After an initial delay of over three hours, the Verizon IndyCar Series got in opening practice for the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 on Friday afternoon. Andretti Autosport’s Alexander Rossi led the way during the one-hour session. The Pocono winner clocked a best lap of 184.424 MPH (24.4003 seconds) on the 1.25-mile oval.
Following Rossi on the speed chart would be Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon. The points leader’s best lap of 182.773 MPH was .2204 seconds behind the man who sits just 29 points back in the standings.
Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan’s Sebastien Bourdais completed a Honda sweep of the Top 3. A.J. Foyt Racing’s Tony Kanaan would be the lone Chevrolet-powered entry in the Top 5, slotting in fourth (182.444 MPH-24.6651).
Rookie Zach Veach continued his hot streak. The Andretti Autosport driver was fastest among the first-year starters. Veach ended the session with the eighth-quickest speed (181.404 MPH-24.8065).
2017 Gateway winner and Verizon IndyCar Series Champion Josef Newgarden ended the session 10th. The Team Penske driver notched a best lap of 180.429 MPH (24.9405). Newgarden was also the last driver to turn a lap under 25 seconds. He was also the last driver to turn a lap above 180 MPH.
Andretti Autosport’s Marco Andretti brought out the only major yellow flag of the session. Early on, Andretti’s car stalled on the back straightaway and required a tow-in. He would return and post his fastest lap of 178.192 MPH (25.2536) A lengthy yellow was also brought out for track inspection and later moisture.
By session’s end, the 21 drivers entered were separated by 1.2795 seconds, with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s Takuma Sato rounding out the field (175.235-25.6798).
Qualifying for Saturday night’s race will take place at 6:00 p.m. local time tonight. Drivers will run two laps and lineup according to their averages.
The 248-lap race is set for a 7;35 p.m. local time green flag tomorrow night. Stay with Open-Wheels.com and all our platforms for continuing coverage throughout the weekend.
Header Image by Chris Owens/INDYCAR Media