By David Morgan, Associate Editor
ELKHART LAKE, Wis. – Alexander Rossi is cementing himself as the man to beat through the first two practice sessions of the weekend at Road America.
After topping the board in Friday’s opening practice for the Sonsio Grand Prix, the driver of the No. 7 Arrow McLaren Chevrolet was once again the fastest in Saturday morning’s pre-qualifying session with a lap of one minute, 40.911 seconds.
Colton Herta, who had a couple of off-track excursions during the action-filled practice, was second quick, followed by Felix Rosenqvist in third, David Malukas in fourth, and rookie Marcus Armstrong in fifth.
The remainder of the top-10 went to Santino Ferrucci, Pato O’Ward, Kyle Kirkwood, Scott McLaughlin, and Rinus VeeKay.
Along with Herta’s off-track excursions, the session also saw a crash from points leader Alex Palou early in the session in which he spun off course into the tire barrier, ending practice early for him and the No. 10 Chip Ganassi Racing team.
“I was just trying to push, trying to see where the limit was and see how fast we could go before crashing,” Palou said. “Didn’t want to crash, obviously. Not the best start of Practice 2. Hopefully we have enough time. Obviously, the car is super-fast. The guys are going to have to work super hard now.”
Two of the veterans in the paddock, Will Power and Scott Dixon, also got into it in Canada Corner during the session, leaving both of their cars damaged and unable to continue after the collision.
After climbing from their cars, Power made a bee-line for Dixon with his hands in the air in frustration before shoving Dixon in the chest. The situation did not escalate further as an IndyCar official stepped in between them to break them up.
“We were on old tires, almost 20 lap old tires, just trying to get some balance checks. Spun going into (Turn) 12 there. I saw Grosjean out of my mirror after I had kind of recovered and then I didn’t even realize Power was there,” Dixon explained.
“Just really sorry for him and obviously his team. A mistake on my behalf and I feel frustrated for wrecking our car and his car as well.”
“Scott moved abruptly and I was coming. Just a very unfortunate incident,” Power said afterwards. “Just nothing I could really do there. Didn’t expect him to move…Such a pity. Felt like we had a really good car. We’ll rebuild it and see what happens there.”
It will be a short turn-around between the end of this practice session to qualifying, with the first group scheduled to hit the track at 1:55 pm ET.