By Christopher DeHarde, IndyCar & Road to Indy Writer
Friday had two practice sessions and qualifications for the Verizon IndyCar Series in preparation for the INDYCAR Grand Prix and there was one constant on top of the time sheets.
The 2014 IndyCar champion won the pole for Saturday’s race and was fastest in both practice sessions. Behind him was anybody’s guess but usually it was a Team Penske duo behind him. In qualifying, it was Helio Castroneves and Josef Newgarden in second and third. Newgarden led Juan Pablo Montoya in the second practice session as they followed Power but Scott Dixon’s Chip Ganassi Racing Honda broke up the Penske party as Power led Dixon, Newgarden and Pagenaud.
Dale Coyne Racing had numerous hurdles to overcome following Sebastien Bourdais’s involvement in the first lap accident at Phoenix. The team had to rebuild the No. 18 car and split the No. 19 car up between Bourdais and Ed Jones at the series test at Gateway on May 2nd. Bourdais came into the weekend and landed 14th on the time sheet in the first practice session. He improved to ninth in the second session and ended up making the Firestone Fast Six, qualifying his car in sixth position.
AJ Foyt Racing: A Pendulum
During the first practice session, Carlos Munoz was able to put in the ninth fastest lap time while teammate Conor Daly was 22nd and last. Fast forward to the second session and Munoz’s time is .2 seconds slower and he’s 21st while Daly shredded 1.7 seconds from his best time to get tenth on the time sheet. However, both would be eliminated in the first round of qualifying as Daly would qualify 15th with Munoz in 18th.
Small Improvements; Dropping Placement
Spencer Pigot was on a high after placing fifth in the first practice session.