IndyCar: Newgarden tops opening practice for Honda Indy 200

Penske Racing’s Josef Newgarden turned the fastest lap in opening practice for the Honda Indy 200 IndyCar race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Circuit in Lexington, Ohio.

Newgarden’s lap in his #2 Chevy of 1m07.0549s was 0.2061s faster than Alex Palou in his #10 Ganassi Honda.  By point of reference, the lap record, by Simon Pagenaud in 2016, is 1m03.8700s underscoring just how slow today’s IndyCars are.

Newgarden’s series-leading three race wins have come at Texas Motor Speedway (March 20), on the streets of Long Beach (April 10) and at Road America (June 12). The weekend before Road America he scored the NTT P1 Award for pole at The Raceway at Belle Isle Park.

Newgarden is also the defending winner at Mid-Ohio.

“The car feels really good,” he said. “I think the (temperatures) definitely made the trap speed low, and it felt very difficult to drive the car today to bring it up to temperature.

“I’m relatively happy. I think our car was good off the truck.”

Felix Rosenqvist was 3rd quick in his #7 McLaren Chevy ahead of the Hondas of Marcus Ericsson and Colton Herta who rounded out the top-5.

Colton Herta. Photo By Joe Skibinski/IndyCar/Penske Entertainment

David Malukas was the fastest rookie of the session, clocking in eighth with a best lap of 1:07.5361 in the No. 18 HMD Honda for Dale Coyne Racing with HMD Motorsports. He completed 26 laps in his first NTT INDYCAR SERIES session at Mid-Ohio.

“Everything from our end, I think it was very good,” Malukas said. “From start to end of that session it was good. Mid-Ohio is so special, because every time you go out on track, it feels completely different, and track conditions to start the session were very tough to say the least.”

The biggest spin was by Takuma Sato who lost control of his #51 Dale Coyne Honda in the fast turn 1 and went for a wild ride through the pea gravel.

Practice 1 Times

Pos No Name Time Behind Gap FL Laps Speed Engine Team
1 2 Josef Newgarden 1:07.0549 0.000s 0.00s0 20 25 121.226 Chevy Team Penske
2 10 Alex Palou 1:07.2610 0.2061 0.2061 16 24 120.855 Honda Chip Ganassi Racing
3 7 Felix Rosenqvist 1:07.3171 0.2622 0.0561 18 20 120.754 Chevy Arrow McLaren SP
4 8 Marcus Ericsson 1:07.3720 0.3171 0.0549 18 21 120.655 Honda Chip Ganassi Racing
5 26 Colton Herta 1:07.4998 0.4449 0.1278 19 23 120.427 Honda Andretti Autosport w/Curb-Agajanian
6 5 Pato O’Ward 1:07.5263 0.4714 0.0265 13 16 120.380 Chevy Arrow McLaren SP
7 27 Alexander Rossi 1:07.5355 0.4806 0.0092 17 22 120.363 Honda Andretti Autosport
8 18 David Malukas 1:07.5361 0.4812 0.0006 18 26 120.362 Honda Dale Coyne Racing with HMD
9 9 Scott Dixon 1:07.5609 0.5060 0.0248 19 22 120.318 Honda Chip Ganassi Racing
10 3 Scott McLaughlin 1:07.5825 0.5276 0.0216 19 23 120.280 Chevy Team Penske
11 14 Kyle Kirkwood 1:07.6241 0.5692 0.0416 29 30 120.206 Chevy AJ Foyt Enterprises
12 28 Romain Grosjean 1:07.6498 0.5949 0.0257 24 24 120.160 Honda Andretti Autosport
13 06 Helio Castroneves 1:07.7469 0.6920 0.0971 17 21 119.988 Honda Meyer Shank Racing
14 12 Will Power 1:07.7623 0.7074 0.0154 23 28 119.961 Chevy Team Penske
15 51 Takuma Sato 1:07.8270 0.7721 0.0647 15 16 119.846 Honda Dale Coyne Racing w/RWR
16 21 Rinus VeeKay 1:07.8573 0.8024 0.0303 15 22 119.793 Chevy Ed Carpenter Racing
17 20 Conor Daly 1:07.8870 0.8321 0.0297 20 25 119.740 Chevy Ed Carpenter Racing
18 60 Simon Pagenaud 1:07.9860 0.9311 0.0990 18 22 119.566 Honda Meyer Shank Racing
19 29 Devlin DeFrancesco 1:08.0138 0.9589 0.0278 29 34 119.517 Honda Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport
20 15 Graham Rahal 1:08.2083 1.1534 0.1945 18 19 119.176 Honda Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
21 77 Callum Ilott 1:08.3351 1.2802 0.1268 25 25 118.955 Chevy Juncos Hollinger Racing
22 45 Jack Harvey 1:08.4985 1.4436 0.1634 24 25 118.671 Honda Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
23 4 Dalton Kellett 1:08.6510 1.5961 0.1525 27 28 118.408 Chevy AJ Foyt Enterprises
24 30 Christian Lundgaard 1:08.7706 1.7157 0.1196 26 30 118.202 Honda Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
25 16 Simona De Silvestro 1:08.9286 1.8737 0.1580 28 33 117.931 Chevy Paretta Autosport
26 11 Tatiana Calderon 1:09.6944 2.6395 0.7658 32 32 116.635 Chevy AJ Foyt Enterprises
27 48 Jimmie Johnson 1:09.8167 2.7618 0.1223 23 37 116.431 Honda Chip Ganassi Racing