Colton Herta has been the study of consistency this season and sits second in the NTT IndyCar Series point standings, but Friday afternoon at Iowa Speedway he was just plain quick.
Herta’s lap of 171.990mph in the Andretti Autosport Honda just edged Conor Daly’s best of 171.488mph in the Carlin Chevy to lead the way in the one-hour practice period prior to qualifying for Friday night’s opening race of the short-track doubleheader (NBCSN at 8:30 p.m. ET).
The second-generation driver, who won twice in 2019 as a rookie, came on late in the session after Daly had been on top most of it. Jumping back and forth between Ed Carpenter Racing on street and road courses and Trevor Carlin’s team on ovals, Daly showed his good form from Texas carried over.
Will Power, still looking for his first win of the season, checked in with the third best lap of 1701.092mph in his Team Penske Chevy, followed by another good run from Santino Ferrucci in the Dale Coyne Racing Honda at 171.080mph and defending champ Josef Newgarden was fifth fastest at 171.077mph in another Penske car.
Simon Pagenaud was sixth at 170.773mph and point leader Scott Dixon was seventh in his Chip Ganassi Honda at 170.111mph but the story of the session was rookie Rinus Veekay. His 169.353mph last from the 30-minute rookie session in ECR’s Chevy held up for the eighth-best speed of the 23 cars as he cranked out 123 laps on the seventh-eights mile oval.
Felix Rosenqvist, a winner last weekend at Road America, wound up 19th and Alexander Rossi was mired back in 20th.
Qualifying is set for 5:30 p.m. with the first lap determining starting spots for Friday and the second lap where you line up Saturday evening.