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IndyCar Indianapolis 500

Indy 500: Newgarden tops intense post-qualifying practice at 226.238mph

Josef Newgarden led an intense post-qualifying practice session for the 108th running of the Indianapolis 500 on a warm and windy Monday afternoon.

Josef Newgarden, Team Penske Chevrolet

Defending Indy 500 champion Newgarden served up a flying lap of 226.238mph in the No. 2 Team Penske Chevrolet to edge out Andretti Global’s Colton Herta by 0.0028s.

“The team's done a great job,” said Newgarden. “I love this place. We're going to see how things shake up because you got to be ready for everything.”

Herta, who was routinely in the mix and moved through the field on multiple occasions, was on top of the leaderboard during the early part of the session. He logged 96 laps, the fourth-most on the day.

“I think we’re there,” Herta said. “I feel really, really happy with the car at the moment.”

The No. 12 Team Penske Chevrolet of 2018 winner Will Power ended up third, 0.0177s behind team-mate Newgarden.

Juncos Hollinger Racing’s Agustin Canapino wrapped up the session in fourth, ahead of Arrow McLaren’s Pato O’Ward in fifth.

Rookie Christian Rasmussen was sixth, logging 100 laps in the No.33 Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet with a best of 225.718mph (0.0916s behind Newgarden).

Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda, Alex Palou, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda

Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda, Alex Palou, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda

Photo by: Michael L. Levitt / Motorsport Images

Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon, the 2008 Indy 500 winner, was seventh. The No. 77 Juncos Hollinger Racing Chevrolet of Romain Grosjean was eighth, ahead of Arrow McLaren’s Alexander Rossi in ninth.

Marco Andretti rounded out the final spot of the top 10, putting the No. 98 Andretti Herta Honda 0.1825s off the pace set by Newgarden.

Although it was a good day on the timesheets, Newgarden had a close call after hitting the kerb in Turn 2 with 30 minutes left.

The No. 28 Andretti Global Honda of Marcus Ericsson, the 2022 Indy 500 champion, and Conor Daly’s Dreyer & Reinbold Chevrolet had a near-miss on pit lane in the final 25 minutes.

Daly was released and almost collided with Ericsson, who was sliding into his pitbox. As a result, Daly was handed a drive-through penalty for an unsafe pitlane release.

Rookie Tom Blomqvist logged a session-most 106 laps but spun exiting his pitbox in the final 11 minutes. He ended up 16th on the timesheets at 0.2906s behind the top mark.

There was a caution flag thrown at the halfway point for a track inspection, which put a temporary halt to the on-track action that featured some wild moments of three-wide running and plenty of overtaking moves in preparation for Sunday’s big race.

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