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Carpenter Fastest in Saturday Morning’s Pre-Qualifying Practice; Johnson Puts Up Best Four-Lap Average

Ed Carpenter leads practice ahead of qualifying for the Indy 500.
Ed Carpenter leads practice ahead of qualifying for the Indy 500.
Ed Carpenter put up the fastest overall time on Saturday morning ahead of qualifying. Image courtesy of Matt Fraver / Penske Entertainment

Ed Carpenter ended Saturday morning’s pre-qualifying practice for the 106th Running of the Indianapolis 500 at the top of the charts.

The 41-year-old Indiana native went out for his single-car qualifying simulation run, but ended up finding a sniff of an assisted tow that ended with a session-best pace at 234.410 mph.

Runner-up to the No. 33 Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet was six-time NTT IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon, who was 0.0520s off the top spot at 234.093 mph.

Seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson continued his impressive month of May rolling and ended third on the session at 233.961 mph in the No. 48 Chip Ganassi Racing Honda. Perhaps more significant, though, is Indy 500 rookie posted the best unassisted four-lap average of the 23 drivers that went out at 233.771 mph.

Alex Palou, the reigning series champion, ended up fourth, with rookie Callum Ilott continuing his strong month for Juncos Hollinger Racing in fifth.

Alexander Rossi, Marco Andretti, Rinus VeeKay, Marcus Ericsson and Romain Grosjean rounded out the rest of the top 10.

Behind Johnson in the best of the four-lap average runs was CGR teammate Dixon at 232.875 mph. Ilott was third, followed by VeeKay and Ericsson to complete the top five.

There were no incidents in the session.

Up Next: Qualifying (to lock-in positions 13-33 and decide the roster for Sunday’s Fast 12) is set to begin at 11 a.m. ET, with live coverage on Peacock, IndyCar Live and the IndyCar Radio Network.

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