Texas IndyCar: Kanaan leads O’Ward in sole practice

Tony Kanaan returned to IndyCar action with the top time in the only practice session ahead of the first race of the Texas Motor Speedway double-header.

Texas IndyCar: Kanaan leads O’Ward in sole practice

The Chip Ganassi Racing driver was the only runner to nudge past the 220mph barrier with his 16th of 54 laps turned at the 1.5-mile oval near Fort Worth. This was a psychological boost for the Brazilian driver considering he will have to start from the last row of the grid after qualifying was canned due to inclement weather compressing the schedule.

For the first race of this weekend’s double-header, the grid will be set by entrant points, which means Kanaan, the 2004 champion and 2013 Indy 500 winner, has had to rely on Jimmie Johnson’s points accrued from the opening two rounds of the season.

Kanaan, who had planned to call time on his IndyCar career that began in 1998 following an oval-only schedule in 2020, will race another oval-only programme in the #48 machine that seven-time NASCAR Cup champion Johnson will drive on road courses this season.

Although most running was done in traffic, Kanaan was also top of the no-tow speeds.

Pato O’Ward, who topped the last test at Texas Motorsport Speedway, was second fastest in the #5 Arrow McLaren SP car, ahead of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s Takuma Sato.

Patricio O'Ward, Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet

Patricio O'Ward, Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet

Photo by: Jake Galstad / Motorsport Images

Four-time and defending Texas winner Scott Dixon, along with Marcus Ericsson, ensured there were three Ganassi cars in the top six, while Alex Palou, points leader and therefore polesitter for the first race, was 11th.

Team Penske were fifth, eighth, 16th and 20th respectively in practice, with Simon Pagenaud – runner-up in Texas last year – leading the quartet.

James Hinchcliffe led the Andretti Autosport efforts in ninth place in practice, while Conor Daly, displaced by regular team owner and oval specialist Ed Carpenter, comfortably eclipsed his usual team boss in 12th place for Carlin, with Carpenter down in 19th.

The race has been brought forward by 35 minutes to start at 6.10pm local time, and will see Palou leading Will Power, Scott Dixon, Colton Herta, Simon Pagenaud and Jack Harvey at the front of the grid.

IndyCar Texas Motor Speedway - Practice results

Cla Driver Team Laps Time Gap Mph
1 Brazil Tony Kanaan United States Chip Ganassi Racing 54 23.545   220.173
2 Mexico Patricio O'Ward Arrow McLaren SP 73 23.570 0.025 219.934
3 Japan Takuma Sato United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 70 23.577 0.032 219.868
4 New Zealand Scott Dixon United States Chip Ganassi Racing 56 23.593 0.048 219.723
5 France Simon Pagenaud United States Team Penske 62 23.595 0.049 219.708
6 Sweden Marcus Ericsson United States Chip Ganassi Racing 88 23.596 0.050 219.698
7 Sweden Felix Rosenqvist Arrow McLaren SP 71 23.631 0.086 219.366
8 United States Josef Newgarden United States Team Penske 67 23.689 0.144 218.827
9 Canada James Hinchcliffe Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport 87 23.702 0.157 218.707
10 United States Graham Rahal United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 81 23.707 0.162 218.668
11 Spain Alex Palou United States Chip Ganassi Racing 86 23.768 0.223 218.105
12 United States Conor Daly United Kingdom Carlin 55 23.778 0.233 218.010
13 United States Alexander Rossi United States Andretti Autosport 37 23.811 0.266 217.707
14 United States Ryan Hunter-Reay United States Andretti Autosport 47 23.891 0.346 216.982
15 United Kingdom Jack Harvey United States Meyer Shank Racing 52 23.933 0.388 216.604
16 Australia Will Power United States Team Penske 56 23.937 0.392 216.560
17 United States Colton Herta United States Andretti Autosport 42 23.938 0.393 216.558
18 Netherlands Rinus van Kalmthout United States Ed Carpenter Racing 39 23.977 0.432 216.201
19 United States Ed Carpenter United States Ed Carpenter Racing 55 23.986 0.441 216.118
20 New Zealand Scott McLaughlin United States Team Penske 83 24.039 0.494 215.647
21 United Arab Emirates Ed Jones Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser Sullivan 79 24.105 0.560 215.056
22 France Sébastien Bourdais United States A.J. Foyt Enterprises 71 24.111 0.566 214.998
23 Canada Dalton Kellett United States A.J. Foyt Enterprises 93 24.211 0.666 214.115
24 Brazil Pietro Fittipaldi Dale Coyne Racing with RWR 85 24.292 0.747 213.401

 

 

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