Texas IndyCar: Dixon leads practice, three incidents for rivals
Chip Ganassi Racing-Honda’s five-time champion Scott Dixon led opening practice for the Genesys 300 at Texas Motor Speedway, the opening round of the 2020 NTT IndyCar Series, but there were accidents for one rookie and two veterans.
In the half-hour designated for Texas first-timers and rookies, Rinus VeeKay was on his 12th lap when he spun his Ed Carpenter Racing-Chevrolet through Turn 4 and smacked the wall, damaging his left-side suspension and his gearbox. He missed the rest of the session.
Later his oval-track teammate and car owner Ed Carpenter had a very strange looking incident on the exit of Turn 4, having just reported major push (understeer) and perhaps too abruptly came off the throttle. The car spun, which caused two of its Firestones to puncture, but the car only kissed the wall with a rear tire and appeared otherwise undamaged.
The session had just gotten started again when 2012 champion Ryan Hunter-Reay went too high out of Turn 2 and smacked his right-side tires into the wall, bounced off and then lost control.
In the qualifying sims that came thick and fast at the end of the session, Dixon emerged quickest with a 215.995mph lap, 1.5mph faster than his closest pursuer, the Andretti Harding Steinbrenner Autosport-Honda of Colton Herta.
"We were trying to run through lots of things," said Dixon who has won three times at Texas Motor Speedway. "We were on a bit of a time crunch for doing qual sims and race-running stuff. Probably didn’t get to accomplish as much as we would have liked on the longer run. We had a bit of a dash issue where the ducts pop open, so we had to fix that.
"The car felt pretty good, but it’s hard to tell. Seems like there was a lot of separation between quick cars and slow cars, and it took quite a bit of time for some people to get up to speed which was interesting as well. And then we worked on pitstop practice to try and make sure we were covering all bases. There was a lot to get through in really not a lot of time."
Herta’s former Indy Lights teammate Pato O’Ward was fastest Chevrolet runner in third with his final lap in the Arrow McLaren SP entry nudging him ahead of the Andretti cars of Zach Veach and Marco Andretti, and last year’s Texas polesitter, Takuma Sato in the Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing-Honda.
Team Penske-Chevrolet’s reigning Indy 500 winner Simon Pagenaud and reigning IndyCar champion Josef Newgarden were seventh and eighth ahead of the second RLLR car of Graham Rahal, the second Ganassi car of Felix Rosenqvist, current TMS lap record holder Charlie Kimball of AJ Foyt Racing, and the third Penske of Will Power.
Alex Palou was quickest of the rookies in the Dale Coyne Racing with Team Goh entry, in 14th.
Teams also got to practice tear-off removal in simulated pitstops.
Qualifying begins at 4pm local/Central Time.
|1||Scott Dixon||24.001||--.----||215.995||Honda||Chip Ganassi Racing|
|2||Colton Herta||24.169||0.1683||214.491||Honda||Andretti Harding Steinbrenner Autosport|
|3||Patricio O'Ward||24.188||0.1869||214.326||Chevy||Arrow McLaren SP|
|4||Zach Veach||24.191||0.1900||214.298||Honda||Andretti Autosport|
|5||Marco Andretti||24.194||0.1939||214.264||Honda||Andretti Herta with Marco & Curb-Agajanian|
|6||Takuma Sato||24.244||0.2431||213.829||Honda||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing|
|7||Josef Newgarden||24.303||0.3023||213.308||Chevy||Team Penske|
|8||Simon Pagenaud||24.313||0.3122||213.221||Chevy||Team Penske|
|9||Graham Rahal||24.318||0.3173||213.176||Honda||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing|
|10||Felix Rosenqvist||24.397||0.3968||212.482||Honda||Chip Ganassi Racing|
|11||Charlie Kimball||24.418||0.4178||212.299||Chevy||AJ Foyt Enterprises|
|12||Will Power||24.428||0.4275||212.215||Chevy||Team Penske|
|13||Marcus Ericsson||24.441||0.4402||212.104||Honda||Chip Ganassi Racing|
|14||Alex Palou||24.445||0.4440||212.071||Honda||Dale Coyne Racing with Team Goh|
|15||Oliver Askew||24.484||0.4836||211.728||Chevy||Arrow McLaren SP|
|16||Alexander Rossi||24.485||0.4847||211.719||Honda||Andretti Autosport|
|17||James Hinchcliffe||24.498||0.4973||211.610||Honda||Andretti Autosport|
|18||Ed Carpenter||24.551||0.5502||211.154||Chevy||Ed Carpenter Racing|
|19||Tony Kanaan||24.552||0.5515||211.143||Chevy||AJ Foyt Enterprises|
|21||Ryan Hunter-Reay||24.609||0.6088||210.651||Honda||Andretti Autosport|
|22||Santino Ferrucci||24.613||0.6128||210.617||Honda||Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser Sullivan|
|23||Rinus VeeKay||25.056||1.0558||206.893||Chevy||Ed Carpenter Racing|
|24||Jack Harvey||25.260||1.2593||205.226||Honda||Meyer Shank Racing|
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Texas IndyCar: Newgarden beats Dixon to pole, Sato crashes