Practice report

Gateway IndyCar: Rahal edges Dixon in final practice

Graham Rahal was the fastest driver in IndyCar’s evening practice at World Wide Technology Raceway, the final session before tomorrow evening’s race.

Graham Rahal, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda

The session started off with nine drivers trying to clean and lay down rubber on the second (and third) grooves around the 1.25-mile World Wide Technology Raceway. Alexander Rossi (Andretti Autosport-Honda), Felix Rosenqvist (Arrow McLaren SP-Chevrolet), Scott Dixon (Chip Ganassi Racing-Honda), Takuma Sato (Dale Coyne Racing w/RWR-Honda), Conor Daly (Ed Carpenter Racing-Chevrolet), Callum Ilott (Juncos-Hollinger Racing-Chevrolet), Simon Pagenaud (Meyer Shank Racing-Honda), Jack Harvey (Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing-Honda) and Will Power (Team Penske-Chevrolet). Power reported to NBC Sports that the session was worthwhile, although there is the caveat that rain is forecast for tomorrow afternoon, before the race.

Rahal hit the top just as rookie teammate Christian Lundgaard brushed the wall with the edge of his floor. Rahal’s 177.728mph effort came on his 68th of 74 laps in the #15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing-Honda clocking 193mph into Turn 1 and 196mph into Turn 3.

Dixon, who will start the race from sixth tomorrow, was second fastest ahead of the top rookie, David Malukas of Dale Coyne Racing with HMD-Honda.

Romain Grosjean who has to take a nine-place grid drop for an unapproved engine change, was a highly encouraging fourth fastest, ahead of title contenders Alex Palou and Marcus Ericsson, who ensured three Ganassi cars in the top six in this session and in qualifying. Their teammate Jimmie Johnson has had more of a struggle this weekend than was expected considering how well he raced at the other ovals, Texas, Indy and Iowa. He will start 21st, and this evening in practice he brought out the session’s only yellow flag when he spun at the entrance to pitlane.

Takuma Sato backed up Malukas’ performance to show that, yet again, Dale Coyne Racing has a strong oval setup, while Rossi, Josef Newgarden and Devlin DeFrancesco completed the top 10.

Pato O’Ward turned the most laps at 99, while Arrow McLaren SP-Chevrolet teammate Felix Rosenqvist turned the fewest, after his car was struck with a “technical issue”. It’s a difficult weekend for the Swedish ace, as he will start from the back of the 26-car field after spinning in qualifying.

The 260-lap Bommarito Auto Group 500 will begin at 5.30pm local (Central) time on Saturday, weather allowing.

P

Name

FTime

Diff

FL

Laps

FSpeed

Engine

Team

1

Graham Rahal

25.3196

25.3196

68

74

177.728

Honda

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

2

Scott Dixon

25.3580

0.0384

54

76

177.459

Honda

Chip Ganassi Racing

3

David Malukas

25.4634

0.1438

41

76

176.724

Honda

Dale Coyne Racing with HMD

4

Romain Grosjean

25.4891

0.1695

42

78

176.546

Honda

Andretti Autosport

5

Alex Palou

25.5080

0.1884

28

70

176.415

Honda

Chip Ganassi Racing

6

Marcus Ericsson

25.5245

0.2049

49

92

176.301

Honda

Chip Ganassi Racing

7

Takuma Sato

25.5299

0.2103

56

84

176.264

Honda

Dale Coyne Racing w/RWR

8

Alexander Rossi

25.5516

0.2320

58

61

176.114

Honda

Andretti Autosport

9

Josef Newgarden

25.6188

0.2992

28

70

175.652

Chevy

Team Penske

10

Devlin DeFrancesco

25.6540

0.3344

60

83

175.411

Honda

Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport

11

Colton Herta

25.6671

0.3475

52

79

175.322

Honda

Andretti Autosport w/Curb-Agajanian

12

Pato O'Ward

25.6946

0.3750

62

99

175.134

Chevy

Arrow McLaren SP

13

Callum Ilott

25.7006

0.3810

55

67

175.093

Chevy

Juncos Hollinger Racing

14

Helio Castroneves

25.7048

0.3852

32

61

175.065

Honda

Meyer Shank Racing

15

Dalton Kellett

25.7060

0.3864

58

64

175.056

Chevy

AJ Foyt Enterprises

16

Scott McLaughlin

25.7090

0.3894

38

78

175.036

Chevy

Team Penske

17

Will Power

25.7578

0.4382

68

72

174.704

Chevy

Team Penske

18

Jack Harvey

25.7785

0.4589

51

91

174.564

Honda

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

19

Simon Pagenaud

25.8357

0.5161

37

63

174.178

Honda

Meyer Shank Racing

20

Christian Lundgaard

25.8403

0.5207

65

92

174.147

Honda

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

21

Conor Daly

25.8770

0.5574

12

64

173.900

Chevy

Ed Carpenter Racing

22

Jimmie Johnson

25.9538

0.6342

51

79

173.385

Honda

Chip Ganassi Racing

23

Kyle Kirkwood

25.9608

0.6412

50

63

173.338

Chevy

AJ Foyt Enterprises

24

Felix Rosenqvist

26.0079

0.6883

40

47

173.024

Chevy

Arrow McLaren SP

25

Rinus VeeKay

26.0957

0.7761

47

61

172.442

Chevy

Ed Carpenter Racing

26

Ed Carpenter

26.3823

1.0627

38

74

170.569

Chevy

Ed Carpenter Racing

 

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