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Andretti team posts 2 best times in Indy practice

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 12, 2014 at 7:03 pm •  Published: May 12, 2014

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Ryan Hunter-Reay and Marco Andretti are getting dialed in at Indianapolis.

Actually, the whole Andretti Autosport team is finding speed on this historic 2.5-mile oval.

Hunter-Reay, the 2012 IndyCar champ, and Andretti, the 2006 Indy runner-up, claimed the top two spots in Indianapolis 500 practice Monday.

"It's nice leading practice. It's a nice little consolation prize," Hunter-Reay said after turning a fast lap of 225.025 mph. "I wish it paid. I was out there pushing like it was paying."

The real dividends could come this weekend, when the pole winner will determined in a new two-day qualifying format, and the next. The 500 is scheduled to be run May 25.

But it wasn't just the two American Andretti drivers doing well.

Colombia's Carlos Munoz, last year's Indy runner-up, was sixth on the speed chart at 223.172. Kurt Busch, the 2004 Cup champ who is attempting "the double" was 10th fastest at 222.770.

EJ Viso followed Sunday's impressive season debut by locking up the No. 11 spot at 222.695. Viso is driving the No. 27 Honda while full-time driver James Hinchcliffe continues to recover from a concussion.

Hunter-Reay and Andretti — the only drivers to top 224 this week — insisted those were not inflated speeds, either.

"I did that one by myself," Hunter-Reay said, explaining there was no tow.

"Mine, too," Andretti said.

If true, the two-team battle that's played out over the first two days of practice could resurface in qualifying.

Roger Penske's drivers swept the top three spots in Sunday's opening practice. Three-time race winner Helio Castroneves of Brazil was third Monday at 223.635 and 2000 Indy champ Juan Pablo Montoya of Colombia was fifth at 223.395.

"I think everybody is getting draft so that they understand what their car is doing in traffic," Castroneves said. "But at this point, the name of the game is the same for everyone. We're just trying to put some mileage, especially on the engine and go for it."

Here are five more notable things about Monday's practice.

TWO CLEAN: The first two days of 500 practice have looked nothing like the crash-marred Grand Prix of Indianapolis. Nobody has hit the wall, and Ed Carpenter is the only one who seems to have had any trouble at all. He pulled off the track with 72 minutes left in Monday's practice session because his car was smoking. Afterward, Carpenter simply noted there were some "issues" with the car. He did not elaborate.

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