Andretti leads Fast Nine, bad day for Penske

dul sanchez

Following the initial runs this morning, improvements were scarce through the heat of the afternoon, but Dixon was one of the exceptions. On his second run, he failed to better his original speed, but on his third run, he proved that someone other than Marco Andretti – current pacesetter – could land […]

Following the initial runs this morning, improvements were scarce through the heat of the afternoon, but Dixon was one of the exceptions.

On his second run, he failed to better his original speed, but on his third run, he proved that someone other than Marco Andretti – current pacesetter – could land a 232mph lap.

His four-lap run was slightly hurt by a slide going through Turn 3 so he only improved by one grid spot, but at the very end of the session he ran three laps (including another Lap 1 of over 232mph, the fastest lap of the day) that would have seen him possibly displace Andretti.

However, with tomorrow’s Fast Nine runners due to run in reverse order – slowest to fastest – Dixon did not want to risk dealing with greater track heat, so abandoned his latest run after the third lap and headed to the pits, content with P5.

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Colton Herta twice tried to jump into the Fast Nine and displace Takuma Sato, but instead he was just happy to reclaim 10th after Marcus Ericsson in another Ganassi car temporarily displaced him.

Ed Carpenter moved himself up five places, but was later demoted one spot by Patricio O’Ward in the #5 Arrow McLaren SP-Chevy.

Graham Rahal had a vicious slide at Turn 3 trying to improve on his eighth spot and abandoned his attempt.

Fernando Alonso will start 26th after a disappointing run. His crash on Thursday appeared to have impacted his qualifying-spec speed, and he could only manage a 228.7mph average, and will start one spot behind 2019 winner Simon Pagenaud.

Ben Hanley managed to bump his average up by 2mph in the DragonSpeed car, but Helio Castroneves, Pagenaud, Charlie Kimball, James Davison and Will Power (twice) all quit mid-run, unhappy with the handling of their cars or showing no sign of improved speed.

Carlin-Chevrolet’s Max Chilton did get better, however, his 1.5mph jump allowing him to vault both Dreyer & Reinbold Racing cars to land 30th.

Tomorrow’s action will see the Fast Nine get a 30min practice session from 11.00-11.30am (local) ET, while the shootout – just one run each – will be 1.15-2.15pm.

All 33 cars will then get a practice session, 3.30pm-6.00pm with engines returned to 1.3-bar boost and cars running raceday setups.

Drivers eligible for Fast Nine shootout

P Driver Car Engine Lap 1 Lap 2 Lap 3 Lap 4 Average
1. Marco Andretti Andretti Herta Autosport Honda 232.177 231.559 230.968 230.705 231.351
2. Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport Honda 231.653 231.506 231.219 230.944 231.330
3. Alexander Rossi Andretti Autosport Honda 231.886 231.497 230.879 230.812 231.268
4. James Hinchcliffe Andretti Autosport Honda 231.790 231.393 231.048 230.553 231.195
5. Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing Honda 232.183 231.326 230.795 230.325 231.155
6. Rinus VeeKay Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet 231.789 231.029 230.888 230.753 231.114
7. Alex Palou Dale Coyne Racing w/ Team Goh Honda 231.552 231.211 230.808 230.566 231.034
8. Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda 231.102 230.876 230.740 230.572 230.822
9. Takuma Sato Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda 231.244 230.763 230.710 230.454 230.792

Grid slots locked in

P Driver Car Engine Lap 1 Lap 2 Lap 3 Lap 4 Average
10. Colton Herta Andretti Harding Steinbrenner Autosport Honda 231.735 230.790 230.438 230.143 230.775
11. Marcus Ericsson Chip Ganassi Racing Honda 231.277 230.503 230.470- 230.018 230.566
12. Spencer Pigot Citrone/Buhl Autosport with RLL Honda 231.325 230.850 230.261 229.727 230.539
13. Josef Newgarden Team Penske Chevrolet 230.431 230.408 230.316 230.031 230.296
14. Felix Rosenqvist Chip Ganassi Racing Honda 230.639 230.205 230.153 230.021 230.254
15. Pato O’Ward Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet 230.809 230.247 230.040 229.758 230.213
16. Ed Carpenter Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet 230.734 230.300 230.233 229.582 230.211
17. Zach Veach Andretti Autosport Honda 230.644 230.071 229.685 229.447 229.961  
18. Conor Daly Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet 230.981 229.892 229.608 229.345 229.955
19. Santino Ferrucci Dale Coyne Racing w/ Vasser-Sullivan Honda 230.455 230.075 229.588 229.578 229.924
20. Jack Harvey Meyer Shank Racing Honda 229.111 229.041 228.841 228.526 229.861
21. Oliver Askew Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet 230.304 229.855 229.517 229.367 229.760
22. Will Power Team Penske Chevrolet 230.343 229.769 229.472 229.225 229.701
23. Tony Kanaan A.J. Foyt Racing Chevrolet 229.920 229.342 228.860 228.501 229.154
24. Dalton Kellett A.J. Foyt Racing Chevrolet 229.111 229.041 228.841 228.526 228.880
25. Simon Pagenaud Team Penske Chevrolet 229.529 229.229 229.032 227.563 228.836
26. Fernando Alonso Ruoff Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet 229.418 228.846 228.520 228.291 228.768
27. James Davison Dale Coyne Racing w/ RWR/Byrd/Belardi Honda 230.957 230.267 227.771 226.061 228.747
28. Helio Castroneves Team Penske Chevrolet 229.679 228.341 227.964 227.520 228.373
29. Charlie Kimball A.J. Foyt Racing Chevrolet 229.677 229.399 228.980 223.108 227.758
30. Max Chilton Carlin Chevrolet 228.043 227.165 227.146 226.862 227.303
31. Sage Karam Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Chevrolet 227.609 227.267 226.940 226.583 227.009
32. J.R. Hildebrand Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Chevrolet 228.594 225.328 225.980 225.494 226.341
33. Ben Hanley DragonSpeed Chevrolet 223.924 222.562 222.145 223.046 222.917

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