Megennis Leads Freedom 100 Testing

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Robert Megennis was fastest in Freedom 100 testing on Monday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. (Al Steinberg Photo)
Robert Megennis was fastest in Freedom 100 testing on Monday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. (Al Steinberg Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS – Robert Megennis posted the fastest lap during Freedom 100 testing on Monday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Megennis turned a 45.5202-second lap with an average speed of 197.714 mph.

“It is just so much fun racing here,” said Megennis. “Today was everything I expected it to be, and more. Running flat out, going 200 mph, being two, three, four-wide: you don’t get that anywhere else. I ran a bunch in traffic to get used to it: There’s such a big draft here and it was a blast. Andretti Autosport gave me such a great car and we prepared so well in advance that we barely changed anything. It’s not the most important thing, to get P1 in testing, but it’s still a nice way to finish off before we come back on Thursday. I can’t thank all my partners enough for getting me out here.”

Rinus VeeKay continued his consistent form by placing second on the speed charts in each of Monday’s sessions. His best lap at 45.5949 seconds was mere .0747 of a second shy of Megennis’ benchmark.

“It was really fun, really cool, especially the first lap that you’re all the way flat,” said VeeKay. “Amazing. These are very high speeds and the racing is so close – the teams are so competitive, and it makes for fun racing. You really feel the speed here, but it’s never quick enough, you always want to go faster. The team gave me a great car to be able to push. I spent some time in traffic today and really learned how the car will be on Thursday, based on our qualifying sims, so I think we’re ready. It’s such a special track, so hopefully this will be a memorable week.”

Also impressive Monday was Jarett Andretti aboard a fourth Andretti Autosport Dallara-AER IL-15. Andretti, 26, was fifth fastest on his first public outing in an Indy Lights car. The third-generation racer, whose father John raced 12 times at Indianapolis, will be making his Indy Lights debut this week, 50 years after his great-uncle Mario Andretti’s lone Indy 500 triumph.

“It’s hard to put into words exactly what this means,” said Andretti. “You take a glance at the Pagoda and you start to take it in. The only other time a track has hit me like that was in the 24 Hours of Daytona, when I saw the Ferris wheel at 3 a.m.! You have to take in those moments and really appreciate them. But this is totally different than any track I’ve ever been on. It was good to get the experience of running in traffic; getting better in that area will be one of the most important things. Now we’ll continue prep work, watch a lot of video and prepare as much as I can.”

Another to watch this week is Canadian Dalton Kellett, who took the pole last year and has three consecutive podium finishes to his name at the hallowed speedway. USAC open-wheel star Chris Windom was ninth fastest in Saturday’s test and is due to make his Indy Lights debut with Belardi Auto Racing.

Windom’s incredibly busy schedule this week will include the 64th annual Hoosier Hundred USAC Silver Crown race at the Indianapolis State Fairgrounds on Thursday night, while on Friday, after completing the Freedom 100, he will head directly to nearby Lucas Oil Raceway for the traditional Dave Steele Carb Night Classic USAC Silver Crown race.