Simon Pagenaud fastest in IndyCar’s final Long Beach practice

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It took until the final minute for Simon Pagenaud to find the speed to top the Verizon IndyCar Series’ final practice for the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach Saturday, but still pulled it off.

Pagenaud led a Team Penske sweep of the top three spots with a time of 1:07.0304, beating out Helio Castroneves’ 1:07.2084 and Will Power’s 1:07.3887.

Power topped the second practice session while Chip Ganassi teammates Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan were 1-2 in the first session on Friday.

Rounding out the top five in the third session was Dixon at 1:07.40 and his part time teammate, Sebastian Saavedra, running a time of 1:07.4164 in the No. 8 Ganassi Chevrolet.

KV Racing’s Stefano Coletti smacked the left rear tire of his No. 4 Chevy while exiting Turn 8 with about nine minutes left in the session.

The impact broke the wheel and Coletti, who wrecked last weekend at NOLA Motorsports Park, said “the rear suspension is gone.”

After it was announced Rocky Moran Jr. would be replaced in Dale Coyne Racing’s No. 18 Honda by Conor Daly due to a broken thumb, Daly made his first 21 laps at Long Beach. The American was 22nd fastest with a time of 1:08.84, putting him ahead of teammate Francesco Dracone.

Moran himself was replacing Carlos Huertas.