Carb Day is typically the wildest day during the month of May, and that was certainly the case again today.


The rain-shortened 90-minute final practice session was once again dominated by Chip Ganassi cars, but also featured two major accidents in Turn 1. The first came about halfway through the session when rookie David Malukas crashed into the outside wall after making contact with Santino Ferrucci. The Dale Coyne Racing driver has been fast all month long, and now will have an even tougher uphill battle as the crew repairs the No. 18 Honda.

“I came out with just a small bruise,” Malukas said. “For some reason he turned back down. I just held my line to go straight, and obviously him hitting me there, my tire went flat. You can’t really do much with a flat tire going at that speed. Definitely was a little on the late side, but those late moves are going to be there for the race. I still feel very confident. The car was very quick. The car felt very good.”

“I’m glad he’s okay,” Ferrucci said. “That was a big hit. I knew he was coming. It was a really late pass coming down to the line. I just came out to turn in because we were past the turn-in point for me. I just checked up and thought I timed it really well, and clearly I didn’t. That’s my mistake. I’m sorry for those guys I know well from two years ago, so I’m really bummed they’ve got to build a race car. There’s not really much else I could have done there. Just a mistake on my part. Just misjudged.”

The biggest moment of the day came in the final half-hour when Colton Herta's car stepped out on him in the middle of Turn 1 and slid into the SAFER barrier. After making contact with the wall, the nose of the car got into the air and the car flipped over before skidding to a stop. It was a frightening crash for the 26-year old, but he was okay. The Andretti Autosport driver will now have to start the race in a backup car that will see the track for the first time on Sunday just before the green flag.

"A little bit of sadness for that race car," Herta said after being released from the medical center. "It sucks. It seemed like it was okay. We were really loose that whole session. I think I was just going a little bit too fast for that corner. Wiggled and the air got underneath it. But yeah, I’m all good. I’m fine. Thankful for a lot of things.”

"I think we were loose because it just rained, and the track was green," Herta said. "I think the biggest thing was this session we weren’t going to make any huge revelations in the car. We weren’t going to go from a terrible car to a winning car. We might have made small steps, but it was all about just getting the last little bits of balance right. It was our last chance, and we did get to do a lot of that stuff, so I’m thankful for that. I’m not too worried for the race. I think the car will be fine."

Tony Kanaan was the fastest driver on Friday at 227.114 mph, followed by teammate Marcus Ericsson. Takuma Sato, Scott Dixon, and Sage Karam rounded out the top five as Honda-powered cars continued to flex their muscle. Four Ganassi cars occupied one of the top seven spots.

Despite the weather conditions not being conducive to race day, all 33 drivers made their way onto the track at some point, trying to find the balance on their cars. Rookie Callum Ilott turned the most laps (68) today while Rinus VeeKay (18) had the fewest. There were a combined 1,590 laps during the session.

Following the final practice was the return of the Pit Stop Competition. For the first time since 2019, teams were able to showcase their pit crews on the big stage. With Herta not being able to participate, there were 12 drivers aiming to claim the ultimate prize. In the end, it was Josef Newgarden and Team Penske coming out on top.

The No. 2 crew defeated Dixon's No. 9 crew 2-0 in the best-of-three final round. It was the first sweep in the final round since 2017 and the 18th overall win in the competition for Penske. Newgarden's team earned $50,000 in awards today from a prize pool of $100,000. “The energy is great to feel again,” Newgarden said. “Not only the whole month leading up to it but Carb Day. I can’t even wait until Race Day. I can’t imagine what it’s going to be like, and it will feel so good.”

There were several significant announcements before today's practice session. Arrow McLaren SP made it official by signing Pato O'Ward to a multi-year extension that will keep him with the team through the 2025 season. Yesterday the team announced that they will be building a new facility for their IndyCar program in Whitestown, Indiana.

Shell and IndyCar also announced that a new race fuel will be utilized beginning next season. The series will be the first US-based motorsports entity to power racing with 100 percent renewable race fuel and enables at least 60 percent greenhouse gas emissions reduction compared to fossil-based gasoline.

The series also announced that the local blackout of the race for Indiana residents will be lifted - sort of. Those that have an active Peacock subscription will be able to watch the race live. With Carb Day now complete, the only thing left to do is race. The public driver's meeting and full-field autograph session will take place at the track tomorrow morning for Legends Day.

The green flag for the 106th running of the Indianapolis 500 is set for 12:45 on Sunday.