Ed Carpenter during Indy 500 practice (Photo: Al Steinberg)

Carpenter, Dixon & Johnson Top Saturday Practice

INDIANAPOLIS – Jimmie Johnson has quickly adapted to the art of driving a high-speed IndyCar on an oval track in the NTT IndyCar Series. He has been among the fastest drivers during the week of practice for the 106th Indianapolis 500.

The seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion ran a speed of 233.961 miles per hour in his No. 48 Carvana/American Legion Honda for Chip Ganassi Racing shortly after Saturday’s practice session went green at 8:30 a.m. ET.

Watching in pit lane was Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Scott Dixon, who said, “Not gonna lie. That was fast!”

Johnson was eventually knocked down to third on the timing monitor after three-time Indianapolis 500 pole winner Ed Carpenter turned a fast lap at 234.410 mph in the No. 33 Chevrolet. Dixon also went faster at 234.093 mph in the No. 9 PNC Bank Honda for CGR when the second group went out at 9 a.m.

Click here for practice results.

More importantly, though, Johnson had the best four-lap average speed at 233.771 mph followed by four-time Indy 500 pole winner Dixon with a four-lap average of 232.876 mph.

He was followed by rookie driver Callum Ilott’s 232.846 mph in the No. 77 Juncos-Hollinger Chevrolet, Rinus VeeKay’s No. 21 BitNile Bitcoin Chevrolet at 232.769 mph, Marcus Ericsson’s 232.631 mph in the No. 8 Huski Chocolate Honda at Chip Ganassi Racing and Alexander Rossi’s 232.514 mph in the No. 27 NAPA/Auto Nation Honda at Andretti Autosport.

“It’s not exactly what we want, but it was good to get out there this morning,” Rossi said. “That was our first four-lap run in practice. It’s good, but not great and we know what we can change.

“This car is not just good enough to win the pole, it’s good enough to win the race.”

Saturday’s qualifications have been moved up to 11 a.m. ET from its previous noon start in hopes of getting all 33 cars to make four-lap runs before rain is expected around 2 p.m. ET.

The fastest 12 drivers from Saturday’s qualifications advance into Sunday’s Fast 12. After another series of four-lap runs on Sunday, it will determine the Fast Six. That group will determine the pole winner of the 106th Indianapolis 500.