Practice report

IndyCar Iowa: Oval ace Newgarden fastest in first practice

Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden set the fastest time in opening practice for the IndyCar Series double-header at Iowa Speedway.

Josef Newgarden, Team Penske Chevrolet

Newgarden, this year’s Indianapolis 500 winner, topped the 90-minute session around the 0.875-mile oval with a best lap of 18.242s, a speed of 176.428mph. He has led 1,056 laps and has four wins to his name in 12 starts here.

Ed Carpenter set the early pace at 172.678mph for his own team, 0.3mph ahead of series dominator Alex Palou (Chip Ganassi Racing). The latter’s team-mate Marcus Ericsson then took over P1 at the 10-minute mark with 173.811mph.

A flurry of quickest laps then unfolded from Ryan Hunter-Reay (ECR), Colton Herta (Andretti Autosport) and Newgarden, with the latter the first into the 176mph bracket with 176.428mph, which would remain as the quickest time of practice.

Teams spent much of the session evaluating tyre degradation, with cars on used tyres losing massive speed on Iowa’s well-worn asphalt. Even Newgarden was lapping over 25mph off his fastest time.

Agustin Canapino brought out the first yellow just after the halfway point when he spun his Juncos Hollinger Racing entry at Turn 1 after lighting up the tyres exiting the pits, but fortunately avoiding going into the path of Alexander Rossi’s Arrow McLaren.

Conor Daly, who was again subbing for the sidelined Simon Pagenaud at Meyer Shank Racing, was one of the few to take new rubber in the middle of the session, jumping to fourth with a lap of 174.003mph.

With one-third of the session to go, more new tyres appeared: Ericsson took second at 175.887mph and Pato O’Ward – whose Arrow McLaren team was one of the few not to test here – went fourth with 175.470mph. He then displayed strong five-lap and 10-lap pace on his run.

Patricio O'Ward, Arrow McLaren Chevrolet

Patricio O'Ward, Arrow McLaren Chevrolet

Photo by: Michael L. Levitt / Motorsport Images

Herta came close to grazing the wall at Turn 4 with 20 minutes remaining but got away with it. His team-mate Romain Grosjean then had a near miss with Palou at Turn 3.

Inside the final 10 minutes, a quick second yellow was thrown as Santino Ferrucci ran high through Turn 2 in his AJ Foyt Racing entry.

Penske’s Scott McLaughlin took new tyres at the resumption and leapt to second with 175.968mph, 0.0477s off team-mate Newgarden, which works out at 0.5mph. Takuma Sato did likewise, taking sixth with 175.288mph, and Toronto winner Christian Lundgaard (Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing) took seventh in the final two minutes.

Ericsson, who was third fastest, completed the most laps at 126.

Qualifying starts at 8:30am local time (9:30am ET) on Saturday, where the grids for the races will be set by each driver’s first and second tours of a two-lap run.

IndyCar Iowa - FP1 results

Driver Info
Cla Driver # Laps Time Interval Mph
1 United States J. Newgarden Josef Newgarden Team Penske 2 121 18.2420   176.428
2 New Zealand S. McLaughlin Scott McLaughlin Team Penske 3 116 +0.0477 0.0477 175.968
3 Sweden M. Ericsson Marcus Ericsson Chip Ganassi Racing 8 126 +0.0572 0.0095 175.877
4 United States C. Herta Colton Herta Andretti Autosport 26 77 +0.0943 0.0371 175.521
5 Mexico P. O'Ward Patricio O'Ward Arrow McLaren 5 101 +0.0996 0.0053 175.470
6 Japan T. Sato Takuma Sato Chip Ganassi Racing 11 97 +0.1186 0.0190 175.288
7 Denmark C. Lundgaard Christian Lundgaard Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 45 106 +0.2159 0.0973 174.364
8 United States R. Hunter-Reay Ryan Hunter-Reay Ed Carpenter Racing 20 97 +0.2329 0.0170 174.204
9 United States C. Daly Conor Daly Meyer Shank Racing 60 74 +0.2542 0.0213 174.003
10 New Zealand S. Dixon Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing 9 122 +0.2606 0.0064 173.943
11 United Kingdom J. Harvey Jack Harvey Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 30 107 +0.2867 0.0261 173.698
12 Australia W. Power Will Power Team Penske 12 116 +0.3315 0.0448 173.279
13 Brazil H. Castroneves Helio Castroneves Meyer Shank Racing 06 84 +0.3526 0.0211 173.083
14 United States A. Rossi Alexander Rossi Arrow McLaren 7 103 +0.3537 0.0011 173.072
15 Spain A. Palou Alex Palou Chip Ganassi Racing 10 101 +0.3607 0.0070 173.007
16 United States E. Carpenter Ed Carpenter Ed Carpenter Racing 33 81 +0.3774 0.0167 172.852
17 France R. Grosjean Romain Grosjean Andretti Autosport 28 102 +0.3806 0.0032 172.822
18 United States D. Malukas David Malukas Dale Coyne Racing 18 116 +0.4295 0.0489 172.370
19 Canada D. DeFrancesco Devlin DeFrancesco Andretti Autosport 29 83 +0.4406 0.0111 172.267
20 United States G. Rahal Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 15 120 +0.4814 0.0408 171.892
21 Netherlands R. van Kalmthout Rinus van Kalmthout Ed Carpenter Racing 21 94 +0.4926 0.0112 171.789
22 United States K. Kirkwood Kyle Kirkwood Andretti Autosport 27 72 +0.5405 0.0479 171.351
23 United Kingdom C. Ilott Callum Ilott Juncos Hollinger Racing 77 84 +0.6119 0.0714 170.702
24 Argentina A. Canapino Agustin Canapino Juncos Hollinger Racing 78 88 +0.7396 0.1277 169.554
25 United States S. Ferrucci Santino Ferrucci A.J. Foyt Enterprises 14 110 +0.7813 0.0417 169.182
26 Sweden F. Rosenqvist Felix Rosenqvist Arrow McLaren 6 93 +0.8554 0.0741 168.526
R. Robb Ray Robb Dale Coyne Racing
51 83 +0.9027 0.0473 168.109
28 Denmark B. Pedersen Benjamin Pedersen A.J. Foyt Enterprises 55 92 +1.0737 0.1710 166.621
Previous article Bobby Rahal admits Indy 500 stress “took a real toll on me”
Next article IndyCar Iowa: Power takes poles for double-headers as Penske dominates