Championship points possibilities || Practice 2 results
SONOMA, Calif. -- Ten drivers recorded laps in the 45-minute morning practice session that were quicker than Will Power's year-old track record set in qualifications on the 2.385-mile, 12-turn Sonoma Raceway road course as preparations continued for the Verizon IndyCar Series championship-deciding GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma.
Five of the six title contenders were among the top six on the lap time sheet. Ryan Hunter-Reay, driving the No. 28 DHL Andretti Autosport Honda, was quickest at 1 minute, 16.8702 seconds. Power's lap record is 1:17.2393.
The three rounds of qualifications are at 3 p.m. PT (live on NBCSN) to determine the Verizon P1 Award winner and set the 25-grid for the 85-lap championship-deciding race Aug. 30 (1 p.m. PT on NBCSN).
Cool ambient and track temperatures in the session aided the lap times as they relate to the new primary and alternate Firestone Racing tires that feature softer compounds to improve grip levels around the circuit. Seven drivers had the opportunity to compare the new primary tire against the 2014 tire in back-to-back stints during a test day Aug. 13 at Sonoma Raceway. The construction of both the primary and alternate is the same as the other road course tires used this season.
Graham Rahal, who enters the season finale 34 points behind championship front-runner Juan Pablo Montoya, was second on the lap time sheet at 1:16.8989 in the No. 15 Steak 'n Shake Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda. He also was second in the initial practice session Aug. 28.
Josef Newgarden, who is sixth in the standings, was third quick (1:16.9269) in the No. 67 GoPro CFH Racing Chevrolet, while Montoya was fourth (1:16.9301) in the No. 2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet. Three-time series champion Scott Dixon, who is third in the standings, was fifth quick (1:16.9343) in the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet.
Helio Castroneves, who is fifth in the championship, was sixth (1:16.9558) in the No. 3 Hitachi team Penske Chevrolet. Power, fourth in the standings, checked in ninth on lap time (1:17.0893) in the No. 1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet entering the double base points season finale. It is the 10th consecutive season that the Verizon IndyCar Series champion will be decided in the final race.
Power, a three-time winner at Sonoma Raceway, has started from the pole four times in the past five years.
Montoya has stood atop the standings since winning the season opener March 29 on the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla.