Newgarden leads final IndyCar practice at Road America

Image by Phillip Abbott/LAT

Newgarden leads final IndyCar practice at Road America


Newgarden leads final IndyCar practice at Road America


Defending race winner Josef Newgarden vaulted to the top to claim final practice for this weekend’s REV Group Grand Prix at Road America.

The driver of the No. 2 Team Penske Chevrolet put down a flying lap of 1m42.8825s (140.455 mph), ahead of Harding Steinbrenner Racing rookie Colton Herta by 0.2872s around the 14-turn, 4.014-mile permanent road course.

“I think our cars are pretty good,” said Newgarden, the current NTT IndyCar Series championship leader. “It’s difficult. It’s not like we’re easily quicker than everybody, in my opinion. We were kind of in that fourth and fifth region for most of the session. Then we made a good change to hop back to the front, but it is close. If you have one little mess-up, one little mistake on new tires and these guys will get by us. The Andretti guys look quick. ECR (Ed Carpenter Racing) guys look really good there.

“We just got to stay on top of it, but the REV Group car has been in the window all weekend. Just got to make sure we capitalize now.”

Will Power was 0.313s off teammate Newgarden in third, with the Andretti Autosport duo of Ryan Hunter-Reay and Alexander Rossi claiming fourth and fifth respectively.

Several drivers had close moments of off-track excursions, with Carlin rookie Patricio O’Ward going off in Turn 6 with 16 minutes to go in the 45-minute session. Andretti Autosport pilot Zach Veach also had a brief moment heading into Turn 1 with five minutes to go.

Moments later, Graham Rahal was on a flyer in his No. 15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda when the left rear grazed the grass on the exit of Turn 7. The result kicked out the back end of the car as he veered across the track and backed into signage before making light contact with the wall. There was visible damage to the left side of the rear wing endplate.

The incident brought out the red flag with four minutes left to go but IndyCar allowed everyone with the exception of Rahal one timed lap to close out the final track activity before this afternoon’s qualifying.

UP NEXT: Qualifying at 4 p.m. ET