From the redundancy department, Marco Andretti and Ryan Hunter-Reay were once again 1-2 in practice two for the IZOD IndyCar Series’ Milwaukee IndyFest. The Andretti Autosport teammates also led this morning’s session, at slower speeds.
Temperatures were warmer this afternoon (73 ambient, 106 track compared to 66 and 87 this morning, per Firestone Racing). Andretti’s best lap this afternoon was 168.534 mph, with Hunter-Reay and Takuma Sato also in the 168 range. Dario Franchitti took last year’s pole position at 168.737 mph.
E.J. Viso and Scott Dixon completed the top five, with Helio Castroneves, Justin Wilson, James Jakes, Alex Tagliani and 2006 Milwaukee winner Sebastien Bourdais rounding out the top 10.
Franchitti just missed the top 10 in P11, Will Power was just 17th, with series returnees Ryan Briscoe (16th) and Ana Beatriz (19th) down the charts in this session.
The field was much more spread out this session. More than eight tenths (0.8573) separated spots 1-22, with Charlie Kimball and Ed Carpenter more than a second off the pace.
Qualifying occurs at 4:15 p.m. CT (5:15 p.m. ET), and you can see qualifying coverage at 7 p.m. ET on the NBC Sports Network.
Marco Andretti wanted to do something really special to honor the 25th anniversary of grandfather Mario Andretti’s final Indy car win in 1993 at Phoenix International Raceway (now known as ISM Raceway).
So the third-generation Andretti, along with his team, Andretti-Herta Autosport, came up with a plan and design that will take longtime race fans back in time when it appears early next month for the Phoenix Grand Prix.
Marco Andretti’s No. 98 Oberto Beef Jerky Circle K/Curb Honda will be decked out in the colors of the car his grandfather won his last race on the one-mile short track 25 years ago.
“When the idea of a throwback livery celebrating my grandfather’s final win was thrown around, Oberto was ready to get to the drawing board,” Marco Andretti said in a media release. “The black, white and red car resembles many of my family’s race cars and was a big part of my life growing up.
“It’s really cool to be able to add one of my cars to that family legacy.”
The car is a virtual double of the legendary Newman-Haas Racing and Texaco/Havoline-sponsored car Mario drove on that celebratory day in the Valley of the Sun 2 ½ decades ago.
Various events and ceremonies during the April 6-7 race weekend will honor the senior Andretti. That includes several of his former competitors who will be on hand to celebrate with Mario, including Emerson Fittipaldi, Bobby Rahal, Jimmy Vasser, Paul Tracy, Arie Luyendyk, and of course, son Michael Andretti and grandson Marco Andretti.
Check out what happened on that day 25 years ago: