Photo: Chris Owens/INDYCAR

Pagenaud Paces Opening Practice at Road America

By Joey Barnes, Editor-in-Chief

Simon Pagenaud topped the timesheets in first practice for Sunday’s KOHLER Grand Prix at Road America.

The Frenchman and IndyCar Series championship leader came in at 139.644 mph (1:43.48) around the 4.048-mile road course, with Andretti Autosport’s Carlos Munoz trailing within 0.2s.

Jack Hawksworth impressively put his AJ Foyt Racing Honda up to third, while defending IndyCar champion Scott Dixon followed in fourth.

Tony Kanaan recovered from a spin during the practice session to round out the top five.

However, all eyes were on Josef Newgarden.

The 25-year-old American was cleared for practice in hopes to convince the doctors and race officials to allow him to race on Sunday. Despite a broken right clavicle and fractured right hand following his horrific crash at Texas Motor Speedway less than two weeks ago, Newgarden ran his Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet to 10th.

Surprisingly, Pagenaud was the only Team Penske driver in the top 10, with Juan Pablo Montoya and Will Power sitting 11th and 12th, while Helio Castroneves was marred back in 16th.

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Joey Barnes is the Founder of Motorsports Tribune. He has covered auto racing since 2013 that has spanned from Formula 1 to NASCAR, with coverage on IndyCar. Additionally, his work has appeared on Racer, and Autoweek magazine. In 2017, he was recognized with an award in Spot News Writing by the National Motorsports Press Association.

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