Dixon leads lightning-fast opening practice at Watkins Glen

Updated: 

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. – Just six days after recording the fifth-closest finish in Indy car history at Texas Motor Speedway, the Verizon IndyCar Series continued its fast and furious theme as Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon led first practice for the INDYCAR Grand Prix at The Glen, unofficially eclipsing the Watkins Glen International track record by more than four seconds.

CLICK HERE: INDYCAR Grand Prix at The Glen practice 1 results

Dixon (No. 9 Target Chevrolet) paced the first practice with a fast lap of 1 minute, 23.8921 seconds (144.614 mph), followed by Sebastien Bourdais (No. 11 Team Hydroxycut-KVSH Racing Chevrolet, 1:24.2547) and Will Power (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, 1:24.7401). All 22 cars ran laps faster than the official lap record of 1:28.1332 set in 2009 by Ryan Briscoe. The Verizon IndyCar Series is racing on the historic 3.37-mile permanent road course this weekend for the first time since 2010.

“Definitely ideal conditions this morning and a little cooler than when we tested here,” said Dixon, who won three races in a row at Watkins Glen from 2005-2007. “The Target car has rolled off fast here today, and hopefully we can maintain this through the weekend.

“But, as always, it’s going to be highly competitive and we have a lot of work to get through. But so far it’s started well, so we’ll see where we go.”

The session was interrupted just before its halfway point when Conor Daly (No. 18 Jonathan Byrd’s Hospitality Dale Coyne Racing Honda) spun exiting Turn 6 after running over a patch of water on the curbing and made heavy contact with the wall.

“We tested here and you could use that curb every time,” said Daly, who was uninjured, “and the test went really well here for us. As soon as I touched, it was like literally the whole rear just snapped quicker than I’ve felt before in my life.”

The subsequent cleanup of Daly’s crash and drying of curbs paused practice for 23 minutes, leading INDYCAR officials to add 10 minutes to the session, which resumed and was completed without interruption.

The Verizon IndyCar Series is back on track this afternoon at 3:30 p.m. ET for a two-hour practice session. Coverage of the session can be found live on NBCSN and the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network, as teams prepare for Sunday’s 60-lap race.

Take some laps around Watkins Glen in the cockpit with Ed Carpenter Racing's Spencer Pigot, via Visor Cam:

Rank

Car

Driver Name

C/A/E/T

Time

Speed

Diff

Gap

Best Lap

Total Laps

1

9

Dixon, Scott

D/C/C/F

01:23.8921

144.614

--.----

--.----

10

10

2

11

Bourdais, Sebastien

D/C/C/F

01:24.2547

143.992

0.3626

0.3626

11

11

3

12

Power, Will

D/C/C/F

01:24.7401

143.167

0.8480

0.4854

12

12

4

10

Kanaan, Tony

D/C/C/F

01:24.7934

143.077

0.9013

0.0533

11

12

5

15

Rahal, Graham

D/H/H/F

01:24.8563

142.971

0.9642

0.0629

12

12

6

2

Montoya, Juan Pablo

D/C/C/F

01:24.8949

142.906

1.0028

0.0386

8

12

7

21

Newgarden, Josef

D/C/C/F

01:24.9028

142.893

1.0107

0.0079

5

9

8

22

Pagenaud, Simon

D/C/C/F

01:25.0393

142.663

1.1472

0.1365

10

13

9

3

Castroneves, Helio

D/C/C/F

01:25.1587

142.463

1.2666

0.1194

10

11

10

98

Rossi, Alexander (R)

D/H/H/F

01:25.2667

142.283

1.3746

0.1080

9

14

11

83

Kimball, Charlie

D/C/C/F

01:25.5153

141.869

1.6232

0.2486

9

13

12

8

Chilton, Max (R)

D/C/C/F

01:25.6268

141.685

1.7347

0.1115

10

11

13

28

Hunter-Reay, Ryan

D/H/H/F

01:25.7017

141.561

1.8096

0.0749

7

10

14

14

Sato, Takuma

D/H/H/F

01:25.8544

141.309

1.9623

0.1527

11

12

15

5

Hinchcliffe, James

D/H/H/F

01:25.8721

141.280

1.9800

0.0177

11

11

16

20

Pigot, Spencer (R)

D/C/C/F

01:25.9610

141.134

2.0689

0.0889

12

15

17

19

Enerson, RC (R)

D/H/H/F

01:25.9777

141.106

2.0856

0.0167

12

15

18

7

Aleshin, Mikhail

D/H/H/F

01:25.9785

141.105

2.0864

0.0008

8

12

19

41

Hawksworth, Jack

D/H/H/F

01:26.0642

140.965

2.1721

0.0857

10

13

20

27

Andretti, Marco

D/H/H/F

01:26.1094

140.891

2.2173

0.0452

8

12

21

26

Munoz, Carlos

D/H/H/F

01:26.1865

140.765

2.2944

0.0771

12

12

22

18

Daly, Conor (R)

D/H/H/F

01:27.2666

139.022

3.3745

1.0801

4

4

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

Total Laps: 256

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