Dixon tops Firestone 600 warmup practice; Sato crashes

Updated: 

FORT WORTH, Texas – Chip Ganassi Racing teammates Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan found speed in a short final practice prior to tonight’s completion of the Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway.

Meanwhile, Takuma Sato and his AJ Foyt Racing crew have extra, hurried work to do after a suspension failure sent his No. 14 ABC Supply Honda into the Turn 4 wall a minute into the practice session this afternoon.

Dixon, in the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet, posted the fastest lap (214.937 mph) of the 20 drivers who will resume the race starting on Lap 72 of a scheduled 248 around the 1.455-mile, high-banked oval (9 p.m. ET, NBCSN and the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network). Teammate Kanaan, in the No. 10 NTT Data Chevy, was second fastest at 214.476 mph.

The field was split into two groups for the session, abbreviated to seven minutes of green-flag time for each group following Sato’s crash. Marco Andretti, in the No. 27 Snapple Honda for Andretti Autosport, was third fastest at 213.095 mph.

Replays showed Sato’s car emit sparks from the rear as he entered Turn 4. The right side glanced off the SAFER Barrier. Sato emerged unassisted and was cleared to drive as the crew feverishly worked in its garage to make repairs.

“I think it was a suspension-related failure,” Sato said. “I don’t know what exactly happened, but obviously we lost right-front grip immediately with a click. I could feel the ‘dunk,’ you know, as the car was on the floor. It was virtually the second lap, it wasn’t even up to speed, so there was something wrong.”

The Firestone 600 was scheduled as the ninth race of the 2016 for June 11. Rain and wet track conditions that evening forced postponement until the following afternoon, when 71 laps were completed before rain returned. INDYCAR and track officials decided then to reschedule the race completion for tonight. It will now be the 14th completed race of the season.

James Hinchcliffe (No. 5 Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda) was in first place when the race was red-flagged 11 weeks ago, with Ryan Hunter-Reay (No. 28 DHL Honda) second and Hinchcliffe’s teammate, Mikhail Aleshin (No. 7 SMP Racing Schmidt Peterson Honda) in third.

Sixteen cars are on the lead lap, with Sato, Andretti and Max Chilton one lap off the pace and Jack Hawksworth two laps behind. Even though those four drivers are not on the lead lap, Sato will restart directly behind Hinchcliffe because that’s where he was in the order when the race was stopped. Andretti will be ninth on the single-file line, Chilton 16th and Hawksworth 20th.

Championship leader Simon Pagenaud of Team Penske restarts the race in 15th position in the No. 22 Hewlett Packard Enterprise Chevrolet. His teammate, Will Power, has closed within 20 points of Pagenaud and restarts fourth in the No. 12 Verizon Chevy.

Warmup practice results:

Rank

Car

Driver Name

C/A/E/T

Time

Speed

Diff

Gap

Best Lap

Total Laps

1

9

Dixon, Scott

D/C/C/F

00:24.3699

214.937

--.----

--.----

4

16

2

10

Kanaan, Tony

D/C/C/F

00:24.4223

214.476

0.0524

0.0524

5

16

3

27

Andretti, Marco

D/H/H/F

00:24.5806

213.095

0.2107

0.1583

7

18

4

15

Rahal, Graham

D/H/H/F

00:24.6187

212.765

0.2488

0.0381

5

16

5

11

Bourdais, Sebastien

D/C/C/F

00:24.6884

212.164

0.3185

0.0697

4

16

6

2

Montoya, Juan Pablo

D/C/C/F

00:24.7140

211.945

0.3441

0.0256

3

16

7

5

Hinchcliffe, James

D/H/H/F

00:24.8274

210.977

0.4575

0.1134

15

16

8

28

Hunter-Reay, Ryan

D/H/H/F

00:24.8412

210.859

0.4713

0.0138

6

15

9

22

Pagenaud, Simon

D/C/C/F

00:24.8449

210.828

0.4750

0.0037

7

16

10

20

Carpenter, Ed

D/C/C/F

00:24.8551

210.741

0.4852

0.0102

8

18

11

98

Rossi, Alexander (R)

D/H/H/F

00:24.9133

210.249

0.5434

0.0582

4

17

12

19

Chaves, Gabby

D/H/H/F

00:24.9910

209.595

0.6211

0.0777

9

18

13

3

Castroneves, Helio

D/C/C/F

00:25.0304

209.266

0.6605

0.0394

6

17

14

26

Munoz, Carlos

D/H/H/F

00:25.0432

209.159

0.6733

0.0128

5

16

15

7

Aleshin, Mikhail

D/H/H/F

00:25.0560

209.052

0.6861

0.0128

14

18

16

12

Power, Will

D/C/C/F

00:25.0749

208.894

0.7050

0.0189

10

18

17

41

Hawksworth, Jack

D/H/H/F

00:25.0762

208.883

0.7063

0.0013

6

16

18

83

Kimball, Charlie

D/C/C/F

00:25.1207

208.513

0.7508

0.0445

7

18

19

8

Chilton, Max (R)

D/C/C/F

00:25.2348

207.570

0.8649

0.1141

7

17

20

14

Sato, Takuma

D/H/H/F

00:39.5444

132.459

15.1745

14.3096

2

2

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

Total Laps:320

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