First blood in practice for the Verizon IndyCar Series race at Texas Motor Speedway, the Firestone 600 (Saturday, 8 p.m. ET, NBCSN) went to Tony Kanaan in the No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet entry, adorned in a gray Suave for Men livery this weekend.
TK, like most in the 75-minute practice session, set his fastest time late in the session on a set of fresh tires. He clocked in at 219.382 mph to lead a Chip Ganassi Racing 1-2-3.
Second was Scott Dixon in the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet (218.321) and third was Ryan Briscoe, in the No. 8 NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet (217.763).
Briscoe missed this race last year but led most of the session; he has a very strong record at the track with seven starts and five top-five finishes, and a win in 2010.
“It’s slick and really slippery,” Briscoe told IMS Radio Network’s Nick Yeoman after the session. “I heard everyone talking about lack of grip. But the car felt good out of the box. We tested here about 6 weeks ago, and we’re carrying that into our race prep here. The track’s old. Every year here there’s less and less grip. Big lap time drop offs.”
Marco Andretti, Helio Castroneves and Juan Pablo Montoya completed a top-six that were swept by entries from Ganassi, Andretti Autosport and Team Penske.
Best of the rest was Carlos Huertas in the No. 18 Dale Coyne Racing Honda in seventh, also jumping up late in the session. The returning Ed Carpenter, Justin Wilson and Will Power completed the top 10.
The session featured three yellow flag interruptions for track inspections, as several teams (Penske, Coyne) reported cut tires during the session from debris.
Qualifying airs this evening on NBCSN at 6:30 p.m. ET.
Here’s practice one times.