By Harry C. Risher Daily News
Greensburg Daily News
---- — Butler graduate and Indianapolis resident Ed Carpenter took advantage of an abbreviated Fast Friday practice at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to post the fastest speed of the month. The defending Indy 500 pole sitter took advantage of the short 18-minute practice session and turned in a spectacular lap at 230.522 mph before persistent rains concluded the action just after 3:08 p.m.
Helio Castroneves was close behind Carpenter with a lap of 229.843 mph. Castroneves had been the fastest driver up until Friday’s brief speed flurry that saw the top seven drivers eclipse the 229+ mph barrier. Marco Andretti’s 229.419 mph was third fastest, Carpenter’s teammate J R Hildebrand at 229.384 mph and Josef Newgarden’s 229.276 mph rounded out the top five.
With Mother Nature limiting Fast Friday’s action to a mere 18 minutes, Saturday’s first round of qualifications for the 2014 Indianapolis 500 should be a dramatic and action packed day as drivers unleash their racers on the historic 2.5-mile oval.
Indianapolis Motor Speedway spectator gates open at 7 a.m. for Saturday’s first day of qualifications. Practice begins at 8 a.m. for the Verizon IndyCar Series, with 2014 Indy 500 Qualifications beginning at 11 a.m. and concluding at 5:50 p.m.
Sundays’ Armed Forces Pole Day Qualifications will see IMS spectators gates open at 7 a.m. with practice from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Group 1 Qualifications for positions 10-30 begins at 10:15 a.m. Group 2 Qualifications for positions 31-33 begins at 12:45 p.m.-1:30 p.m. The exciting Verizon IndyCar Series Fast 9 Qualifying runs from 2 p.m. to 2:45 p.m. to determine the 2014 pole sitter and the first three rows for the 2014 Indianapolis 500. The 2014 Indy 500 Pole Award Celebration concludes qualifications on the main straightaway at 3 p.m.
Harry C. Risher, GDN motorsports writer/photographer, firstname.lastname@example.org