Full practice times for day 9 at Indianapolis

Traditionally, once the chequered flag falls on qualifying at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the track falls silent for five days until the Carb Day shakedown. But not this year: instead the drivers were once again at the track and back in their cars for another full day of practice; and for Kurt Busch at least, he probably wishes he hadn't bothered.

A solid day's running for the majority of the field was eclipsed by a big accident for Busch 90 minutes into the five hour session. The #26 Andretti Autosport Honda got loose as it was working through traffic while going through turn 2 at high speed, and when Busch tried to steer into the slide to save the car it ended up taking off into a broadside impact with the outside wall.

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It was a hard hit just before the area protected by SAFER technology, meaning that the damage to the right hand side of the car was extensive. A wheel broke free of its tether and bounced across the track in front of traffic, and the #26 itself became an obstacle as it slid back down the track with its rear end briefly engulfed in a fireball.

Fortunately Busch himself was not hurt and he was able to climb out of the car unaided, and he was quickly checked and certified fit to drive by the medical centre. Will Power was lucky to miss running into the accident, while the underside of Pippa Mann's car was damaged by flying debris from the incident and she was forced to sit out the remainder of the session while repairs were made.

"It looked like he almost did too much," was Newgarden's immediate assessment of the accident. "He was chasing it up the wall like he would on a stock car and the thing almost even snapped straight and he almost went straight [into the wall] and then he ended up hitting on the side."

"I was starting to feel comfortable," sighed Busch. "That's when I made the mistake of just letting my guard down or settling into that long run type mentality whereas with an Indy car you have to be on edge. You have to keep track of where you are at all times and the adjustments in the car.

"As a rookie, there's things you learn and put it up on the edge and get away with and then there's times when it will bite you. It's just tough. I thought I was finding a rhythm and settling into that long run type pace and learning the tows and the draft and I didn't keep track of the adjustments of the car.

"Maybe I just didn't keep up with keeping the car underneath me," he mused. "Trying to get into that rhythm and feel other things around you and I got behind on my adjustments in the car."

The Andretti Autosport assessed the damage and found that the safety cell had been compromised, meaning that they will have to use Marco Andretti's spare car as a replacement for Busch. This year's rules allow the team to substitute the car if necessary and still retain Busch's 12th place on the grid, rather than forcing him to start from the back row.

"If you're going to have [a crash] it needs to be early in the week. That way there's time to work on the car and get back on your horse and get back out there again," said Busch, trying for the silver lining in the situation. "We still have Carb Day to shake things down and get back in the groove [but it's] created a lot of work for the Andretti guys. I feel bad for that."

It's only the second accident of the last nine days of practice and qualifying at Indianapolis after Jack Hawksworth crashed the #98 Bryan Herta Autosport car late on Wednesday. The rest of Monday's track session - which focussed on race trim, 'tow' practice and heavy fuel loads rather aiming for flying lap times - was a quiet affair with periodic interruptions for track inspection and debris clean-up.

The best time of the day went to Josef Newgarden whose lap of 227.105mph (39.6292s) was almost six mph and one second slower than Mikhail Aleshin's best lap of the week set on Saturday morning. Newgarden was a tenth of a second faster than Penske's Juan Pablo Montoya, with Scott Dixon a further hundredth back in third place.

"After this qualifying format we had this weekend, it was just so stressful and tiring, mentally fatiguing this weekend. I think everyone felt that way," said the Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing driver. "So it was a little hard getting there today and having to go back out, but we really needed it. I mean, honestly we needed it on our team because we had so much rain last week that it was helpful to have a day where we're able to work on the car before Friday on Carb Day."

"[I] was running behind as many cars as possible to get the worst situation possible," explained Montoya. "I think our Verizon car is pretty good and we'll see what it does. I don't think anybody is happy, it's really neutral by ourselves. It likes snaps and moves around a lot, and then you get in the back of the pack and it doesn't turn. So, what do you do?"

"We have a solid car," said Dixon. " It's a fast race car and the Target team has done a great job these last few days. We worked today on some race setup stuff, as well as some aero changes that I think will help us for the race."

As for pole winner Ed Carpenter, he was trying to get on top of some glitched on the #20 car and took things easy, recording the 20th fastest time of the day which was almost half a second off Newgarden's pace, but that was just fine as far as he was concerned.

"I feel good about where our cars are in race trim," Carpenter said. "It wasn't a good day for us after a great day Sunday. I just glad that the little problems we had today didn't come up Sunday, we were chasing some electrical issues most of the day. But we got them sorted later this afternoon.

"Just wish we would have run more laps," he admitted. "I got one race run in and it very really good, so I am happy with that. Disappointing because I wanted to do a lot more work but I feel good about the race car now."

Full practice times for day 9 at Indianapolis

Reporting from trackside by Lynne Huntting of PressSnoop.com