Pagenaud tops opening Texas IndyCar practice

Brett Farmer/Lumen

Pagenaud tops opening Texas IndyCar practice

IndyCar

Pagenaud tops opening Texas IndyCar practice

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Simon Pagenaud posted the fastest lap during opening practice for Sunday’s 248-lap Xpel 375 at Texas Motor Speedway. The Meyer Shank Racing driver turned a best of 223.087mph in the No. 60 Honda and also recorded the fourth-fastest lap without the benefit of an aerodynamic tow.

“I think it’s a much better package for sure,” Pagenaud told RACER of the extra 150 pounds of downforce the cars are allowed to carry at the event compared to last year. “It doesn’t feel like the air is disturbing you as much in the corners. How much of that is the Meyer Shank Racing package? I don’t know, but if the temperature stays like this, I think we should have good racing tomorrow for sure.”

Arrow McLaren SP’s Felix Rosenqvist was second in the No. 7 Chevy (222.878mph) and Andretti Autosport’s Colton Herta was third in the No. 28 Honda after making an early stop to have his crew perform a rear suspension geometry change (222.786mph). The surprise of the session belonged to Juncos Hollinger Racing rookie Callum Ilott, who was fourth in the No. 77 Chevy (222.257mph) in his first official oval session. St. Petersburg polesitter and race winner Scott McLaughlin rounded out the top five in the No. 3 Chevy (222.234mph).

Other than a brief pause to retrieve Jimmie Johnson, whose No. 48 Chip Ganassi Racing Honda coasted into Turn 1 with the engine silent, the 60-minute outing under blue skies and moderate temperatures was completed without incident.

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