Editor’s note: Practice coverage will air at 3:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN (2:30 p.m. CT and local time), while qualifying will run at 4:15 p.m. ET (3:15 p.m. CT and local time) and will air live on the NBC Sports App, while it will re-air Saturday at 7 p.m. ET on NBCSN. A practice recap is below.
After a couple-hour delay owing to rain and track drying, the Verizon IndyCar Series’ Rainguard Water Sealers 600 first practice is in the books after all.
Scott Dixon went to the top of the speed charts after the one-hour session at 223.422 mph in the No. 9 NTT Data Honda for Chip Ganassi Racing Teams right near the end of the one-hour session.
He supplanted his teammate, Charlie Kimball in the No. 83 Tresiba Honda, in the process.
Kimball and fellow Americans Alexander Rossi, Graham Rahal and Marco Andretti completed the top five. Rahal is in search of his second straight win at Texas and third overall this season, after sweeping last weekend’s Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix Presented by Lear doubleheader.
Ed Carpenter was the top Chevrolet runner in seventh, back in the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet, at 220.824.
The two other drivers making their return to IndyCar competition did decently well. Tristan Vautier was 16th in his first running in the No. 18 Dale Coyne Racing Honda with a best speed of 219.148 mph. Gabby Chaves was 21st in the No. 88 Harding Racing Chevrolet at 216.368, one spot ahead of Conor Daly.
There were several yellow flags for track inspections but none for incidents.
Times are below. A link to the qualifying order is here.
Gabby Chaves is set to return to the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship at Watkins Glen International later this month.
The Columbian-American driver, who last competed in IMSA in 2016 – with the DeltaWing outfit – will sub for the injured Joao Barbosa – he hurt his wrist in a cycling accident earlier in June – in the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen.
Chaves will partner Filipe Albuquerque and Christian Fittipaldi in the No. 5 Cadillac.
Chaves expressed gratitude for being asked to fill in, but kept his enthusiasm muted, noting that he is getting the opportunity ultimately because another driver got hurt.
“The first thing is of course that you never want to have an opportunity because someone got hurt, so this is an unfortunate circumstance with Joao having his injury,”said Chaves. “But I appreciate the opportunity to join the championship-leading team. Mustang Sampling Racing has had a strong start this year and hopefully I can help the team continue to have those kinds of results.”
Chaves added, “I love Watkins Glen, it is a great track and I am looking forward to racing the Cadillac Prototype there. I’m excited to be going back to endurance racing. With different classes all racing at the same time, there is a lot for the driver to deal with as you work through traffic. So I am looking forward to racing at the Glen again, and I really appreciate this opportunity with Mustang Sampling Racing.”
Chaves’ most recent IMSA event was the 2016 Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen, when he finished seventh in the Prototype class.
The No. 5 Action Express Cadillac currently sits tied with the sister No. 31 Whelen Engineer Racing Cadillac of Eric Curran and Felipe Nasr atop the IMSA standings, though Barbosa’s hopes of a driver’s championship are set to take an enormous hit with him missing Watkins Glen.