Practice report

Nashville IndyCar: McLaughlin leads Penske 1-2-3 in Practice 2

Scott McLaughlin topped second practice for the Big Machine Music City Grand Prix in Nashville by almost three-tenths of a second, as teammates Josef Newgarden and Will Power were his nearest opposition.

Scott McLaughlin, Team Penske Chevrolet

There was something of a false start to second practice when Rinus VeeKay managed to understeer into a wall, bringing out the red flag. Thankfully, the Ed Carpenter Racing-Chevrolet needed only a new nosewing.

Soon after the session restarted, Graham Rahal did the same with his Rahal Letterman Lanigan-Honda, up at Turn 6, and then Colton Herta locked the rears of the Andretti Herta Autosport-Honda under braking for Turn 9 and slid into the run-off. Thankfully, neither Rahal nor Herta needed help to return to the pits and so didn’t bring out a red flag.

With half an hour remaining, it was a Team Penske-Chevrolet 1-2-3, Scott McLaughlin’s 1min16.2966sec heading Josef Newgarden and Will Power, but then Felix Rosenqvist in the Arrow McLaren SP-Chevy slotted into second, albeit 0.3633sec behind McLaughlin.

Reigning Indy Lights champion Kyle Kirkwood was up to fifth for AJ Foyt Racing-Chevy, before being displaced by the resurgent Rahal.

Romain Grosjean shaved McLaughlin’s time by a couple of hundredths of a second to move up to the top of the times for Andretti Autosport, while Rahal further improved to take third.

Strapping on the fresh blacks, Will Power went fastest as the first driver in the session to duck into the 75sec mark and then further improved to 1min15.8415sec. Rosenqvist, who was second fastest yesterday, moved up to second, 0.183sec adrift, while Scott Dixon’s Chip Ganassi Racing-Honda was a further couple of tenths down.

Rookies Christian Lundgaard of RLL and David Malukas of Dale Coyne Racing with HMD-Honda, who finished first and third in Friday’s session, shone again by moving into the top five, behind last year’s polesitter, Colton Herta, but then all were demoted by Josef Newgarden sending his Penske to the top, 0.086 faster than Power, but moments later teammate McLaughlin went quickest by almost three-tenths, setting a 1min15.4609sec.

Alexander Rossi, who lost a lot of time yesterday to a brake issue, moved up to fourth ahead of Kirkwood.

In the final five minutes, Rosenqvist and Andretti Autosport’s Devlin DeFrancesco made heavy, car-damaging wall contact, and Pato O’Ward slid long into the Turn 9 runoff, but all returned to the pits unassisted.

Paretta Autosport’s Simona De Silvestro looked very impressive in her third outing of the year, just 0.4sec behind her technical teammates at ECR, VeeKay and Conor Daly, although the trio finished the session outside the Top 20.

Qualifying begins at 3.30pm local (Central) time.

Cla Driver Team Laps Time Gap Mph
1 New Zealand Scott McLaughlin
United States Team Penske 16 1'15.4609 100.184
2 United States Josef Newgarden
United States Team Penske 20 1'15.7554 0.2945 99.795
3 Australia Will Power
United States Team Penske 22 1'15.8415 0.3806 99.682
4 United States Alexander Rossi
United States Andretti Autosport 21 1'15.8457 0.3848 99.676
5 United States Kyle Kirkwood
United States A.J. Foyt Enterprises 18 1'15.9972 0.5363 99.477
6 Sweden Felix Rosenqvist
United States Arrow McLaren SP 14 1'16.0245 0.5636 99.442
7 France Romain Grosjean
United States Andretti Autosport 22 1'16.0580 0.5971 99.398
8 United States Colton Herta
United States Andretti Autosport 21 1'16.0755 0.6146 99.375
9 Denmark Christian Lundgaard
United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 22 1'16.0813 0.6204 99.367
10 United States David Malukas
United States Dale Coyne Racing 18 1'16.1606 0.6997 99.264
11 New Zealand Scott Dixon
United States Chip Ganassi Racing 21 1'16.2311 0.7702 99.172
12 Spain Alex Palou
United States Chip Ganassi Racing 20 1'16.3049 0.8440 99.076
13 Mexico Patricio O'Ward
United States Arrow McLaren SP 18 1'16.4333 0.9724 98.910
14 France Simon Pagenaud
United States Meyer Shank Racing 18 1'16.4513 0.9904 98.886
15 United States Graham Rahal
United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 21 1'16.5831 1.1222 98.716
16 United Kingdom Callum Ilott
United States Juncos Hollinger Racing 22 1'16.6197 1.1588 98.669
17 Brazil Helio Castroneves
United States Meyer Shank Racing 20 1'16.8061 1.3452 98.430
18 United Kingdom Jack Harvey
United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 18 1'16.9210 1.4601 98.283
19 Sweden Marcus Ericsson
United States Chip Ganassi Racing 17 1'16.9285 1.4676 98.273
20 Canada Devlin DeFrancesco
United States Andretti Autosport 16 1'17.0439 1.5830 98.126
21 Japan Takuma Sato
United States Dale Coyne Racing 19 1'17.1740 1.7131 97.960
22 Netherlands Rinus van Kalmthout
United States Ed Carpenter Racing 16 1'17.2306 1.7697 97.889
23 United States Conor Daly
United States Ed Carpenter Racing 22 1'17.2748 1.8139 97.833
24 Switzerland Simona de Silvestro
Paretta Autosport 17 1'17.6877 2.2268 97.313
25 United States Jimmie Johnson
United States Chip Ganassi Racing 18 1'17.7413 2.2804 97.246
26 Canada Dalton Kellett
United States A.J. Foyt Enterprises 17 1'18.2985 2.8376 96.554
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