Two-time IndyCar champ Josef Newgarden tops 226 mph in Indy 500 test

Josef Newgarden led the timesheets on Day 2 of open testing for the Indy 500 (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images)
Josef Newgarden led the timesheets on Day 2 of open testing for the Indy 500 (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images)

Josef Newgarden turned in a lap of 226.819 mph on the second day of open testing for the Indy 500 Friday afternoon. Driving the No. 2 Team Penske Chevrolet, he topped the 224.427 mph set by Sebastien Bourdais in the No. 14 AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet the day before.

“It was a pretty good day,” Newgarden said via an IndyCar release. “I was happy enough with the car. I think we still need some work, for sure, but just to get an initial read on where we’re at is good. Obviously, there are a lot of new parts and differences to the last couple of years, so we’re just trying to assess what we need to really work on these last couple of weeks before we get back here in May. But I’m pretty happy.”

Two-time Indy 500 winner Takuma Sato was second quickest at 226.369 mph in the No. 30 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda. 1999 CART champion Juan Pablo Montoya, who has made eight starts in the Greatest Spectacle in Racing, was third at 226.123 mph in the No. 86 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet.

Indy 500 veterans score fast times at the Brickyard

Rounding out the top 5 were six-time series champion and 2008 Indy 500 winner Scott Dixon (225.906 mph) and Graham Rahal (225.644 mph). Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing was the only team with two drivers in the fastest five (Sato and Rahal).

The favorable conditions at the 2.5-mile Brickyard for the Indy 500 open test contributed to the high speeds, with a dozen drivers recording faster speeds than Bourdais did on Thursday.

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Helio Castroneves set a time of 40.7241 seconds (220.999 mph) in the Day 2 Rookie Orientation/Refresher session. Simona De Silvestro, who is returning to the IndyCar Series in 2021, was fifth quickest at 218.613 mph, which put her at P21 overall.

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Edited by Sandeep Banerjee