Josef Newgarden tops Sonoma practice ahead of IndyCar title decider

Reigning IndyCar champion Josef Newgarden bounced back to top second practice for the season finale at Sonoma despite suffering from food poisoning

Josef Newgarden tops Sonoma practice ahead of IndyCar title decider

Newgarden's best time of 1m17.8156 seconds was the fastest time of the session in his only practice of the day, having missed the earlier running.

His lap was 0.0836s faster than championship leader and Chip Ganassi Racing driver Scott Dixon in second place.

Dixon had also been second fastest in the first practice that was topped by Andretti's Ryan Hunter-Reay, trailing by a sizeable margin of 0.2526s, as Hunter-Reay set the fastest lap of the day in 1m17.5472s.

The four-time champion's main title threat Alexander Rossi was only sixth fastest in the afternoon after eighth in the morning after a spin.

Title outside and Penske man Will Power was third and fourth in the day's running.

Both Power and his team-mate Newgarden must win the finale, lead the most laps and Dixon to finish below 22nd and Rossi outside the top nine to secure an unlikely title.

IndyCar debutant Patricio O'Ward was a surprise third in the afternoon session, having tested at Sonoma with his Harding Racing team prior to the weekend.

The Indy Lights champion's title rival Colton Herta was 16th and 21st in the two sessions.

Penske's Simon Pagenaud slumped from fourth to 17th from the first practice to the second as his difficult season continues.

Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan's Sebastien Bourdais was outpaced by DCR rookies Pietro Fittipaldi (ninth) and Santino Ferrucci (eighth) in the afternoon and finished the day 18th in second practice.

Schmidt Peterson Motorsports driver James Hinchcliffe spun twice in practice on Friday, but beat Robert Wickens's stand-in Carlos Munoz in both sessions, and was an impressive fifth in the afternoon.

Tony Kanaan will make his 300th Indycar race start on Sunday but looks set to start at the rear of the field as AJ Foyt Racing's rebuilding year continues to be difficult.

Free practice one result

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport Dallara/Honda 1m17.5742s
2 Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Honda 0.2526s
3 Will Power Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet 0.3076s
4 Simon Pagenaud Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet 0.3844s
5 Marco Andretti Andretti Herta Dallara/Honda 0.5136s
6 Ed Jones Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Honda 0.5643s
7 Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Dallara/Honda 0.5923s
8 Alexander Rossi Andretti Autosport Dallara/Honda 0.6996s
9 Zach Veach Andretti Autosport Dallara/Honda 0.7799s
10 Sebastien Bourdais Dale Coyne Racing Dallara/Honda 0.7967s
11 Pietro Fittipaldi Dale Coyne Racing Dallara/Honda 0.8700s
12 Santino Ferrucci Dale Coyne Racing Dallara/Honda 1.0252s
13 Spencer Pigot Ed Carpenter Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 1.1548s
14 Takuma Sato Rahal Letterman Lanigan Dallara/Honda 1.1714s
15 James Hinchcliffe Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Dallara/Honda 1.2015s
16 Colton Herta Harding Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 1.2519s
17 Jack Harvey Meyer Shank Racing Dallara/Honda 1.3568s
18 Charlie Kimball Carlin Dallara/Chevrolet 1.3896s
19 Tony Kanaan AJ Foyt Enterprises Dallara/Chevrolet 1.4870s
20 Matheus Leist AJ Foyt Enterprises Dallara/Chevrolet 1.5175s
21 Carlos Munoz Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Dallara/Honda 1.5183s
22 Jordan King Ed Carpenter Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 1.5890s
23 Max Chilton Carlin Dallara/Chevrolet 1.5997s
24 Patricio O'Ward Harding Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 1.6156s

Free practice two result

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Josef Newgarden Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet 1m17.8156s
2 Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Honda 0.0836s
3 Patricio O'Ward Harding Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 0.1917s
4 Will Power Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet 0.2128s
5 James Hinchcliffe Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Dallara/Honda 0.4200s
6 Alexander Rossi Andretti Autosport Dallara/Honda 0.5728s
7 Ed Jones Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Honda 0.6768s
8 Santino Ferrucci Dale Coyne Racing Dallara/Honda 0.7805s
9 Pietro Fittipaldi Dale Coyne Racing Dallara/Honda 0.7860s
10 Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport Dallara/Honda 0.7908s
11 Zach Veach Andretti Autosport Dallara/Honda 0.7937s
12 Jordan King Ed Carpenter Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 0.8194s
13 Takuma Sato Rahal Letterman Lanigan Dallara/Honda 0.8634s
14 Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Dallara/Honda 0.9070s
15 Carlos Munoz Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Dallara/Honda 0.9656s
16 Marco Andretti Andretti Herta Dallara/Honda 0.9907s
17 Simon Pagenaud Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet 0.9919s
18 Sebastien Bourdais Dale Coyne Racing Dallara/Honda 1.0907s
19 Spencer Pigot Ed Carpenter Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 1.1104s
20 Jack Harvey Meyer Shank Racing Dallara/Honda 1.1333s
21 Colton Herta Harding Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 1.1930s
22 Charlie Kimball Carlin Dallara/Chevrolet 1.2342s
23 Tony Kanaan AJ Foyt Enterprises Dallara/Chevrolet 1.4310s
24 Max Chilton Carlin Dallara/Chevrolet 1.5122s
25 Matheus Leist AJ Foyt Enterprises Dallara/Chevrolet 1.5423s


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Series IndyCar
Drivers Josef Newgarden
Author David Malsher
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