Newgarden leads second Barber practice

Image by Joe Skibinski/IndyCar

Newgarden leads second Barber practice


Newgarden leads second Barber practice


Josef Newgarden and Spencer Pigot led Chevrolet to the two fastest laps in Friday afternoon’s second Verizon IndyCar Series practice session at Barber Motorsports Park.

Following an off-course excursion Friday morning, Newgarden bounced back with a lap of 1m07.4345s for Team Penske, putting him just over 0.1s clear of Ed Carpenter Racing’s Pigot.

“Good session for us,” enthused Pigot. “I really like the flowing nature of this track. I’ve won here four times (in the Mazda Road to Indy) so obviously I like this place.”

Sebastien Bourdais, third-fastest overall, kept the Honda camp in the mix with a 1m17.7971s in the No. 18 Dale Coyne Racing entry. But for many, the challenge appeared to be less about posting competitive lap times, and more about simply staying on the track in the first place.

Juncos rookie Rene Binder tore the nose off his car when he sailed into the Turn 16 tire wall, bringing out a red flag with about seven minutes left on the clock. Andretti’s Zach Veach also caused a stoppage when he went off at Turn 5, as did 2016 Barber winner Simon Pagenaud, whose crash at the same spot sidelined him from the final 20 minutes of the session.

Several others were lucky to escape similar fates, with Ryan Hunter-Reay distinguishing himself with a particularly lurid slide through the grass in the final minutes from which he emerged unscathed.

Robert Wickens, meanwhile, managed just five laps before being parked with a water leak in his No. 16 Schmidt Peterson Motorsport Honda.