Alexander Rossi put in a commanding performance to top the charts in the second NTT IndyCar Series practice at Road America.
The No. 27 Andretti Autosport Honda driver posted the quickest lap of the weekend thus far at 1m43.1206s (140.131 mph), boasting a sizable advantage of 0.288s over the No. 12 Team Penske Chevrolet of Will Power.
“I think we’ve been strong here pace-wise, [but] the end result has never been really great on Sundays for one issue or another,” said Rossi, who is on a string of three runnerup results over the last four races.
“In general, the team has been pretty strong here. We came here, obviously, looking to make this one of our tracks that we’ve had good results at, hopefully after this weekend. I think the team is doing a good job [and] all cars are working in a positive direction.
“We’ll just have to stay on top of the track as it evolves, which is always key on these weekends with ever-changing track conditions.”
Power, meanwhile, was eager to return to the challenging 14-turn, 4.014-mile permanent road course after last year’s debacle where he started second, but encountered a mechanical issue that took him out of contention at the drop of the green flag.
“Obviously last year, it sucked having to watch a race from the outside,” said Power, the 2012 IndyCar champion and 2018 Indianapolis 500 winner. “[I] didn’t even get to really do a lap. See if we can make the first lap, then think about the rest.
“The car was really good — really happy with it in qualifying trim. Just a matter of massaging on it overnight, get it right in the window. I think we’re there.”
Defending race winner Josef Newgarden came across the line third, 0.3552s off the top spot, in the No. 2 Team Penske Chevrolet.
Rookie Colton Herta led the session early on, but slipped down the running order to finish fourth in the No. 88 Harding Steinbrenner Racing Honda. Fellow rookie Felix Rosenqvist quietly led Chip Ganassi Racing to end the afternoon in fifth.
Rosenqvist’s teammate, reigning IndyCar champion Scott Dixon, went off on multiple occasions charging into Turn 7 and was only 11th fastest in the session, 1.0453s off the lead.
UP NEXT: The IndyCar track activities for the REV Group Grand Prix presented by AMR continue with a 45-minute final practice at 11 a.m. CT on Saturday, with qualifying set for 3 p.m.