By: Tanner Watkins
April 7, 2019 | 12:00 PM
Picking up where he left off in qualifications, Graham Rahal was quick this morning during the final warm-up session ahead of Sunday afternoon’s Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama. The Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing driver posted a quick time of 1m10.1751s to lead the 24 competitors.
While it is normally unwise to take much stock in warm-up times, Andretti Autosport and Team Penske will be clinging to any signs of improvement that they can.
After both of the powerhouses missed out on the Firestone Fast Six shootout yesterday, Andretti and Penske have to be somewhat encouraged by Sunday morning’s times.
Alexander Rossi led the Andretti brigade by slotting in second (1m1.2853s) while Ryan Hunter-Reay (P4, 1m10.5596s) and Zach Veach (P5, 1m10.7195s) both improved from previous practice showings to reach the top five.
Josef Newgarden – who will start 16th later on this afternoon – was third-quick in the No. 2 Fitzgerald Glider Kits Chevrolet was he was the only Chevy driver inside the top eight spots.
Newgarden’s Penske teammates Simon Pagenaud (P10, 1m10.9258s) and Will Power (P15, 1m11.3643s) were further down the grid, so the uneasiness hasn’t completely subsided for Team Penske. A lot of unknowns remain before this afternoon’s race from Barber.
Other drivers rounding out the top ten in times this morning included rookie winner Colton Herta (P6, 1m10.7525s), part-timer Jack Harvey (P7, 1m10.7604s), today’s
There was one red flag period during the session, and unfortunately it was again for Veach. The Andretti Autosport driver has been pushing hard all weekend searching for a breakthrough, but ran wide on the entry to Turn 16 and had to be retrieved from the grass by INDYCAR’s safety team.
Despite the run-off, Veach did place fifth-fastest as mentioned above.
The 10th Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama will go green this afternoon with the broadcast on NBCSN kicking off at 4:00 PM Eastern and an estimated green flag time for 4:15 PM Eastern. The race can also be followed at RaceControl.IndyCar.com where fans can view timing and scoring while listening to the wonderful commentary of the IndyCar Radio Network.
Header image by Matt Fraver/INDYCAR.