Race Weekend Central

Will Power Fastest in Friday Long Beach INDYCAR Practice

On Friday afternoon, Team Penske’s Will Power was fastest overall in the two practice sessions for the Verizon IndyCar Series on the streets of Long Beach.  Power’s best lap of 67.0800 seconds (105.617 mph) in the afternoon session was less than a tenth of a second faster than Helio Castroneves‘ pole time from last year.

Practice No. 1

In the morning session, the Verizon IndyCar Series drivers had a lot of the same issues with traction as the IMSA drivers did.  There were a series of instances where drivers slid off the course or went off into the runoff.  Carlos Munoz spun exiting turn 6 and grazed the outside wall.  Munoz was able to continue without issue.

Once the session came to an end, it was Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon on top of the charts with a lap of 67.6357 seconds (104.749 mph).  Dixon was a little over a tenth of a second faster than Castroneves.  Dale Coyne Racing’s Sébastien Bourdais was third quickest, but he didn’t get out of the session unscathed as he too hit the wall exiting turn 5.  Schmidt Peterson Motorsports’ James Hinchcliffe was fourth fastest followed by Power.

Verizon IndyCar Series Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach Practice No. 1 Results

Practice No. 2

The afternoon session saw Tony Kanaan have an adventure.  After going off into the runoff multiple times in the morning, he proceeded to do so a couple of more times in the afternoon.  One of those adventures led to a brief red flag when he stalled his Honda engine in the turn 1 runoff.

Later in the session, Kanaan brushed the wall exiting turn 1.  The hit did not seem to damage the Dallara DW12, though.  Kanaan would eventually end up eighth fastest.

Castroneves was fastest early on, but Power quickly usurped the time.  As the session continued on, Power continued to drop the time down to nearly 67 seconds flat.  Afterwards, Power didn’t have much to say about the car, but indicated that it was “comfortable” in a post-practice press conference.  He also stated that “You don’t want to show people what you got too soon.”

Power’s lap was nearly three-tenths quicker than Andretti Autosport’s Marco Andretti.  Simon Pagenaud was third.  Takuma Sato was fourth in the Panasonic-sponsored No. 26, while Ryan Hunter-Reay rounded out the top five.

Verizon IndyCar Series Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach Practice No. 2 Results

INDYCAR teams have one more practice session scheduled for 10:45 a.m. PDT.  That session will be live-streamed at both INDYCAR.com and on YouTube.


About the author

Phil Allaway has three primary roles at Frontstretch. He's the manager of the site's FREE e-mail newsletter that publishes Monday-Friday and occasionally on weekends. He keeps TV broadcasters honest with weekly editions of Couch Potato Tuesday and serves as the site's Sports Car racing editor.

Outside of Frontstretch, Phil is the press officer for Lebanon Valley Speedway in West Lebanon, N.Y. He covers all the action on the high-banked dirt track from regular DIRTcar Modified racing to occasional visits from touring series such as the Super DIRTcar Series.

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