Zach Veach’s recent test day at Pocono paid off as the IndyCar rookie posted the fastest lap during Saturday morning’s practice period, which was delayed 30 minutes due to morning rain.
Veach displaced Andretti Autosport teammate Alexander Rossi at the top of the leaderboard halfway through the session with a fast lap of 217.393mph.
“We were one of the lucky ones that got to test here last week so I definitely think that gave us a leg up,” he said. “I’ve just always liked this place in Lights, and I’m just glad that it transferred over in an IndyCar. I’m real excited to see what we can do in qualifying, that’s a completely different animal itself, and then 500 miles tomorrow.”
Defending champion Josef Newgarden was the only other driver to top 217mph as he turned 217.016 in the Penske Chevrolet, +0.0719 behind Veach. The Hondas of Mid-Ohio winner Rossi (+0.0927) Dale Coyne Racing’s Sebastien Bourdais (+0.2854) and current point leader Scott Dixon (+0.3290) rounded out the top five.
Will Power, winner of the past two IndyCar races here, was 11th fastest with a lap at 214.907mph.
Conor Daly posted just 15 laps in the Harding Racing Chevy before the car returned to the garage to diagnose a mechanical issue at the front of the car. His fastest lap was a 206.012mph.
The session ran trouble-free until a late caution in the final 10 minutes for debris on track.
UP NEXT: Qualifying at 1:30 p.m. ET.