Scott Dixon fastest in final Indianapolis 500 practice; Kyle Larson packs up

Scott Dixon was fastest overall

IndyCar: Miller Lite Carb Day
Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Scott Dixon was fastest in Carb Day practice for the Indianapolis 500.

Formerly known as Carburation Day, an outdated term for technology no longer present in IndyCar, but it remains the final practice session for teams in advance of the Greatest Spectacle in Racing on Sunday afternoon.

Dixon posted his best lap of 227.226 mph in the Chip Ganassi Racing No. 9 Honda in the first hour of practice and it went unchallenged over the final hour.   

“I think we rolled off pretty good,” Dixon said. “We tried to go through some sequences changes; some were a little bit okay, some not quite so much. I think the track conditions changed quite a bit from the start to the finish, as well. But it was a good day — the car seems pretty fast, it was consistent. We had a few moments where the car was a bit neutral but I think others were in the same situation. It’s just Carb Day man, it doesn’t mean much, so we’ll just keep our head down and try to make the most of it.”

Seeking a record fifth win in the Indianapolis 500, Helio Castronves was second fastest with a best lap of 226.939 mph in the No. 06 Meyer Shank Racing entry ahead of Pato O’Ward in the No. 5 Arrow McLaren Chevrolet, Colton Herta in the No. 26 Andretti Autosport Honda and Tom Blomqvist in the No. 66 Meyer Shank Honda.

There were no discernable issues during the day. In fact, the only caution came with 15 minutes left in the session when Kyle Larson ran out of gas in his Arrow McLaren No. 17 Chevrolet. That was the byproduct of an issue on pit road that resulted in the tank not getting full of fuel.   

But overall, Larson had a stout day in advance of his Memorial Day Weekend double across Indianapolis and Charlotte.

“I thought my car handling was good,” Larson said. “I didn’t suck up [to other cars] as good as I thought I did on Monday. and then the pit stop stuff, just getting familiar with all that. It’s a bit different obviously to a NASCAR pit stop — charging pitlane, I got to leave hard a couple of times there. I got comfortable with all that, so I feel like we checked off a lot of boxes ahead of the race.”

Santino Ferrucci, perpetually a contender in this race, could not get the balance right with his No. 14 AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet. They went back to the paddock 30 minutes into the session.

“Obviously we rebuild the cars over the week; our aero balance was three and a half percent wrong towards the front, which is unusual,” Ferrucci said. “The weight distribution is not where we want it. They’re not going to fix any of that stuff on pitlane, unfortunately. We tried to do a Band-aid, it didn’t work, and the car was super, super loose in the middle of Turns 1 and 3, and I’ve already countersteered the car multiple times.

“Way looser than I had in qualifying so the boys are hustling and right now I’m really counting on them getting it back here in the next 20 minutes so we can get some practice in.”

They returned to the track in the final half hour but only made incremental gains.

  1. Scott Dixon, 227.206, 90
  2. Helio Castroneves, 226.939, 103
  3. Pato O’Ward, 226.666, 78
  4. Colton Herta, 226.220, 79
  5. Tom Blomqvist, 225.450, 62
  6. Marcus Ericsson, 225.418, 64
  7. Agustin Canapino, 225.320, 105
  8. Felix Roenqvist, 225.310, 89
  9. Alex Palou, 225.302, 91
  10. Ryan Hunter-Reay, 225.124, 63
  11. Callum Ilott, 225.075, 103
  12. Kyffin Simpson, 224.824, 104
  13. Kyle Larson, 224.761, 73
  14. Takuma Sato, 224.630, 97
  15. Pietro Fittipaldi, 224.568, 97
  16. Marcus Armstrong, 224.406, 100
  17. Graham Rahal, 224.353, 106
  18. Marco Andretti, 224.322, 72
  19. Christian Lundgaard, 224.287, 74
  20. Scott McLaughlin, 224.264, 93
  21. Will Power, 224.253, 69
  22. Conor Daly, 224.253, 74
  23. Kyle Kirkwood, 224.153, 65
  24. Santino Ferrucci, 223.963, 48
  25. Romain Grosjean, 223.949, 82
  26. Alexander Rossi, 223.867, 92
  27. Christian Rasmussen, 223.822, 88
  28. Sting Ray Robb, 223.539, 95
  29. Ed Carpenter, 223.348, 67
  30. Rinus VeeKay, 223.026, 90
  31. Katherine Legge, 222.927, 86
  32. Josef Newgarden, 222.847, 71
  33. Linus Lundqvist, 222.961, 49

The Public Drivers’ Meeting, at 10:30 a.m. ET Saturday, is the only official function remaining at IMS for the field of 33 drivers before the race.

Matt Weaver is a Motorsports Insider for Sportsnaut. Follow him on Twitter.

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