IndyCar Road America: O’Ward leads Power in second practice

Pato O’Ward, who took his first IndyCar pole position at Road America two years ago, again mastered the track in second practice to put Arrow McLaren SP on top in second practice.

IndyCar Road America: O’Ward leads Power in second practice

In cool conditions, and with no alternate-compound tyres available in FP2, after they were used in yesterday’s first practice session, Conor Daly held top spot for Ed Carpenter Racing after 15 minutes, with a 1m46.5240s. But then defending race-winner Alex Palou delivered a third lap in his Chip Ganassi Racing was over a second quicker.

Romain Grosjean, who had his best lap on the softer Firestones in FP1 ruined by a red flag, showed he had latent pace on the primary tyres, but as he moved up to second he was still 0.6s off Palou’s benchmark and he was swiftly pushed down to third by O’Ward.

Yesterday’s pacesetter and 2019 Road America dominator Alexander Rossi had sat on pitlane for the first 20 minutes with a clutch issue and it wasn’t entirely fixed by the time the #27 rolled out for its first laps, because the Andretti Autosport crew had to get Rossi to spin up his tyres in first while the car was on the jacks, and then they simply released the jack so he hit the asphalt in a cloud of tyre smoke. The tactic worked, the Firestones bit and Rossi was able to head on out.

However, the problem wasn’t solved, and that initial fix for leaving pitlane met with disapproval from IndyCar, so the next times Rossi departed his pitbox, he was being pushed by his crew.

Alexander Rossi, Andretti Autosport Honda

Alexander Rossi, Andretti Autosport Honda

Photo by: Richard Dole / Motorsport Images

With just under 15 minutes remaining in the session, several drivers took on fresh primary tyres, and Marcus Ericsson moved up to second with a 1m45.8079s to make it a Ganassi 1-2 only for Colton Herta to split the pair with a 1m45.7s lap.

Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden and Will Power then moved into second and third, and Power then stayed out for an extra lap and finally displaced Palou at the top of the table by a mere 0.0213s.

Rossi’s early patience and subsequent efforts were then rewarded with third, which became fourth when Pato O’Ward delivered the fastest time of the session, a 1m45.2681s.

Christian Lundgaard of Rahal Letterman Lanigan was fastest of the rookies, in 12th with his final lap, ahead of the two Meyer Shank Racing cars.

Series returnee Simona De Silvestro was 3.2s off the pace in the Paretta Autosport, about 1.8s off Ed Carpenter Racing pair Conor Daly and Rinus VeeKay, with whom Paretta has a technical partnership.

IndyCar Road Amercia - FP2 results

Cla Driver Team Laps Time Gap Mph
1 Mexico Patricio O'Ward United States Arrow McLaren SP 12 1'45.2681   137.272
2 Australia Will Power United States Team Penske 14 1'45.3849 0.1168 137.120
3 Spain Alex Palou United States Chip Ganassi Racing 11 1'45.4062 0.1381 137.093
4 United States Alexander Rossi United States Andretti Autosport 10 1'45.5576 0.2895 136.896
5 United States Josef Newgarden United States Team Penske 13 1'45.5744 0.3063 136.874
6 United States Colton Herta United States Andretti Autosport 14 1'45.7664 0.4983 136.626
7 Sweden Marcus Ericsson United States Chip Ganassi Racing 12 1'45.8079 0.5398 136.572
8 France Romain Grosjean United States Andretti Autosport 15 1'46.0022 0.7341 136.322
9 New Zealand Scott McLaughlin United States Team Penske 15 1'46.0373 0.7692 136.277
10 New Zealand Scott Dixon United States Chip Ganassi Racing 14 1'46.0617 0.7936 136.245
11 Sweden Felix Rosenqvist United States Arrow McLaren SP 14 1'46.0998 0.8317 136.196
12 Denmark Christian Lundgaard United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 16 1'46.1046 0.8365 136.190
13 Brazil Helio Castroneves United States Meyer Shank Racing 11 1'46.2389 0.9708 136.018
14 France Simon Pagenaud United States Meyer Shank Racing 10 1'46.2553 0.9872 135.997
15 United States David Malukas Dale Coyne Racing with HMD 11 1'46.2816 1.0135 135.963
16 United Kingdom Callum Ilott Juncos Hollinger Racing 13 1'46.4851 1.2170 135.703
17 United States Conor Daly United States Ed Carpenter Racing 14 1'46.5240 1.2559 135.654
18 Canada Devlin DeFrancesco United States Andretti Autosport 12 1'46.5438 1.2757 135.629
19 United States Graham Rahal United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 15 1'46.6307 1.3626 135.518
20 Netherlands Rinus van Kalmthout United States Ed Carpenter Racing 10 1'46.6619 1.3938 135.479
21 United Kingdom Jack Harvey United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 14 1'46.8522 1.5841 135.237
22 Japan Takuma Sato United States Dale Coyne Racing 13 1'46.9109 1.6428 135.163
23 United States Jimmie Johnson United States Chip Ganassi Racing 14 1'47.8402 2.5721 133.998
24 Canada Dalton Kellett United States A.J. Foyt Enterprises 15 1'47.9272 2.6591 133.890
25 United States Kyle Kirkwood United States A.J. Foyt Enterprises 5 1'48.1562 2.8881 133.607
26 Colombia Tatiana Calderon United States A.J. Foyt Enterprises 14 1'48.1969 2.9288 133.557
27 Switzerland Simona de Silvestro Paretta Autosport 13 1'48.4582 3.1901 133.235
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