Rahal tops final practice before Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach

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LONG BEACH, Calif. – In the final warmup ahead of the 42nd Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, it was the No. 15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing/PennGrade Motor Oil Honda of Graham Rahal leading the field as all 21 car-driver combinations completed final preparations for this afternoon’s battle on the streets of Long Beach.

Rahal’s best lap of 1 minute, 7.3319 seconds (105.222 mpoh) came on the 16th of 23 total laps in the session on the 1.968-mile temporary street course, closely followed by the Team Penske duo of the No. 3 Auto Club of Southern California Chevrolet of Helio Castroneves (1:07.5605) and Juan Pablo Montoya’s No. 2 Verizon Chevrolet (1:07.6142). Schmidt Peterson Motorsports’ James Hinchcliffe finished the session P4 in his No. 5 Arrow Electronics Honda (1:07.6426), and defending race winner Scott Dixon’s No. 9 Chip Ganassi Racing Target Chevrolet rounded out the top five (1:07.6871).

CLICK HERE: Warm-up practice results; Combined practice session results

Pole sitter Castroneves’ pace in the final session is unsurprising, as he and his Penske teammates have run up front nearly all weekend. All four entries will start in the top six in today's race, but Will Power struggled in the final session, completing 20 laps with a best of 1:08.3493 in his No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, next-to-last on the time sheet.

Leading the highly anticipated rookie class in the warmup was the No. 98 Andretti Herta Autosport Castrol Edge/Curb Honda piloted by American Alexander Rossi. The Californian, professionally racing in his home state for the first time, finished the session P10 with a best lap of 1:07.9031.

Round 3 of the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series season, the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach is just hours away. Coverage of the 80-lap race can be seen on NBCSN starting at 4 p.m. ET, and can be heard on Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network.

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