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Castroneves turns fast lap on Carb Day at Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Helio Castroneves prepares to take the track in preparation for the 101st Indianapolis 500 (WXIN May 21, 2017)

SPEEDWAY, Ind. – The next time the green flag flies at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, it will be for “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing,” the Indianapolis 500.

The field of 33 completed its last hour of practice Friday during Carb Day.

Helio Castroneves turned the fastest lap of the day at 227.377 miles per hour.

The three-time Indy 500 champion will start 19th. That’s his worst starting spot ever at IMS, but he’s still very confident he’ll have a chance for win number four.

He compared his team’s excitement to what he saw from Tony Dungy and the Colts when he visited their last practice before winning Super Bowl XLI.

“Today was just a great way to finish practice,” Castroneves said.  “We showed we have a good balanced car and we’re going for the big one on Sunday.”

Takuma Sato, Tony Kanaan, pole sitter Scott Dixon and Fernando Alonso rounded out the top five on the speed chart.

It was another impressive showing for Alonso. The two-time F1 world champion turned 32 laps with a fast lap of 226.608 mph.

“It was very smooth,” said Fernando of today’s practice.  “The car felt the best it has over the last two weeks, so I’m extremely happy.  I made some moves with the car with some different lines I’ve seen in videos from different years.”

There was only one incident during Friday’s final tune-up. James Hinchcliffe became the latest Honda to blow an engine. Honda has suffered multiple engine failures in the lead-up to this year’s 500.

“We are very thankful that it happened now and now 20 minutes later, because that would have been five laps into the 500,” Hinchcliffe said. “The good news is the No. 5 car was as strong as it was all month.”

The green flag flies on the 101st Indianapolis 500 Sunday at 11 a.m.