The 36-year-old from Basildon, England, has spent recent years instructing young drivers and has returned to IMS with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports and sponsorship from retired NASCAR star Tony Stewart's Team One Cure. "Although, it's what you expected, what we expected, to be honest". But even though rain hasn't been a factor yet this year, track conditions have been at their most hard.
Practice prior to qualifying will begin at 8 a.m. for group one followed by group two at 8:30 a.m.
Fernando Alonso's Indy 500 entry isn't just a brief flight of fancy-the double F1 world champion is 100 percent serious about winning this historic race.
Juan Pablo Montoya was P4 for Penske, ending the day as the only Chevrolet-powered driver in the top ten. Takuma Sato was third at 231.969.
Andretti Autosport teammates Ryan Hunter-Reay, the 2014 Indy victor, and Takuma Sato were second and third. He's one of the drivers that is in the conversation for greatest living racing drivers.
"It's not something you want to hear - you want to keep doing laps because you can always learn something", he said. "Obviously, we had a bit of another issue yesterday".
A two-time World Champion, the Spaniard will not race around the streets of Monte Carlo for the first time since 2002.
"Watching Fernando, it's clear to me that he's one of the best racers that I've ever seen", Motorsport.com quoted De Ferran as saying. But Spain did at least feel like a step in the right direction, and with the emphasis on aerodynamics and chassis-build at next weekend's Monaco Grand Prix rather than the top speed that the Honda clearly lacks, McLaren should be in good nick for another positive weekend.
The fastest nine cars will battle for pole tomorrow. He was clocked at over 236 miles per hour, a career best, at one point on the track.
Indy's unique qualifying format requires all cars to complete a four-lap qualifying run Saturday with the quickest nine cars advancing into Sunday's Fast Nine Shootout, which decides pole position as well as the complete grid for the first three rows.
"But I will have a first touch on Fast Friday and then we will see on Saturday".
"That said, if you find a guy with a gap in his schedule or for whatever isn't running full-time in a given season, hopefully this puts the idea in a drivers head that maybe it's something they should do to". Can he live up to the hype generated so far?