Newgarden sets blazing pace in final practice before first Chevrolet Dual in Detroit race

Updated: 

DETROIT – The Verizon IndyCar Series field took to the Raceway at Belle Isle Park this morning for its final warmup ahead of this afternoon’s first race of Chevrolet Dual in Detroit presented by Quicken Loans doubleheader weekend. If the pace from the practice is any indication, it should be a heck of a race.

Josef Newgarden (No. 21 Preferred Freezer/Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet) posted the fastest lap in the 30-minute session at 1 minute, 14.6464 seconds (113.334 mph). The lap for the Ed Carpenter Racing driver was faster than the track record set a day ago by Helio Castroneves in qualifying for today’s race. Newgarden will start 14th in the 22-car field today.

“I think our car was good just like yesterday,” Newgarden said. “I put us in a hole in qualifying as I brushed the wall and we had a tire go down. I think we have a fast car, we had a fast car yesterday, just didn’t exploit it.”

CLICK HERE: Practice 2 resultsCombined practice resultsChevrolet Dual in Detroit race 1 starting lineup

Teams are required to run at least two race laps on each of the tire compounds supplied by Firestone – the black-sidewall primary Firehawks and the red-sidewall alternates with a softer tread compound that should deliver faster lap times but sacrifice some durability. All of the 22 drivers but one in today’s field elected to start the race on the alternates. The exception is Carlos Munoz, who will start fifth in the No. 26 Magneti Marelli Honda for Andretti Autosport.

“On the tires, from blacks to reds, they’re very similar,” Newgarden said. “You can’t really gain a peak performance from one to the other like other tracks. For us, the blacks are the better choice because of the longevity of them. You’re going to have your hands full today on blacks or reds.”

Scott Dixon, the 2012 race winner on the 2.35-mile Belle Isle temporary street circuit, was second in today’s practice in the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet (1:14.8319, 113.053 mph). Ryan Hunter-Reay’s No. 28 DHL Andretti Autosport Honda was third (1:14.9739, 112.839 mph). 

Simon Pagenaud, winner of the Verizon P1 Award for pole position Friday in the No. 22 Hewlett Packard Enterprise Chevrolet, was fourth this morning (1:14.9979, 112.803 mph).

It was a tough session for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports. James Hinchcliffe, in the No. 5 Arrow Honda, brought out a brief red flag when he spun exiting Turn 5, suffering rear wing damage.

“We were just trying some stuff, running in traffic there,” said Hinchcliffe, who starts fourth in the race. “Better to have it happen there in practice than in the race. We figured some stuff out, obviously missed a bit of track time. That hurts, but good starting spot for the 5 car today, so hopefully we can move forward.”

Hinchcliffe’s teammate, Mikhail Aleshin had issues of his own, going off track multiple times in Turn 7 in his No. 7 SMP Racing Honda. It was the same turn where Aleshin made contact with the tire barrier in practice Friday. Hinchcliffe and Aleshin ended the session 13th (1:15.8925, 111.473 mph) and 21st (1:16.7108, 110.284 mph), respectively.

Coverage for Race 1 of the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit presented by Quicken Loans begins at 3 p.m. ET on the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network and at 3:30 p.m. on ABC. Broadcast times are the same for Race 2 on Sunday. Both races are 70 laps or 164.5 miles.

This morning's practice results are below:

Rank

Car

Driver Name

C/A/E/T

Time

Speed

Diff

Gap

Best Lap

Total Laps

1

21

Newgarden, Josef

D/C/C/F

01:14.6464

113.334

--.----

--.----

11

15

2

9

Dixon, Scott

D/C/C/F

01:14.8319

113.053

0.1855

0.1855

14

19

3

28

Hunter-Reay, Ryan

D/H/H/F

01:14.9739

112.839

0.3275

0.1420

10

15

4

22

Pagenaud, Simon

D/C/C/F

01:14.9979

112.803

0.3515

0.0240

16

19

5

2

Montoya, Juan Pablo

D/C/C/F

01:15.2330

112.451

0.5866

0.2351

8

16

6

27

Andretti, Marco

D/H/H/F

01:15.3196

112.321

0.6732

0.0866

15

17

7

18

Daly, Conor

D/H/H/F

01:15.4205

112.171

0.7741

0.1009

11

15

8

11

Bourdais, Sebastien

D/C/C/F

01:15.4551

112.120

0.8087

0.0346

15

19

9

3

Castroneves, Helio

D/C/C/F

01:15.5552

111.971

0.9088

0.1001

15

20

10

15

Rahal, Graham

D/H/H/F

01:15.7407

111.697

1.0943

0.1855

11

18

11

12

Power, Will

D/C/C/F

01:15.7503

111.683

1.1039

0.0096

8

15

12

26

Munoz, Carlos

D/H/H/F

01:15.8747

111.500

1.2283

0.1244

12

17

13

5

Hinchcliffe, James

D/H/H/F

01:15.8925

111.473

1.2461

0.0178

10

10

14

19

Chaves, Gabby

D/H/H/F

01:15.9126

111.444

1.2662

0.0201

15

16

15

20

Pigot, Spencer (R)

D/C/C/F

01:15.9402

111.403

1.2938

0.0276

12

16

16

14

Sato, Takuma

D/H/H/F

01:16.0275

111.276

1.3811

0.0873

16

16

17

98

Rossi, Alexander (R)

D/H/H/F

01:16.0940

111.178

1.4476

0.0665

11

15

18

83

Kimball, Charlie

D/C/C/F

01:16.1888

111.040

1.5424

0.0948

10

13

19

41

Hawksworth, Jack

D/H/H/F

01:16.6627

110.354

2.0163

0.4739

11

12

20

10

Kanaan, Tony

D/C/C/F

01:16.6988

110.302

2.0524

0.0361

12

13

21

7

Aleshin, Mikhail

D/H/H/F

01:16.7108

110.284

2.0644

0.0120

12

14

22

8

Chilton, Max (R)

D/C/C/F

01:17.0291

109.829

2.3827

0.3183

12

17

(R) Rookie (C)hassis: D=Dallara | (A)erokit: C=Chevy, H=Honda | (E)ngine: C=Chevy, H=Honda | (T)ire: F=Firestone

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