Pato O’Ward on track at Texas Motor Speedway

(Photo Courtesy of INDYCAR – Chris Owens)

By Steve Wittich .. Trackside Online

A total of 17 NTT INDYCAR SERIES took to the high-banked Texas Motor Speedway to take part in a test in preparation for the Genesys 300 and XPEL 375 doubleheader in a month’s time.

For the third time during off-season private testing, it was the Pato O’Ward and the No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet that ended the day at the head of the class. The 2018 Indy Lights champion was also the quickest in a pair of February tests at Sebring International Raceway and WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.

The Mexican driver was the third quickest driver during a November test at Barber Motorsports Park.

O’Ward’s unofficial quick lap was clocked at over 222mph, eclipsing Scott Dixon’s fastest lap during the 2020 event by over six mph.

The 17 drivers completed a total of 3,179, primarily trouble-free miles.

When we checked in with some people on the ground at Texas Motor Speedway, we were told it was a reasonably clean test. The only contact came late when A.J. Foyt Racing veteran Sebastien Bourdais made light contact in Turn 2. From a source, it left marks on the wall, and the car had to be brought back to the team “on the hook.”

This is where we insert our usual corollary that testing times don’t matter. Teams will have different drivers working on different programs, so don’t read too much into the times.

Unofficial timing results from the NTT INDYCAR SERIES test at Texas Motor Speedway on March 31, 2021.

15Pato O’WardArrow McLaren SPChevrolet23.325222.25146
227Alexander RossiAndretti AutosportHonda23.473220.85178
360Jack HarveyMeyer-Shank RacingHonda23.505220.55205
422Simon PagenaudTeam PenskeChevrolet23.515220.46224
512Will PowerTeam PenskeChevrolet23.520220.41247
67Felix RosenqvistArrow McLaren SPChevrolet23.556220.07136
726Colton HertaAndretti AutosportHonda23.604219.62197
821Rinus VeeKayEd Carpenter RacingChevrolet23.608219.59208
92Josef NewgardenTeam PenskeChevrolet23.680218.92219
1014Sebastien BourdaisA.J. Foyt RacingChevrolet23.700218.73166
1120Ed CarpenterEd Carpenter RacingChevrolet23.707218.67162
123Scott McLaughlinTeam PenskeChevrolet23.762218.16233
1330Takuma SatoRahal Letterman Lanigan RacingHonda23.800217.815184
1428Ryan Hunter-ReayAndretti AutosportHonda23.807217.75167
1529James HinchcliffeAndretti AutosportHonda23.838217.47160
1615Graham RahalRahal Letterman Lanigan RacingHonda23.895216.95207
174Dalton KellettA.J. Foyt RacingChevrolet23.922216.70140

Speed in MPH was calculated using a track length of 1.44 miles.

Dale Coyne Racing drivers Ed Jones and Pietro Fittipaldi will take to the same 1.5-mile Texas Motor Speedway oval tomorrow.

A sizeable open test with 25+ cars will occur at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on April 8 and 9.

While it hasn’t been officially announced yet, we do expect some video and audio coverage will be available.