Indianapolis, Ind. (20 May 2022) – Engines were turned up on Friday as Helio Castroneves and Simon Pagenaud officially put their focus on qualifying simulations ahead of the start of qualifying on Saturday. Friday also brought a significant wind gusts, which made it tricky for the field of 33 drivers to maneuver around the 2.5-mile speedway reaching speeds of 230+ mph.
Saturday’s Qualifying day has also had an adjusted start time due to expected rain in the afternoon. Saturday Qualifying will now run from 11:00-5:50pm with coverage on Peacock TV and SiriusXM Ch. 160.
Helio Castroneves, No. 06 AutoNation / SiriusXM Honda:
Top Speed: 229.677
No Tow Speed: 229.677
Total Laps: 23
Helio Castroneves was one of the first cars to take on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Friday. With the focus on short, qualifying runs, Castroneves ran just a few laps within the first two hours of the day. Making some additional adjustments back in the garage, Castroneves made his way back out on track around the three o’clock hour for one final run. Heavy wind gusts made for an interesting drive around the speedway, especially a strong head wind going into Turn 1.
Castroneves did one final qualifying simulation and called it a day after competing 23 total laps with a fast lap speed of 229.677 mph.
“Certainly conditions were very tricky for everyone and no different to us, but the SiriusXM, AutoNation, Arctic Wolf machine looks good. We’re sort of collecting information because we understand tomorrow might be a little bit different and the wind will be much less. Sometimes it’s not worth it to take much of a risk, however, we collected the information we need to prepare for tomorrow.”
Simon Pagenaud, No. 60 AutoNation / SiriusXM Honda:
Top Speed: 229.184
No Tow Speed: 229.184
Total Laps: 10
Fast Friday went by exceptionally fast for Simon Pagenaud who completed just 10 laps throughout the day. Pagenaud wasn’t the only driver to run less laps than expected due to the gusty winds that reached nearly 40 mph.
One initial qualifying simulation saw Pagenaud post a top speed of 228.865 mph lap and he improved that in one final run in the last hour of the day with a fast lap of 229.184 mph.
“Super tough conditions today and probably the worst I’ve ever seen in my eleven years at the speedway. With 45 mph wind gusts it’s very hard to get the car to handle right in all four corners. However it’s tough for everyone. We got some running in at the end and it’s really going to be about choosing the right downforce that you need for qualifying considering the degradation on the tires. We’re happy with how the day went and looking forward to tomorrow!”