Champion NASCAR crew chief Cole Pearn earned his first laps of NTT IndyCar Series engineering experience Wednesday morning as his driver, Ed Carpenter Racing’s Conor Daly, set the 10th-fastest speed in the opening practice session.
Daly’s speed of 221.234mph in the No. 47 Chevy was close to team owner and team leader Ed Carpenter, whose laps of 221.813mph was good enough for seventh overall.
“Just getting used to having telemetry and all the data,” Pearn said. “It went fine. I mean, car didn’t flip over and catch fire or anything like that, so that’s a good start, but the speed was okay. I think just a little bit of nuances. We got through some things we wanted to get through and we at least got a direction on what we need to work on. That’s what we’ve been waiting to do for a couple of weeks now. At least to get some data and get some time on the track and now know what we need to work on.”
After more than a week of getting to know each other at the ECR shop in Indy, having a chance to start building a rapport in an on-track setting was a welcome change.
“It’s been really easy so far,” Pearn said. “We’ve kind of hit it off. It’s just been easy. Communication’s been clear, and I think from that standpoint, having a session under there just [helps] continue to build. Even just getting a chance to debrief for a couple of minutes after the session was helpful. We’ve got a lot of time and a lot of room to grow yet. The fact that we started out on a decent foot definitely gives you some confidence.”