IndyCar: Dixon shines in hotter GP of Indy second practice

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Scott Dixon laid down the fastest lap of the Verizon IndyCar Series’ opening day of practice at 1:10.4654 at the 2.439-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, as times dropped in the second 45-minute session even as the temperatures increased.

The morning session was run under nearly perfect conditions of 75 degrees ambient and 88 on track, but by the afternoon, those marks had risen to 84 and 121, respectively.

Still, Dixon’s lap came on his 12th of 14 laps. It’s still off the pace he set at the series’ open test day last week, but left him top of the timesheets for the for the first time this season.

In the waning stages, Simon Pagenaud also broke into the 1:10.4 barrier at 1:10.4845. Will Power was third at 1:10.5672, and Mikhail Aleshin and James Hinchcliffe completed the top five.

It was a tightly bunched session with all except Mike Conway in 25th within one second of Dixon’s time. The top 24, from Dixon to Carlos Huertas, were separated by only 0.9333 of a second.

Practice three and qualifying is set for Friday. Here’s second practice times.

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F1 Paddock Pass: United States Grand Prix post-race (VIDEO)

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As Lewis Hamilton took another step towards his fourth Formula 1 World Championship Sunday at the United States Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas, plenty of other topics of discussion emerged in the wake of Round 17 of the season from Austin.

Hamilton’s win came as his Mercedes AMG Petronas team claimed its fourth consecutive Constructor’s Championship, Scuderia Ferrari came up short once again despite a valiant effort in second and third, and Max Verstappen’s penalty after the race was the major talking point.

Elsewhere Valtteri Bottas struggled again, the Sahara Force India twins continued to pick up points, Carlos Sainz Jr. made a major positive impact in his first start with Renault, Brendon Hartley impressed on debut at Toro Rosso and Romain Grosjean and Haas F1 Team endured a tough weekend on Haas’ home soil.

Check out all the recap from the latest USGP in the latest post-race edition of the NBC Sports Group original digital series Paddock Pass with NBCSN pit reporter and insider Will Buxton, below.