice End of Day Press Conference Transcript:

THE MODERATOR: Wrapping up this Wednesday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway ahead of PPG presents armed forces qualifying this weekend and obviously the 108 running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge, joined by the two quickest of the day, Scott McLaughlin, P1 overall. Scott, driver of the No. 3 Pennzoil Team Penske Chevrolet, set to qualify for his fourth Indianapolis 500 a top speed of 229.493 miles an hour in the 78 laps that you turned today. Kind of a busy day for you guys in the limited time we had this afternoon.

SCOTT McLAUGHLIN: Yeah, it was a pretty busy day. Well, the start of it was pretty slow, and then once we got out there, it was hustle and bustle just getting out there and finding some space, and traffic running was probably what we were working on. Race car feels really good, basically straight out of the truck. Even yesterday when we had those limited running, I felt really good there just from a balance perspective, and just had that confidence today.

But yeah, ran some really good runs in pretty dirty air deep in the pack and was able to pass a few cars, and that’s always a good sign.

Q. So much anticipation to get out there, everyone hates waiting for the track to dry. Once you got out there, what was the feeling like?

SCOTT McLAUGHLIN: It’s awesome. So boring, there’s only so much Netflix you can watch. I was over it. I watched about three movies but then I was ready to go once we got going, and I was happy as. When the car is good straight away, that’s a nice feeling. I feel that anticipation, as well, because it is quite a bit of anticipation just getting ready to go. I think this is two years in a row we’ve lost opening day. It’s a nice feeling.

Q. What were the three movies?

SCOTT McLAUGHLIN: There was one about Wembley. It was Kevin Hart, his roast, and I can’t remember now. Survivor. I actually watched an episode of survivor. Caught up with it.

Q. Some anniversaries this year, 50th anniversary Johnny Rutherford drove that car to victory in the Indy 500, 40th anniversary that Rick Mears drove that car to victory in the Indy 500. Do you look at things like that and say maybe this is my year?

SCOTT McLAUGHLIN: No, at the end of the day Indy chooses you, as we all know. But pretty cool. I actually didn’t know about Johnny’s — 50 years since he won in this car, too. I knew about Rick, obviously. Super cool. We did some really cool stuff with that car this morning, and I think that’s going to be some really cool stuff come race week that Pennzoil are putting out.

I count myself pretty privileged to work with a guy that won 40 years ago, and I’m excited to actually add a bit of history, but at the end of the day there’s so much yet to go, and we all know, and I’ll keep working.

Q. Scott, everybody has got practice plans starting March and April, but of course the rain can always throw those away. How much have y’all been able to get through in the very limited running that we’ve had over the last few hours?

SCOTT McLAUGHLIN: Well, it’s not a huge amount at all, really. You have plans, absolutely, but they change a lot when you’re here, especially at this time of year.

I think we’re in — for me, I look at it, it’s the same for everyone. It’s not like anyone else is going out there and running. We’re all in the same box together. You’ve just got to make the most of the track time that you have, and I felt like we had a really good day today with how much we got through. We were able to sort of put the car away at 6:00 instead of running all the way to 7:00, even though the rain didn’t stop, so that was always our plan anyway.

It’s nice to be in that situation, but at the same time it can change quickly if you let it. You get a little bit complacent or whatever, so it’s important that we stick with it and keep focused, and hopefully we’re there or thereabouts.

Q. How much fun was that out there today?

SCOTT McLAUGHLIN: Always fun. It’s always fun around here.

Q. Scott, I believe if you want to include April’s open test and then the past two days, of like the 26 scheduled hours, there was only about six of green flag time. With that in mind, you had the fourth most completed laps today. Was that kind of the strategy you were looking for, just to complete a lot of laps in a limited time?

SCOTT McLAUGHLIN: Yeah, it was just a plan. We just ran through — obviously running through a lot of race trim stuff, a lot of traffic stuff. A lot of it’s also, for me, I feel like I’m improving year in, year out, and you just never stop learning. Sometimes it take a little bit to get back into the rhythm of things around here and understanding the timing, and that’s how guys like Takuma have won this race is understanding that stuff, and I’m trying to get a handle on that pretty early.

We’ll work on qualifying here tomorrow and whatnot, but at the same time, I think we’re in a lot better shape. For me mentally, just I’m a bit more focused on the right things, not being blase on the little details because it takes every little detail to be good here, and I think we made the most of our time.

Q. Scott, I see you’ve got a Kiwi contingent coming over with the Scott McLaughlin experience. Talk about that and how cool that’s going to be for you.

SCOTT McLAUGHLIN: Yeah, I think it’s just something that we just wanted to — I guess this is an amazing experience for anyone even if you’re in the States already, but anyone internationally to come and experience, and to have that option for people to come in and enjoy it from the inner sanctum with me, it’s exciting. There’s going to be people here for the whole week next week from — I think from Monday onwards, so they’re going to be doing bits and pieces throughout Indy and then seeing Carb Day, parade, concerts, all that sort of stuff.

It’s exciting. It’s cool to be able to bring a little bit of a vibe to the INDYCAR event from the New Zealand contingent and just appreciate the support from everyone, whether they’re here or not.

Q. Your fourth Indy, how are you feeling going into this one?

SCOTT McLAUGHLIN: Yeah, I feel really good. I understand the race a lot more for sure. I think you just build a bit of experience every year, and it’s just invaluable, that experience. Someone like Taku who’s done 15, you want to have that experience, but you just try and soak everything up like a sponge and understand what you want from the car, and I feel like I’ve got a pretty firm understanding of what I want from the car, especially on an oval. It’s just a matter of putting the pieces of the puzzle together, and I think I’m in that frame of mind and that experience level where I can really sort of take it to the next level. Hopefully we can do that this year.

GM PR

Speedway Digest Staff
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