Josef Newgarden, who missed the first practice session of Friday due to mechanical issues with the No. 1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, led his sixth practice session of the year with a quick lap that timed in at 77.816 seconds.
Newgarden was joined by fellow contenders for the Astor Cup, Scott Dixon (2nd quickest), Will Power (4th fastest) and Alexander Rossi (6th fastest) at the top of the practice timesheet.
Joining that quartet was newly crowned Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires champion Patricio O’Ward and Schmidt Peterson Motorsports veteran James Hinchcliffe, who rebounded from a two spin first practice session.
Friday’s second Verizon IndyCar Series practice in preparation the INDYCAR Grand Prix Of Sonoma began promptly at 3 PM. The sky had a few high clouds, the air temperature was 76F, the track temperature was 109F, and the wind was a steady 10mph+ from the South-Southwest.
Similar to the first practice session clouds of dust and off-track excursions were the big story.
Newgarden, Dixon, Tony Kanaan, Rossi all dropped four wheels, and many more got two wheels off the 2.385-mile, 12-turn Sonoma Raceway road course.
With 12-minutes remaining the lone red flag of the one-hour session came out for Ed Jones who spun in Turn 7 and came to a stop. The AMR INDYCAR Safety Team was able to get the Honda in the No. 10 NTT Data sponsored machine restarted, and the Emirati was able to drive back to pit lane. Jones was able to get back on track and turned the sixth quickest lap of the session.
Joining O’Ward in the top ten were the Dale Coyne Racing duo of Santino Ferrucci and Pietro Fittipaldi.
The quarter-century of entries turned a total of 434 laps in the 60-minute session. Ferrucci in the easily identifiable purple Cly-Del sponsored No. 39 completed 54.86 miles or 23 circuits of the 12-Turn Wine Country road course.
After two practice sessions on the 2.385-mile, 12-turn Sonoma Raceway road course with Universal Aero Kit, the event feels quite similar to the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio. The Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course is another low grip track that also saw plenty of drivers taking off-track excursions.
It will be interesting to see how the rest of the weekend plays out.
We’re off to the paddock to see what we can learn and will be back with more in a little bit.
INDYCAR Grand Prix Of Sonoma Practice #2 results
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