American rookie Josef Newgarden is back on top of the speed chart in Indianapolis.
Last year’s Freedom 100 winner and Indy Lights champion was the only driver to top 220 mph on the first full practice day at Indy. The rookie posted a fast lap of 220.250 mph. Last year’s Indy 500 runner-up, JR Hildebrand, was second at 219.693. Rookie Bryan Clauson, Newgarden’s teammate with Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing, was third at 219.632.
Another rookie, England’s James Jakes, was fourth at 218.286.
As expected, speeds were down from last year as team’s used mostly cautious strategies to decipher how the new cars with less horsepower would respond at Indy.
Newgarden finished with 46 laps, the most of any driver. Rookies also were on the track for rookie orientation Thursday.