The Herald Bulletin

May 12, 2013

Andretti Autosports leads the pack

Rookie Munoz fastest on second day of Indy 500 practice

By Ken de la Bastide
CNHI News Service

INDIANAPOLIS — After winning three of the first four races of the IZOD IndyCar Series season, Andretti Autosports topped the speed charts Sunday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

With less than a week before pole day qualifying, the five drivers with Andretti Autosports were among the six quickest drivers on a cool, windy day.

Rookie Carlos Munoz turned the fastest lap of the weekend at 223.023 miles per hour.  

He was followed by teammates Ryan Hunter-Reay at 222.825 mph, E.J. Viso with a speed of 222.523 mph and Marco Andretti with a speed of 222.485 mph.

Penske driver A.J. Allmendinger, looking to make his first Indy 500 start, was fifth at 221.279 mph and was followed by the fifth Andretti Autosports car of James Hinchcliffe with a speed of 220.907 mph.

Ed Carpenter, the last driver to win an IZOD IndyCar Series race on an oval last year in California, had the fastest time Saturday, turning a lap at 220.970 miles per hour.

“There was some things we wanted to try regardless of the weather,” Carpenter said of the Saturday session that was interrupted by a rain shower. “We ran through a couple of settings that we hadn’t done last year. It’s still very early in the process.”

A driver attracting a lot of attention is A.J. Allmendinger, who is looking for his first Indy 500 start in a Penske Racing owned car. Allmendinger is making the move from NASCAR in 2013.

“Oh, I’m a rookie,” Allmendinger said after passing his rookie test. “I feel like it out there. I have to admit, the first lap on the racetrack was pretty special going down the back straightaway and thinking about that I was at Indy preparing for the Indy 500.”

Munoz posted the third fastest time Saturday at 220.72 mph.

“It was awesome,” he said.

Munoz, who raced at IMS in an Indy Lights car in 2012, said the experience was totally different.

“The speed and everything is just more fast,” he said. “The car reacts different. Each time on the track I was feeling stronger and stronger, more confident with the car.”