IndyCar driver James Hinchcliffe climbs into his car before starting practice for the Indianapolis 500 auto race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Tuesday. (AP Photo)
INDIANAPOLIS — Andretti Autosport continued its domination of practice sessions for the Indianapolis 500 on Tuesday, claiming four of the top six spots on the speed chart.
It was the third consecutive day an Andretti driver posted the fastest time.
James Hinchcliffe, driving teammate Marco Andretti’s Royal Crown Cola car, took the day’s top spot with a speed of 224.210 mph on a warm but windy day at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Andretti, who was the fastest a day earlier, finished third with a time of 223.570 in Hinchcliffe’s GoDaddy.com car.
“Yeah, Marco’s angry,” Hinchcliffe joked. “Not only did I rock the big tow, which he’s famous for, I did it in his car. So Marco is a little upset with me right now.
“Obviously, it’s good to be up there, but those numbers don’t mean a whole lot right now. It’s about the work you’re doing on the race car and making sure you’re not going to be good over one lap, but over 200 in a couple weeks.”
Panther Racing’s J.R. Hildebrand posted the second-fastest time at 223.652, and three-time Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves was fourth at 223.556.
Defending series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay was the fifth fastest at 223.332, and teammate E.J. Viso of Venezuela was sixth 223.138.
Tuesday’s temperatures reached 86 degrees, by far the hottest it’s been through the first four days of practice. It is expected to say warm the rest of the week, but rain is possible the next few days.
“We needed to get a hot, nasty, slick race track, and we’re starting to get that,” Hinchcliffe said. “We don’t know what it’s going to do on race day yet, but we’ve done some running in the cooler weather now, so if we do some running in the hot weather, we can be prepared for whatever Memorial Day throws at us.”