Newgarden sets pace in hard-fought second Indy GP practice

Phillip Abbott/Motorsport Images

Newgarden sets pace in hard-fought second Indy GP practice


Newgarden sets pace in hard-fought second Indy GP practice


A furious close to the second practice session for the GMR Grand Prix at Indianapolis saw Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden take and hold possession of P1 with a lap of 1m09.3323s in the No. 2 Chevy. It was a Chevy 1-2-3, courtesy of Ed Carpenter Racing’s Rinus VeeKay in the No. 21 (+0.0697s) and Penske’s Will Power in the No. 12 (+0.1424s).

“I’m really happy with the car,” said Newgarden. “Team Chevy’s done a great job; I’m really happy with my engine.”

Colton Herta, whose Andretti Autosport contract extension through 2023 was announced prior to the session, was P4 and first among the Honda runners in the No. 26 (+0.1676s), while rookie Scott McLaughlin gave Penske a 1-3-5 leading into qualifying with the No. 3 Chevy (+0.2191s). Meyer Shank Racing’s Jack Harvey completed the top six in the No. 60 Honda (+0.2867s).

With race setup preparations consuming most of the 45-minute session, Alexander Rossi, Ed Jones, and Conor Daly took turns leading the first 10 minutes. Harvey was next, and then Newgarden claimed P1 at the 15-minute mark. Fast forwarding to 10 minutes remaining, Power was P1 among the drivers who made their first qualifying simulation run on Firestone’s faster red-banded tires. Herta matched Power’s lap with an identical 1m09.4999s. VeeKay edged Power and Herta to claim P1 with five minutes left and enjoyed it for approximately 60 seconds before Newgarden went back to P1.

Harmless offs included Felix Rosenqvist, Will Power, Sebastien Bourdais, Rinus VeeKay, and Juan Pablo Montoya.


Fastest Driver: Josef Newgarden, 1m09.3323s

Slowest Driver: Juan Pablo Montoya, 1m11.8081s

Most Laps Turned: 22, Dalton Kellett, Alex Palou

Notable Mentions:

• Chip Ganassi Racing’s Alex Palou turned his first laps in the No. 10 Honda after a water leak kept the car from competing in FP1. He’d post the fastest time for CGR (P13) as the team continued to struggle with Marcus Ericsson (P18) and Scott Dixon, who was experiencing transmission problems (P23), slightly ahead of Jimmie Johnson (P24).

• Arrow McLaren SP improved nine positions with Pato O’Ward (P9) and 10 with Felix Rosenqvist (P10). Montoya’s FP2 was less satisfying (P25) as the No. 86 Chevy appeared to be a handful to drive.

• Kudos to A.J. Foyt Racing’s Dalton Kellett (P19) who outran his veteran teammates Sebastien Bourdais and Charlie Kimball for the second consecutive session.

• Not a happy outing for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing with Graham Rahal (P16) and Takuma Sato (P20) more than a half-second adrift from Newgarden.

• Dale Coyne Racing with Rick Ware Racing’s Romain Grosjean is loving the flat, smooth IMS road course; P5 in FP1, he stayed in the general vicinity with P7 in FP2.


UP NEXT: Qualifying, 4:30 p.m. ET, on Peacock