Power Starts Grand Prix Weekend With Speed

Defending race winner Will Power turned a Honda-dominated first practice on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course into one led by Honda’s American competition with the fastest lap to begin the month of May.

The second of two red-flag periods during the 45-minute session set up a chance for one final timed lap after Felix Rosenqvist, Takuma Sato and Scott Dixon took turns atop the running order.

The only Chevrolet representative to own a fastest lap before Power was Ed Carpenter Racing’s Spencer Pigot, who shot to the top with less than five minutes to go. His 1:09.4256 held on for second fastest once Power asserted himself on the 2.439-mile road course.

The red flag brought out by an off for Power’s May-only teammate Helio Castroneves in Turn 10 extended until the end of the session, prompting INDYCAR to allow final laps for each competitor who elected to leave the pits. Power, who owns both the most recent pole position and race victory going clockwise at IMS, used the opportunity put in his best time of the session.

Just over a tenth of a second quicker than Pigot, the effort from Power ensured that two Chevrolets occupied the top of the timesheet, joined in the top 10 by Team Penske drivers Josef Newgarden in fifth and Simon Pagenaud in eighth. The Chip Ganassi Racing duo of Dixon and Rosenqvist filled the rest of the top five with the third- and fourth-fastest laps.

Andretti Autosport drivers Ryan Hunter-Reay, Zach Veach and Alexander Rossi were sixth, seventh and 10th while Sato also landed in the top 10 with the ninth-best time.

Besides Castroneves’ Turn 10 mishap, an earlier red flag paused the session when Carlin’s Patricio O’Ward went off-course in the same turn.

The series will be back on track Friday at 12:30 p.m. EDT for Practice 2 ahead of knockout qualifying for Saturday’s race, set to begin at 4:30 p.m. with live television coverage on NBCSN.

Ben Hinc
Ben Hinchttp://www.benhinc.com
Ben's executive editor title is purposefully broad to encompass the bottomless list of roles he fills for The Apex, which includes webmaster, graphic designer, quality consultant and writer. Ben's technical background and progressive media distribution approach set The Apex apart technologically and philosophically.

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