Indy 500 | IndyCar Practice 4 | O’Ward fastest on the speed charts as Ericsson and Lundqvist walk away from big crashes

Photo Credit: Penske Entertainment | Paul Hurley
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Arrow McLaren went out very early to try some qualifying sims, with Alexander Rossi leading Hunter-Reay, Ilott, O’Ward and Canapino in the opening minutes.

However, O’Ward, who has been incredibly fast at the 500 over the last couple of years, quickly went to the top as he put down a 228.861mph lap. McLaughlin, Palou, Newgarden and Herta came next as a lot of the big names ran at the front.

Rossi had a strange moment at turn 2 as he ended up turning in too early for the corner and was lucky to avoid a spin or accident. The sun was relatively low early in the morning and the 2016 winner confirmed the same happened to Herta and Ericsson.

90 minutes into the session, the first ‘big one’ of the event happened at turn 2 as Linus Lundqvist lost the car and hit the wall. With the rear tyres squealing, the Swede was fortunate the rear of the car took the brunt of it as he slid down the track and grass before eventually stopping on it a long way down the straight betweens turn and 3.

The 25-year-old was fine as he got out of the car under his own power.

NASCAR star Kyle Larson had a delayed start as McLaren changed his engine before hitting the track.

At the 2-hour mark, O’Ward led McLaughlin, Palou, Newgarden, Herta, Andretti, Lundqvist, Carpenter, Power and Dixon. The top 10 almost stayed the same for the rest of the day, with only Herta jumping Newgarden to give us a small change.

Plenty of running in traffic took place throughout the 8 hours as drivers and teams tried to learn about how their cars were working in dirty air. Will Power and Josef Newgarden went out together and took turns running as the lead car, with Meyer Shank and Andretti repeating the trick later in the afternoon.

Alexander Rossi was out of action for quite a few hours as a drivetrain issue sidelined him. In the morning, his car gave up on him as he headed down pit road to head out.

Unfortunately for the Swedes, the late afternoon running had a nasty sting as Marcus Ericsson crashed at turn 4. He lost it in dirty air after going too low on the kerb and ended up hitting the outside wall with just over 2 hours to go. He then clouted the inside wall and would hit the pit attenuator before coming to a stop.

Thankfully the 2022 Indy 500 winner was good and cleared by the medical staff. His car on the other hand was not.

The yellows stayed out as drops of rain appeared once again at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Running briefly resumed for a few minutes before the caution appeared again as those persistent rain drops returned.

With just under 30 minutes to go, the action resumed. Unfortunately a caution was throw again towards the end of the day. Conor Daly had to ease his way back to the pits as the right front upright on his Dreyer and Reinbold collapsed. The rain also returned to end the day’s proceedings a few minutes early.

As O’Ward stayed top on the one-lap speed chart, other names appeared fastest on the No Tow and Best 4-lap Averages leaderboards.

Herta led teammate Kirkwood on the No Tow chart, clocking 224 and 223mph an hour respectively. Castroneves, Rahal, VeeKay, Andretti, Ericsson, Blomqvist, Rosenqvist and Sato rounded out the top 10 as they were all in the 222mph bracket. O’Ward was P11.

On the 4-lap average chart, Lundqvist was quickest with a speed of a 224.934mph. Herta, Carpenter and VeeKay were also in the 224mph club. Newgarden, McLaughlin, Castroneves, Andretti and O’Ward got into the 223mph zone, with Rosenqvist completing the top 10 thanks to an average of 222.939mph.