Josef Newgarden and Alexander Rossi were 2 mph faster than their competition in Saturday evening’s final practice period for Sunday’s Iowa Corn 300.
Newgarden, who will start second on Sunday, ran 176.772mph in the Hitachi Chevy around the 7/8ths-mile oval at Iowa Speedway. Rossi, who starts fifth Sunday afternoon, was the only other driver in the 176mph range with a lap of 176.271mph in the Andretti Autosport NAPA Honda.
Ryan Hunter-Reay, who starts the race third in the DHL Honda, threw in a late flyer of 174.643mph during the 60-minute session and Scott Dixon, who lines up sixth, was fourth fastest at 174.133mph in the Chip Ganassi Racing PNC Honda.
Will Power, who beat Newgarden for the pole with a lap of 182.391mph in the Verizon Chevy, was fifth best at 173.740mph while teammate Simon Pagenaud lost an engine in his Menard’s Chevy after posting the seventh-best speed.
“It’s great that we had time to qualify and put a good lap in, obviously it was the best time for it to happen,” he told IMS Radio after getting out of the car. “No question we’ll be in good shape with Chevy to turn the situation around.”
The green flag for the Iowa Corn 300 will drop at approximately 2:40 p.m. ET (1:40 p.m. local time).