Herta heads McLaughlin in second St. Petersburg practice

Richard Dole/Motorsport Images

Herta heads McLaughlin in second St. Petersburg practice


Herta heads McLaughlin in second St. Petersburg practice


Andretti Autosport’s resurgence continued in the NTT IndyCar Series’ second practice session on the streets of St. Petersburg as Colton Herta’s qualifying simulation run on Firestone’s green-banded alternate tires helped the No. 26 Honda to record a best lap of 1m00.0779s.

Honda-powered drivers locked out the top five on Friday, but that wasn’t the case Saturday morning as Team Penske’s Scott McLaughlin – the defending race winner – took second in the No. 3 Chevy (+0.1732s) and Rinus VeeKay followed in third with the No. 21 Ed Carpenter Racing Chevy (+0.3822s).

Andretti’s Kyle Kirkwood continued to impress as his No. 27 Honda secured fourth (+0.4515s) and had two Chip Ganassi Racing drivers in Alex Palou with the No. 10 Honda (+0.6181s) and Marcus Ericsson in the No. 8 Honda (+0.6224s) capping the top six.

Like the opening session on Friday, Saturday morning’s outing was another messy affair as Penske’s Josef Newgarden started things off by clipping the wall and pitting for repairs. Andretti’s Devlin DeFrancesco was next, damaging the right side of the car which led to a premature end to his session. Dale Coyne Racing with Rick Ware Racing’s Sting Ray Robb had the biggest shunt, slamming the outside of the Turn 3 wall before ricocheting across the track and mangling the other two corners on the car.

Andretti’s Romain Grosjean executed a harmless spin into the grass that necessitated a red flag, and the final red of the session was caused by Ganassi’s Scott Dixon who spun on entry to Turn 4 and broke the rear wing. With just over two minutes left on the clock, drivers fired out of pit lane with the hope of recording a fast lap on their alternate tires, but there were no substantial improvements to be offered.


UP NEXT: Qualifying, 2:15 p.m. ET