Power leads INDYCAR Grand Prix warmup; Rahal shows promise in 4th

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INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana – Will Power made it a sweep of leading every on-track session leading up to this afternoon’s INDYCAR Grand Prix when he paced this morning’s 30-minute practice.

Whether the 2015 race winner can repeat that feat of winning from the pole will be determined later today. But the story in today’s 85-lap race may lie with some hard chargers toward the rear of the 22-car starting grid.

Power’s fast lap of 1 minute, 10.2014 (125.074 mph) in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet led teammate Josef Newgarden (No. 2 hum by Verizon Chevrolet, 1:10.2575) and Scott Dixon (No. 9 NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing Honda, 1:10.4306) on the 2.439-mile road course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Those three drivers will all start among the first four in the race.

INDYCAR GRAND PRIX: Warmup practice results; Combined practice results; Starting lineup/tire designation

James HinchcliffeThey were followed by Graham Rahal (No. 15 Soldier Strong / TurnsForTroops.com Honda, 1:10.4851) and Marco Andretti (No. 27 United Fiber & Data Honda, 1:10.4911) rounding out the top five. Rahal must come from 20th on the starting grid while Andretti goes off 11th.

Rahal gained confidence from the morning result.

“It was pretty small changes overnight,” said the Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing driver, who started last year’s race 24th and charged to fourth by the checkered flag. “We don’t have to overreact. The car was pretty competitive yesterday, we just unfortunately had some circumstances that worked against us, and today we’re going to have some work to do … but it can be done.

“Every year, the field gets more competitive, it gets closer, it gets harder, but we’re looking forward to the challenge today.”

Two-time INDYCAR Grand Prix winner Simon Pagenaud, also the reigning Verizon IndyCar Series champion, was sixth in the final practice. Pagenaud will start seventh in the race in the No. 1 Menards Team Penske Chevrolet. He takes an 18-point lead over Dixon atop the series standings into the race.

Live coverage of the fourth annual INDYCAR Grand Prix begins at 3 p.m. ET on the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network and 3:30 p.m. on ABC. The green flag is expected to wave at 3:50 p.m.

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