Copyright © 2015 Kay Presto

Ryan Briscoe topped the speed charts in Verizon IndyCar morning practice at Auto Club Speedway’s 2-mile oval in Fontana, CA, posting a time of 217.451 mph in his Schmidt Peterson Motorsports mount, filling in for the injured James Hinchcliffe until he returns.

Marco Andretti powered his Honda to 217.326 miles per hour, second fastest in that session In the Chevrolet group. Simon Pageland and Charlie Kimball were also in the 217 mph range, running third and fourth fastest, and Tony Kanaan rounded out the top five.

2015 Indianapolis 600 winner Juan Pablo Montoya was ninth in practice, and eager to get to qualifying later in the afternoon. Montoya will attempt to complete IndyCar racing’s career Triple Crown. With the Indy crown already in the record books, Montoya hopes to post victories at Auto Club Speedway this weekend, and at Pocono Raceway on August 23 to garner that elusive title.

That was last achieved in 1978, when Bobby Unser won the Indianapolis 500, and the 500-mile races at Pocono Raceway and the now- defunct Ontario Motor Speedway.

“The Triple Crown is not something that I focus on, “said Montoya, ” but it’s something cool that the Verizon IndyCar Series brought back a few years ago, and we are proud to be competing in it. Only one team is able to win the Triple Crown this year, and it’s ours, so that is a cool feeling.

“Now that we had an off weekend to catch our breath and re-group, I am happy with where we are as we head into the final six races of the year. We’ve been able to mix in a lot of consistency with our two wins this year (St. Petersburg and Indianapolis), but we need to get at least one more before the end of the year. Fontana and Pocono would be great tracks to do that for the Triple Crown.”