While speeds didn’t approach those of Wednesday’s seven-hour session, Thursday’s Practice 4 for the 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500 featured Graham Rahal at the top of the speed chart as well as the first instance of contact with the wall.
- Results: 2018 Indianapolis 500 Practice 4
Rahal’s best tow-assisted revolution of the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval came early in the session on just the second of his 102 total laps. At a speed of 226.047 mph, Rahal’s No. 15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda was 0.151 mph clear of its closest competition.
Tony Kanaan wheeled his No. 14 AJ Foyt Racing machine to a speed of 225.896 mph, ending the session in second as Chevrolet’s fastest driver. Unlike Wednesday’s practice, Kanaan did not feature in the no-tow rankings.
Marco Andretti, Ed Carpenter and Sage Karam completed the top five, followed by Josef Newgarden, Zachary Claman De Melo, Helio Castroneves, Spencer Pigot and Gabby Chaves in positions six through 10. Notably, Chevrolet held a 7-3 advantage over Honda in the top 10.
Conor Daly and Zach Veach occupied the bottom of the timesheet in 34th and 35th, respectively.
On the no-tow speed chart, Will Power was fastest at 223.971 mph followed by Sebastien Bourdais, Charlie Kimball, Simon Pagenaud and Alexander Rossi.
Three yellow flags paused the session for a total of 36 minutes and one second. The first two cautions were track inspections.
At 5:38 p.m. EDT, the third yellow flag was thrown for J.R. Hildebrand whose No. 66 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Chevrolet made light right-side contact with the SAFER Barrier at the exit of Turn 3 and further light contact with the wall in the short chute between Turns 3 and 4. Hildebrand was able to exit his race car without assistance form the AMR INDYCAR Safety Team and was later checked, cleared and released from the infield care center.
After nine minutes of cleanup, the session resumed for 13 minutes. By the 6 p.m. checkered flag, 2,771 laps were turned by 35 cars.
Practice continues on May 18 with increased boost levels. Known as Fast Friday, the seven-hour session from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. will be the best chance for teams and drivers to prepare for qualifying on May 19 and 20. Practice 5 will stream live on INDYCAR Race Control.