A session-ending encounter with the Turn 4 SAFER Barrier for his teammate didn’t stop Conor Daly from putting Carlin on top of the night practice speed chart at World Wide Technology Raceway.
Daly’s best revolution of the 1.25-mile oblong oval came on his 66th of 68 total laps and clocked in at 24.7346 seconds, equaling 181.931 mph. The speed, while well shy of Josef Newgarden’s pole-winning pace just a few hours prior, exceeded the journeyman driver’s qualifying pace by more than 2 mph.
Pole sitter Newgarden was relegated to the second position with his 181.312 mph effort, giving Chevrolet a sweep of the top two in the final session before Saturday’s 248-lap race.
Zach Veach, Takuma Sato and Felix Rosenqvist completed the top five with Honda power while reigning series champion Scott Dixon placed sixth.
Championship challenger Alexander Rossi, who struggled in qualifying with the 11th-fastest two-lap average, could do no better than eighth under the lights. Fellow title hopeful Simon Pagenaud fared better with the seventh fastest lap in his Menards-liveried Team Penske machine.
Five Chevrolet-powered cars occupied the bottom of the timesheet with Spencer Pigot, Will Power, Charlie Kimball, Matheus Leist and Ed Carpenter placing 18th through 22nd. Kimball’s contact with the wall in Turn 4 brought out the session’s only caution, which was quickly followed by the checkered flag.
Led to the green flag by Newgarden, the series will return to action for the roughly 500-kilometer race at 7:45 p.m. CDT with live coverage on NBCSN.