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Nine IndyCar drivers in “high-line” practice session at Gateway

Nine of the 10 full-time teams will take part in a special practice session at World Wide Technology Raceway on Friday to help lay rubber down on the high line and increase passing opportunities.

Will Power, Team Penske Chevrolet, StartColton Herta, Andretti Autosport w/ Curb-Agajanian Honda, Simon Pagenaud, Team Penske Chevrolet, Josef Newgarden, Team Penske Chevrolet, Marcus Ericsson, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda, Patricio O'Ward, Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet, Felix Rosenqvist, Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet, Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda

Will Power, Team Penske Chevrolet, StartColton Herta, Andretti Autosport w/ Curb-Agajanian Honda, Simon Pagenaud, Team Penske Chevrolet, Josef Newgarden, Team Penske Chevrolet, Marcus Ericsson, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda, Patricio O'Ward, Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet, Felix Rosenqvist, Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet, Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda

Michael L. Levitt / Motorsport Images

The 30-minute session will be held just before final practice and will see nine drivers attempting to ‘clean’ the track surface and lay down some extra grip around the 1.25-mile course, which will hold the final oval race of the season on Saturday night.

It’s an idea with which IndyCar experimented in the March race at Texas Motor Speedway, running seven cars on the higher groove and which most drivers admitted afterward made a difference, even on the patches of PJ1 TrackBite surfacing which had helped the racing in NASCAR but was treacherous in an IndyCar.

Therefore a similar effort will be made for the Bommarito 500 at World Wide Technology Raceway. Although it hasn’t suffered the same track surface issues, having the high line in play from the start of the race and then accessible throughout the race, can only enhance the passing opportunities.

The drivers participating in the session will be Alexander Rossi (Andretti Autosport-Honda), Felix Rosenqvsit (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). The only team not represented is AJ Foyt Racing.

Each car will be granted one extra set of Firestones for this session, which will be returned at the end of the half-hour. Fifteen minutes later, the final one-hour practice for all cars will begin.

The IndyCar timetable (Central Time) for this weekend is as follows:

Friday, Aug. 19

12.00-1.00pm           Practice 1
3.15-4.15pm  Qualifying
6.00-6.30pm  ‘High-line’ nine-car practice
6.45-7.45pm  Practice 2

Saturday, Aug. 20

5.25pm           “Drivers start your engines”
5.30pm           Green flag for Bommarito 500, 260 laps

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