Graham Rahal fastest, teammate struggles in Bump Day practice

Leave a comment

Graham Rahal was quickest in Sunday morning’s practice session on Armed Forces Bump Day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Bump Day qualifying is live from noon to 6:30 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network, and live streamed on NBC Sports Live Extra.

Rahal, who had one qualifying run bumped and another not quick enough yesterday on Pole Day, clocked in at 226.564 mph. Rahal and Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing teammate Michel Jourdain Jr. had their crews perform engine changes after Pole Day.

Seven of the 10 drivers not currently qualified posted laps during the one-hour session. Behind Rahal, Josef Newgarden was second, followed by Buddy Lazier, Conor Daly, Sebastian Saavedra, Katherine Legge and Michel Jourdain Jr.

While Legge climbed to a best lap of 223.191 in the new No. 81 Schmidt Pelfrey entry, Jourdain, meanwhile, failed to eclipse even the 220 mph barrier.

The other three drivers who still need to qualify on Sunday include Dale Coyne Racing teammates Ana Beatriz and Pippa Mann, and Legge’s teammate under the Schmidt umbrella, rookie Tristan Vautier in the No. 55 Schmidt Peterson entry.

INDYCAR: Newgarden, Sato quickest in first of 2 Friday practices at Road America

Leave a comment

Josef Newgarden was quickest in the first of Friday’s two INDYCAR practice sessions at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.

The 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series champion covered the 4.048-mile, 14-turn course with a best lap of 1:43.0477, followed by Takuma Sato (1:43.4729), Alexander Rossi (1:43.5603), Robert Wickens (1:43.5774) and Marco Andretti (1:43.8825).

Sixth-quickest was Tony Kanaan (1:44.0429), followed by Spencer Pigot (1:44.1080), Zach Veach (1:44.1306), Scott Dixon (1:44.1643) and Matheius Leist (1:44.2963).

Alfonso Celis Jr., making his Verizon IndyCar Series debut and with Juncos Racing, was 22nd quickest in the 23-car field at 1:44.9164, while Gabby Chaves was the slowest driver on the course at 1:46.4485.

While there were no significant incidents during the 45-minute session, a number of drivers struggled in several turns, primarily due to some lingering puddles from overnight rain, as well as on rumble strips that threw their cars into adjacent grass areas.

The second practice session today takes place at 4:15 p.m. ET.

A third practice kicks off Saturday’s busy day at Noon ET, followed by qualifying at 4 p.m. ET, the second round of qualifying at 4:40 p.m. ET and the third and final round of qualifying at 5 p.m. ET.

The weekend’s main event, Sunday’s KOHLER Grand Prix, takes the green flag shortly after 1 p.m. ET. Make sure to tune in to NBCSN for the live telecast of the race.

We’ll have the full practice grid and driver quotes shortly. Please check back soon.

Follow @JerryBonkowski