Photo: Chris Owens/INDYCAR

Power’s Last Second Flyer Tops Lone Practice Session at Road America

By Luis Torres, Staff Writer

Much like last Friday’s qualifying session at Indianapolis, Will Power (1:46.0021) dethrones Jack Harvey for top honors at the last second. Only this time, it was during the only practice session of the whole doubleheader weekend at Road America.

Rather than seeing how the red Firestone compounds fare at the beginning of the session like Josef Newgarden, who held the top spot for much of the period with a time of 1:46.1914, several competitors decided to wait until the final 12 minutes to set blazing lap times.

Among those who saved the best for last was Power, when just as people thought Harvey’s 1:46.1606 was going to be the best in practice, the Australian spiced things up. When the session was all over, the 58-time NTT P1 Pole Award winner proved once again why he’s the fastest man INDYCAR has to offer by beating Harvey’s time by 0.1585 seconds.

Newgarden’s time was still good enough for third fastest that ended up just being 0.1893 seconds slower than his Team Penske teammate. Rounding out the top-five were Felix Rosenqvist and Ryan Hunter-Reay, who had a moment in the closing minutes of the session as he went into the Turn 13 grass before running one more lap to call it a session.

Rookie Alex Palou was sixth fastest, a staggering seven spots ahead of his next rookie competitor which was Oliver Askew. The other two rookies were at the bottom of the practice sheet with Rinus VeeKay winding up 20th fastest and Dalton Kellett being the slowest out of the 23 drivers, 3.0795 seconds behind Power’s time.

Defending REV Group Grand Prix Presented by AMR winner Alexander Rossi ended up ninth fastest with a personal best of 1:46.3733. The man sitting 23rd in points after two races also had a moment where he went wide in Turn 14 during the second half of the session.

Over the radio, oversteering and rear brake concerns was brought up as the driver of the No. 27 AutoNation Honda is looking to rekindle that magic from a year ago where he led all but one lap en route to his most recent NTT IndyCar Series victory to date.

Notably absent in practice were the top-two drivers in the championship trail as Scott Dixon and Simon Pagenaud were in the bottom 10, placing 15th and 19th respectively.

Time will tell how they’ll fare during qualifying as the fight for the pole position to kickoff the Road America doubleheader commences at 2:15 p.m. EST on NBCSN.

The first 55-lap race will begin at 5:00 p.m. EST on NBCSN as Dixon will be looking to become the first driver since Sebastien Bourdais in 2006 to start the season 3-0.

2020 REV Group Grand Prix Practice Results

  1. Will Power, 1:46.0021
  2. Jack Harvey, 1:46.1606
  3. Josef Newgarden, 1:46.1914
  4. Felix Rosenqvist, 1:46.2319
  5. Ryan Hunter-Reay, 1:46.2519
  6. Alex Palou, 1:46.2547
  7. Colton Herta, 1:46.2940
  8. Graham Rahal, 1:46.3601
  9. Alexander Rossi, 1:46.3733
  10. Pato O’Ward, 1:46.3867
  11. Marcus Ericsson, 1:46.3956
  12. Marco Andretti, 1:46.5023
  13. Oliver Askew, 1:46.5128
  14. Zach Veach, 1:46.5261
  15. Scott Dixon, 1:46.5262
  16. Santino Ferrucci, 1:46.6348
  17. Takuma Sato, 1:46.9590
  18. Max Chilton, 1:47.0011
  19. Simon Pagenaud, 1:47.0727
  20. Rinus VeeKay, 1:47.0795
  21. Conor Daly, 1:47.0933
  22. Charlie Kimball, 1:47.1606
  23. Dalton Kellett, 1:49.0816

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From the Pacific Northwest, Luis is a University of Idaho graduate with a Bachelor's degree in Broadcasting and Digital Media. Ever since watching the 2003 Daytona 500, being involved in auto racing is all he's ever dreamed of doing. Over the years, Luis has focused on writing, video and photography ranging from Idaho athletics to auto racing with ambitions of having his work recognized.