The first three hours of Wednesday’s six-hour open practice session for the Indy 500 saw plenty of speed and action from 34 of the 35 entries as temperatures rose to almost 80F, up 10-15F from Tuesday.
Within five minutes of the 12:15 p.m. start, the best lap was set as Chip Ganassi Racing’s Marcus Ericsson posted a 226.007mph in the No. 8 Honda, which stood through the halfway point in the session.
Conor Daly was P2 with a nearly identical 226.006mph, and by the end of the first half hour, Ericsson’s teammate Scott Dixon was holding P3 in the No. 9 Honda at 225.833mph, Sebastien Bourdais was P4 with a 225.491mph in the No. 14 A.J. Foyt Racing Chevy, Ed Carpenter held P5 in the No. 20 Chevy with a 224.528mph, and at 1:45 p.m., Alexander Rossi climbed to P6 with a 224.988mph lap in the No. 27 Andretti Autosport Honda.
Activities were fairly even between drivers trying to find clear space to perform four-lap qualifying simulation runs and teams dispatching most or all of their drivers to lap in packs and learn more about leading and following in turbulent air.
The only driver missing from the action was RC Enerson and the No. 75 Top Gun Racing Chevy. Enerson was given extra time to complete his Rookie Orientation Program before open practice, and did so while posting a best lap of 216.056mph. The car was towed back to their garage after turning 48 laps, but was not seen on pit lane by the three-hour mark.
The session runs to 6:15 p.m. ET.