Josef Newgarden drew first blood in Milwaukee by finishing fastest in the opening practice session for the ABC Supply Wisconsin 250 on Saturday.
Newgarden posted a fastest lap time of 21.5415 seconds to finish ahead of Penske’s Simon Pagenaud at the top of the timesheets, recording an average speed of 169.626.
Ganassi’s Tony Kanaan led for much of the session after posting a quick time early on with an average speed of 167.702 mph.
However, as conditions continued to improve at the Milwaukee Mile and the track rubbered in, drivers managed to find more and more time, causing a flurry of changes in the timesheets late on.
Penske remained rather quiet for much of the session before Simon Pagenaud jumped up into second place in the final five minutes, finishing two-hundredths of a second short of Newgarden at the top.
Takuma Sato managed to produce a number of strong laps late on to secure third place in practice, finishing ahead of Fontana winner Graham Rahal in fourth.
Kanaan’s early lap was good enough for fifth place at the end of the session ahead of Ganassi teammate Scott Dixon, who ended up sixth in the re-liveried no. 9 car.
Three-time Milwaukee winner Ryan Hunter-Reay showed some good pace on Saturday evening at The Mile to finish seventh ahead of Helio Castroneves. James Jakes and Will Power rounded out the top ten.
The session was without much drama or notable incident, with just two yellow flag periods being required: firstly for a cut tire, then for debris on the track.
Milwaukee rookie Stefano Coletti turned the most laps during the 75-minute session on Saturday, finishing just two shy of a century as the Monegasque racer got to grips with the track.
The drivers and teams will now be turning their attention to tomorrow’s congested programme, starting with practice at 9:15am CT (10:15am ET).
For full broadcasting information ahead of the ABC Supply Wisconsin 250, click here.