Dixon leads 1-2-3-4-5-6 Honda sweep in opening practice in Texas

Scott Dixon
Scott Dixon

The IndyCar practice session at Texas Motor Speedway for the Rainguard Water Sealers 600 was delayed nearly three hours to dry the 1.5-mile oval from heavy rain overnight and this morning, but the fact that the track was made ready at all is a testament to the new drainage system installed underneath the newly repaved track surface.

Current points leader Scott Dixon set the pace in the one-hour session with a best lap of 223.422 mph in the No. 9 NTT Data Honda. Charlie Kimball, Dixon’s Chip Ganassi Racing teammate in the No. 83 Tresiba Honda, was second fastest at 221.861 mph but registered the top lap without an aerodynamic tow from a car in front, at 220.623 mph.

“The NTT Data car is pretty fast and I think all the Ganassi cars are quick," Dixon said. “We’ll just see how qualifying shakes out. But to be honest, it’s Texas; qualifying isn’t going to mean too much. You’ll still have to have a good car over the long run and take care of the tires, especially with the track configuration change."

This was the only practice scheduled ahead of single-car qualifying at 4:15 p.m. ET, which airs live on the NBC Sports app and NBCsports.com. An encore qualifying telecast airs at 7 p.m. ET Saturday on NBCSN.

In addition to the repaving and new drainage system at Texas Motor Speedway, Turns 1 and 2 were reconfigured from 24 degrees to 20 degrees and widened from 60 feet to 80 feet in that area.

"They did a great job with the repave and the redevelopment of Turn 1 and 2, but adding drainage as well," Kimball said. "For us to be able to get nearly an hour of running before qualifying this afternoon was fantastic."

Alexander Rossi was third fastest in practice at 221.317 mph in the No. 98 Andretti Autosport/Curb Honda. Graham Rahal, the defending Texas race winner fresh off a doubleheader win sweep last weekend in the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear, was fourth (221.175), ahead of Andretti Autosport teammates Marco Andretti (221.020) and reigning Indy 500 winner Takuma Sato (220.828). It gave Honda the top six positions in practice.

Results

Pos No Name FTime Diff Gap FL Laps FSpeed Engine
1 9 Scott Dixon 23.203 –.—- –.—- 36 37 223.422 Honda
2 83 Charlie Kimball 23.366 0.1633 0.1633 49 51 221.861 Honda
3 98 Alexander Rossi 23.423 0.2207 0.0574 10 47 221.317 Honda
4 15 Graham Rahal 23.439 0.2358 0.0151 6 45 221.175 Honda
5 27 Marco Andretti 23.455 0.2522 0.0164 31 31 221.020 Honda
6 26 Takuma Sato 23.475 0.2726 0.0204 27 39 220.828 Honda
7 20 Ed Carpenter 23.476 0.2730 0.0004 40 40 220.824 Chevy
8 12 Will Power 23.483 0.2800 0.0070 41 45 220.758 Chevy
9 10 Tony Kanaan 23.488 0.2857 0.0057 43 43 220.705 Honda
10 2 Josef Newgarden 23.492 0.2893 0.0036 29 31 220.671 Chevy
11 7 Mikhail Aleshin 23.512 0.3098 0.0205 43 46 220.478 Honda
12 1 Simon Pagenaud 23.536 0.3329 0.0231 21 28 220.262 Chevy
13 3 Helio Castroneves 23.557 0.3542 0.0213 24 41 220.063 Chevy
14 8 Max Chilton 23.561 0.3580 0.0038 42 42 220.027 Honda
15 21 JR Hildebrand 23.569 0.3658 0.0078 30 44 219.955 Chevy
16 18 Tristan Vautier 23.655 0.4526 0.0868 40 41 219.148 Honda
17 28 Ryan Hunter-Reay 23.669 0.4661 0.0135 44 46 219.023 Honda
18 14 Carlos Munoz 23.691 0.4884 0.0223 39 40 218.816 Chevy
19 19 Ed Jones 23.697 0.4942 0.0058 49 51 218.763 Honda
20 5 James Hinchcliffe 23.757 0.5539 0.0597 38 42 218.213 Honda
21 88 Gabby Chaves 23.959 0.7565 0.2026 14 44 216.368 Chevy
22 4 Conor Daly 23.993 0.7907 0.0342 44 60 216.059 Chevy

Leave a Reply