Team Penske and Andretti Autosport dominated the top-5 in opening practice for the Firestone GP of St. Petersburg IndyCar race on the 14-turn, 1.8-mile temporary street course.
Josefe Newgarden’s fast lap of 1m0.8029s in his #2 Penske Chevy barely beat the rest of the top-5 drivers who were all within 0.096s.. Newgarden is gunning for his 3rd straight win in St. Petersburg.
Can he win three straight?
“I’m not even thinking about it, to be honest, because it’s so early,” Newgarden said of his 23rd-place position in the standings after one race. “As far as points go, it’s not ideal. Obviously, in a perfect world we would have started off with much better points and ideally a win.
“We want to have a solid weekend. It was a shame we just didn’t even really get to be in the race (at Barber). It’s more of a shame when you affect other people’s days, like Colton (Herta), I felt bad about that, amongst others.”
Will Power was 2nd quick in the #12 Penske Chevy. He was followed by the Andretti Autosport Hondas of Colton Herta (1m0.8348s) and Alexander Rossi (1m0.8653s).
Simon Pagenaud rounded out the top-5 in a third Team Penske Chevy (1m0.0963s)
Just 0.0963 of a second separated the top five drivers under sunny skies and in temperatures in the low 80s. That ultra-competitive trend continued almost all the way to the bottom of the 24-car time sheet, as less than one second separated Newgarden from the 20th-quickest driver, Barber race winner Alex Palou in the No. 10 NTT DATA Chip Ganassi Racing Honda.
“I think the track was really high grip, honestly, more so than what I was expecting,” Newgarden said. “That’s probably what brought the times tighter. Normally when it grips up, we get really close as far as the entire pack.
“Yeah, it’s going to be tough. You got to be on it. Can’t make even the littlest mistake. That can set you back pretty far.”
Practice continues at 9:45 a.m. (ET) Saturday, with live coverage on Peacock Premium. Qualifying for the NTT P1 Award is scheduled to start at 1m45 p.m., with live coverage on Peacock Premium and same-day coverage at 10 p.m. on NBCSN.
Practice 1 Results
|1||2||Josef Newgarden||1m00.8029s||0.000s||0.000s||19||106.574||Chevy||Team Penske|
|2||12||Will Power||1m00.8102s||0.0073||0.0073||16||106.561||Chevy||Team Penske|
|3||26||Colton Herta||1m00.8348s||0.0319||0.0246||17||106.518||Honda||Andretti Autosport|
|4||27||Alexander Rossi||1m00.8653s||0.0624||0.0305||18||106.465||Honda||Andretti Autosport|
|5||22||Simon Pagenaud||1m00.8992s||0.0963||0.0339||17||106.405||Chevy||Team Penske|
|6||9||Scott Dixon||1m00.9152s||0.1123||0.0160||16||106.377||Honda||Chip Ganassi Racing|
|7||7||Felix Rosenqvist||1m00.9956s||0.1927||0.0804||14||106.237||Chevy||Arrow McLaren SP|
|8||3||Scott McLaughlin||1m01.0158s||0.2129||0.0202||20||106.202||Chevy||Team Penske|
|9||5||Pato O’Ward||1m01.0603s||0.2574||0.0445||14||106.125||Chevy||Arrow McLaren SP|
|10||15||Graham Rahal||1m01.0912s||0.2883||0.0309||19||106.071||Honda||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing|
|11||8||Marcus Ericsson||1m01.1170s||0.3141||0.0258||15||106.026||Honda||Chip Ganassi Racing|
|12||21||Rinus VeeKay||1m01.1750s||0.3721||0.0580||16||105.926||Chevy||Ed Carpenter Racing|
|13||28||Ryan Hunter-Reay||1m01.1946s||0.3917||0.0196||15||105.892||Honda||Andretti Autosport|
|14||14||Sebastien Bourdais||1m01.2693s||0.4664||0.0747||16||105.763||Chevy||AJ Foyt Enterprises|
|15||60||Jack Harvey||1m01.2986s||0.4957||0.0293||16||105.712||Honda||Meyer Shank Racing|
|16||20||Conor Daly||1m01.3612s||0.5583||0.0626||17||105.604||Chevy||Ed Carpenter Racing|
|17||29||James Hinchcliffe||1m01.4023s||0.5994||0.0411||18||105.534||Honda||Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport|
|18||30||Takuma Sato||1m01.4601s||0.6572||0.0578||19||105.434||Honda||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing|
|19||51||Romain Grosjean||1m01.6050s||0.8021||0.1449||26||105.186||Honda||Dale Coyne Racing w/Rick Ware Racing|
|20||10||Alex Palou||1m01.7393s||0.9364||0.1343||19||104.957||Honda||Chip Ganassi Racing|
|21||18||Ed Jones||1m02.1530s||1.3501||0.4137||12||104.259||Honda||Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser Sullivan|
|23||4||Dalton Kellett||1m02.9269s||2.1240||0.6501||20||102.977||Chevy||AJ Foyt Enterprises|
|24||48||Jimmie Johnson||1m03.1317s||2.3288||0.2048||26||102.643||Honda||Chip Ganassi Racing|