Fast Friday Recap: Herta Leads the Pack in Indianapolis 500 Practice

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway buzzed with high-octane energy on Friday, May 17th, 2024, as the final practice session before qualifications—commonly known as “Fast Friday”—concluded with impressive speeds and encouraging performances from several top drivers. Colton Herta emerged as the fastest, clocking an impressive 234.974 mph, setting the pace for the rest of the field.

Herta’s performance was a highlight of the day, showcasing his skill and the speed of his machine. Close on his heels was Kyle Larson, who, despite a rocky start, managed to secure the second-fastest speed of the day. Larson’s 234.271 mph run was a testament to his resilience and adaptability. Early in the day, Larson appeared a bit disheartened, but after receiving valuable advice from veteran driver Tony Kanaan, he turned things around.

“Overall, I thought it was a decent day and good to have it go smooth. No weather delays or anything pop up. So just happy about today,” Larson remarked, reflecting on the significance of an uninterrupted practice session.

Josef Newgarden, Scott McLaughlin, Alexander Rossi, and Will Power rounded out the top six fastest drivers, all demonstrating formidable speed and control. Newgarden and McLaughlin, both from Team Penske, showed consistent performance, while Rossi and Power, with their own impressive speeds, highlighted the depth of talent in this year’s field.

Power, a former Indianapolis 500 winner, topped out at 233.864 mph, showing that his experience and skill remain sharp. The top speeds achieved on Fast Friday provide a tantalizing glimpse into what fans can expect during the upcoming qualifying rounds and the race itself.

As the drivers prepare for the critical qualifying sessions, the times from Fast Friday will serve as both a confidence boost and a benchmark. The impressive speeds and smooth runs are promising indicators of an exciting and competitive Indianapolis 500 ahead.