By Steve Wittich
Robert Megennis with a lap speed of 196.449 mph turned the quickest lap (with help) in the lone official practice session before qualifying for the Freedom 100 presented by Cooper Tires. He was followed by his Andretti Autosport teammates, Ryan Norman, and Oliver Askew, as well as Belardi Auto Racing teammate Lucas Kohl.
The fastest no-tow lap of the session was turned in by Aaron Telitz, who announced he would be taking part in his third Freedom 100 presented by Cooper Tires only moments before the practice began. (see more below)
The lone 45-minute practice session for the Freedom 100 presented by Cooper Tires got underway 94 minutes after the initially scheduled time of 10 am. Strong thunderstorms rolled through Speedway, Ind. between 5 am, and 7 am soaking the 2.5-mile oval and requiring extensive track drying efforts.
Just before the session commenced, Belardi Auto Racing announced that Aaron Telitz would be joining the Brownsburg, Ind. based team for the race to pilot the No. 4. The 2019 Freedom 100 will be the Wisconsin native’s third race on carb day with the team.
Telitz won his first Road To Indy oval start at Lucas Oil Raceway in USF2000 and finished second in the 2017 Freedom 100.
The 27-year-old, who has been embedded with the Dale Coyne Racing With Vasser-Sullivan IndyCar team this year will be making his first open-wheel start since the Indy Lights season finale at Portland International Raceway last September.
Telitz has made a pair of IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GTD starts driving a Lexus RC F GT3 for AIM Vasser Sullivan, scoring a podium at the Rolex 24 in January.
It didn’t take long for the 11 cars to start turning laps at speed in a large group.
The first yellow flag of the session came out with 38-minutes remaining for debris in Turn 3. At that point of the session Juncos Racing veteran, Dalton Kellett had the fastest overall lap, and Lucas Kohl had the quickest non-aided lap at 190.287 mph.
The green flag came out two minutes later, and 10 of the 11 cars were quickly back on track.
Megennis, Kellett, VeeKay, and Askew were all running together on the track, going three wide on numerous occasions.
David Malukas, in the HMD Trucking, sponsored No. 79 AER/Dallara IL-15 from the BN Racing stable was the last car to turn laps at speed. Malukas was only able to turn four laps due to a mechanical issue and will head into qualifying at a distinct disadvantage
With 25-minutes remaining in the 45-minute session, nine of the 11 drivers were all circulating together, to simulate race running.
With 15 minutes left in the session, all but two cars were in pit road, making changes before doing qualification simulations. The 11 drivers searched for gaps among the other cars to simulate two-lap qualifying runs.
Two lap qualifying for the 40-lap Carb Day will begin at 2:15 pm.
Freedom 100 presented by Cooper Tires practice results (overall)
|RANK||CAR NO.||DRIVER||TEAM||FAST LAP|
|1||27||Robert Megennis||Andretti Autosport||196.449|
|2||48||Ryan Norman||Andretti Autosport||196.318|
|3||28||Oliver Askew||Andretti Autosport||195.120|
|4||5||Lucas Kohl||Belardi Auto Racing||193.965|
|5||17||Chris Windom||Belardi Auto Racing||193.950|
|6||18||Jarett Andretti||Andretti Autosport||193.839|
|7||67||Dalton Kellett||Juncos Racing||193.670|
|8||4||Aaron Telitz||Belardi Auto Racing||193.368|
|9||21||Rinus VeeKay||Juncos Racing||193.256|
|10||2||Toby Sowery||BN Racing/Team Pelfrey||192.861|
|11||79||David Malukas||BN Racing||127.833|
Freedom 100 presented by Cooper Tires practice results (no-tow*)
|RANK||CAR NO.||DRIVER||TEAM||FAST NO-TOW LAP|
|1||4||Aaron Telitz||Belardi Auto Racing||193.368|
|2||48||Ryan Norman||Andretti Autosport||193.317|
|3||21||Rinus VeeKay||Juncos Racing||192.699|
|4||18||Jarett Andretti||Andretti Autosport||192.310|
|5||28||Oliver Askew||Andretti Autosport||191.304|
|6||5||Lucas Kohl||Belardi Auto Racing||190.914|
|7||2||Toby Sowery||BN Racing/Team Pelfrey||190.872|
|8||17||Chris Windom||Belardi Auto Racing||190.245|
|9||27||Robert Megennis||Andretti Autosport||N/A|
|10||67||Dalton Kellett||Juncos Racing||N/A|
|11||79||David Malukas||BN Racing||N/A|
*no-two laps require a 10-second gap to the car in front of them.