Ganassi duo pace Firestone 600 practice

Updated: 

FORT WORTH, Texas – Tony Kanaan has never won the pole position at Texas Motor Speedway, though he did win a blind draw for the first starting position in the second race of the 2011 twin 275 races at the 1.4550-mile oval.

Even though he was fastest in today’s only practice prior to afternoon qualifying for the Firestone 600, Kanaan – who has 15 career poles to his credit – isn’t sure it gives him a leg up on the field.

“Qualifying is going to be a lottery,” the Chip Ganassi Racing driver said after posting the best lap of the session (216.745 mph) in the No. 10 NTT Data Chevrolet.

CLICK HERE: Firestone 600 practice 1 results; Firestone 600 qualifications order

Kanaan, who won the June 2004 race at Texas on his way to the Verizon IndyCar Series championship that year, nudged teammate Scott Dixon for top speed honors in practice. Dixon, who won the 2015 Firestone 600 on his way to the season championship, clocked a lap of 216.613 mph as the four Ganassi cars split responsibilities in the 80-minute session to gather as much data as possible ahead of qualifying.

A final practice this evening on the 1.455-mile oval will allow teams to finalize preparations in conditions similar to Saturday night’s 248-lap race.

“We had a pretty good plan,” Kanaan said. “We divided the workload between the four cars. We’ll get together now (to analyze data). Like I said, qualifying is going to be a lottery, but I’m looking forward to tonight’s session and tomorrow night is what counts.”

A total of 754 laps were completed by the 22 cars entered. Most teams attempted at least one qualifying simulation before turning their attention to race setups.

Josef Newgarden was third fastest in the No. 21 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet with a lap of 216.242 mph, but the Ed Carpenter Racing driver had the fastest lap without a tow from cars in front of it, at 215.823 mph.

“We should have a good shot of starting up front,” Newgarden said. “Hopefully we execute OK.

“Then our race car is all about looking out for the tires,” the two-time race winner in 2015 added. “Firestone gives us the best tires out there, but they’re designed to fall off a little bit. We want to make it difficult on the drivers to learn how to race them, so it’s our job to make sure how to take care of them. I think we’ve figured out how to make them live pretty well and should have a good car for the race.”

Marco Andretti, in the No. 27 Snapple entry for Andretti Autosport, was the top Honda, fifth overall at 215.882 mph.

“It’s tricky in these warm conditions,” Andretti said. “You’re trying to find a race car balance and the race is at night, so it’s a bit tricky. I think tonight we’ll get a better feel for the race car. The qualifying car seems to have some pace, so we’re happy with that.”

The only incident of the session came early, when Gabby Chaves spun the No 19 Boy Scouts of America Honda in Turn 4 and made contact with the SAFER Barrier on the outside wall. Chaves was uninjured but his Dale Coyne Racing entry sustained significant rear-end damage.

“I feel fine,” Chaves said. “It’s just not a good way to start the weekend. I’m a little disappointed. I’m not sure (what happened), I’d have to look at the replay. To me it just felt like it hit the ground, bottomed out and just went around.”

Single-car qualifying, with each car completing two times laps, begins at 4:15 p.m. ET. A live video stream of the session is available at RaceControl.IndyCar.com and a delayed broadcast airs at 6 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

The final practice session runs from 7:45-8:15 p.m. ET and will also stream live on RaceControl.IndyCar.com. Race coverage begins at 8 p.m. ET Saturday on NBCSN and the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network.

Practice 1 results:

Rank

Car

Driver Name

C/A/E/T

Time

Speed

Diff

Gap

Best Lap

Total Laps

1

10

Kanaan, Tony

D/C/C/F

00:24.1666

216.745

--.----

--.----

8

28

2

9

Dixon, Scott

D/C/C/F

00:24.1814

216.613

0.0148

0.0148

9

33

3

21

Newgarden, Josef

D/C/C/F

00:24.2229

216.242

0.0563

0.0415

4

49

4

83

Kimball, Charlie

D/C/C/F

00:24.2551

215.955

0.0885

0.0322

4

34

5

27

Andretti, Marco

D/H/H/F

00:24.2609

215.903

0.0943

0.0058

4

47

6

26

Munoz, Carlos

D/H/H/F

00:24.2633

215.882

0.0967

0.0024

8

30

7

98

Rossi, Alexander (R)

D/H/H/F

00:24.2939

215.610

0.1273

0.0306

5

45

8

2

Montoya, Juan Pablo

D/C/C/F

00:24.3452

215.155

0.1786

0.0513

27

29

9

12

Power, Will

D/C/C/F

00:24.3655

214.976

0.1989

0.0203

36

40

10

28

Hunter-Reay, Ryan

D/H/H/F

00:24.3902

214.758

0.2236

0.0247

15

17

11

14

Sato, Takuma

D/H/H/F

00:24.4160

214.531

0.2494

0.0258

33

39

12

22

Pagenaud, Simon

D/C/C/F

00:24.4245

214.457

0.2579

0.0085

40

43

13

15

Rahal, Graham

D/H/H/F

00:24.4444

214.282

0.2778

0.0199

3

12

14

3

Castroneves, Helio

D/C/C/F

00:24.4847

213.930

0.3181

0.0403

37

38

15

7

Aleshin, Mikhail

D/H/H/F

00:24.5965

212.957

0.4299

0.1118

7

32

16

11

Bourdais, Sebastien

D/C/C/F

00:24.6311

212.658

0.4645

0.0346

8

50

17

41

Hawksworth, Jack

D/H/H/F

00:24.6496

212.498

0.4830

0.0185

27

43

18

20

Carpenter, Ed

D/C/C/F

00:24.6827

212.213

0.5161

0.0331

11

27

19

5

Hinchcliffe, James

D/H/H/F

00:24.8121

211.107

0.6455

0.1294

19

30

20

18

Daly, Conor (R)

D/H/H/F

00:24.8139

211.091

0.6473

0.0018

27

31

21

8

Chilton, Max (R)

D/C/C/F

00:24.8534

210.756

0.6868

0.0395

31

53

22

19

Chaves, Gabby

D/H/H/F

00:26.9167

194.600

2.7501

2.0633

4

4

(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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