Newgarden “learned a lot” on first and only day of Indy 500 open test

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Photo credit: Penske Entertainment | James Black

Amidst difficult weather conditions, Josef Newgarden was pleased with his car at the open test for the Indianapolis 500 on Thursday after setting the fastest lap at 227.686 mph.

“I wish it was like race day today, but you don’t get to choose those. I mean, you know, you got to show up on that day and be really good. But I told the team, I said, if this was race, they don’t don’t touch it. It was very good,” he said to Pit Debrief and other media outlets.

“We learned a lot, which is always positive. You know, sometimes you can go in circles around here and sometimes you’re inefficient. Today, I felt like as a team, we were very efficient with with our time. We split everything up, divided and conquered. So really, really happy for Team Penske today and feeling good for next month with the Shell car.”

The weather was warm and very windy, which did help Newgarden to a trap speed over 237 mph heading into turn three, also fastest in the field, but made the first pre-May runs harder to work through.

“The wind gusts were really, really inconsistent and kind of hard to predict. You know, it wasn’t just a steady wind. You get these big gusts that would change the balance of the car in an instant. Some of them were very uncomfortable and violent.[…] So it was a hard day to get the balance right for everything, to run the car on the edge. But you’re trying to find that balance on where you can run the car on clean air versus, you know, deep in the pack.”