A 60-minute final practice session capped off a busy day for the Verizon IndyCar Series at Texas Motor Speedway. Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon led the way, as the 2008 and 2015 Texas winner posted a best lap of 220.524 in his Dallara-Honda entry. The four-time series champion will start seventh on Saturday night.
A.J. Foyt Racing’s Tony Kanaan was second on the speed charts, but was the fastest Chevrolet-powered entry in the field. The 2004 Texas winner had a best lap of 220.418 MPH and topped Dixon on the no-tow speed charts (218.084 MPH to Dixon’s 218.012). Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser Sullivan’s Sebastien Bourdais was the only other driver to top 220 MPH (220.165 MPH).
The Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing duo of Takuma Sato and Graham Rahal finished out the top five, while Schmidt Peterson Motorsports’ Robert Wickens continued an impressive season by placing sixth. The current Sunoco Rookie of the Year leader will start fourth in the race (highest-placing Honda) and posted a best lap of 219.549 MPH.
The pole sitter for tomorrow night’s race, Josef Newgarden ended the evening eighth (218.332) on the charts. His Team Penske teammate and current Verizon IndyCar Series points leader Will Power wound up 12th (218.019). Power is the defending race winner and has won the last three races on ovals more than 1.5 miles in length.
Most recently of the three wins, Power was victorious in the Indianapolis 500 on May 27. Indianapolis is the only other race the new speedway aero kit has been utilized.
The closeness of competition in the series was again on display in this practice. The 22 cars were separated by just .6677 of a second from Dixon to Dale Coyne Racing’s Zachary Claman De Melo. Claman De Melo was the only car to run a best lap under 215 MPH.
Takuma Sato was the busiest driver during final practice, logging 95 laps in his Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing entry. Ed Carpenter Racing Owner/Driver Ed Carpenter ran the fewest, appearing on track for just 44 laps.
Looking forward to the 248-lap race, tire wear continues to be a concern. Several teams reported blistering, especially during the latter half-hour of the session.
Firestone has brought a new compound for Saturday night’s race after issues throughout the 2017 event. The lower-downforce speedway aero kit IndyCar has brought to Texas for this race will make tire degradation paramount throughout the evening.
The DXC Technology 600 is set for a 8:45 Eastern time (7:45 local time) green flag, with television coverage on NBCSN beginning at 8.
Stay with Open-Wheels.com and our social media platforms throughout the weekend for the latest on the action from Texas Motor Speedway.
Image courtesy of Chris Owens/INDYCAR Media