Ryan Briscoe opened this weekend's IndyCar season-finale at Fontana by going fastest in the first practice session on Friday.
Penske driver Briscoe took the honours half an hour into the 90-minute session with a 217.517mph lap that put him 0.083mph clear of owner/driver Ed Carpenter, who had been the benchmark during the first 30 minutes.
Carpenter's time was still good enough for him to remain second-quickest, with Ganassi's Dario Franchitti and the Penske cars of points leader Will Power and Helio Castroneves rounding out the top five.
Power's championship rival Ryan Hunter-Reay ended the morning with the 16th-fastest lap for Andretti Autosport.
The session was interrupted three times by yellow flags, two for debris and a third caused by Justin Wilson getting out of shape and crashing at the exit of Turn 2.
"I was on new tyres," Wilson said. "I was starting my second lap. I'm not sure why it didn't stick.
"It's disappointing; it set our whole weekend back. We'll just have to work on trying to get the car ready for tomorrow now."
The session was the only opportunity for teams to fine-tune their set-ups ahead of qualifying on Saturday afternoon.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap 1. Ryan Briscoe Penske Dallara-Chevy 33.1008s 2. Ed Carpenter Carpenter Dallara-Chevy 33.1842s + 0.0834s 3. Dario Franchitti Ganassi Dallara-Honda 33.2495s + 0.1487s 4. Will Power Penske Dallara-Chevy 33.2651s + 0.1643s 5. Helio Castroneves Penske Dallara-Chevy 33.2787s + 0.1779s 6. Scott Dixon Ganassi Dallara-Honda 33.3008s + 0.2000s 7. Tony Kanaan KV Dallara-Chevy 33.3484s + 0.2476s 8. Marco Andretti Andretti Dallara-Chevy 33.4625s + 0.3617s 9. JR Hildebrand Panther Dallara-Chevy 33.5291s + 0.4283s 10. Graham Rahal Ganassi Dallara-Honda 33.8624s + 0.7616s 11. Katherine Legge Dragon Dallara-Chevy 33.8930s + 0.7922s 12. James Hinchcliffe Andretti Dallara-Chevy 33.9226s + 0.8218s 13. Justin Wilson Coyne Dallara-Honda 33.9854s + 0.8846s 14. Rubens Barrichello KV Dallara-Chevy 33.9949s + 0.8941s 15. Charlie Kimball Ganassi Dallara-Honda 34.0648s + 0.9640s 16. Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Dallara-Chevy 34.0790s + 0.9782s 17. Takuma Sato Rahal Dallara-Honda 34.1331s + 1.0323s 18. Simon Pagenaud Schmidt Dallara-Honda 34.2560s + 1.1552s 19. EJ Viso KV Dallara-Chevy 34.2830s + 1.1822s 20. Sebastian Saavedra AFS/Andretti Dallara-Chevy 34.3579s + 1.2571s 21. Oriol Servia Panther/DRR Dallara-Chevy 34.3587s + 1.2579s 22. James Jakes Coyne Dallara-Honda 34.4343s + 1.3335s 23. Wade Cunningham Foyt Dallara-Honda 34.5841s + 1.4833s 24. Josef Newgarden Fisher Dallara-Chevy 34.9272s + 1.8264s 25. Alex Tagliani Herta Dallara-Honda 35.2897s + 2.1889s 26. Simona de Silvestro HVM Dallara-Lotus 36.7714s + 3.6706s