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Dixon drops the hammer in Watkins Glen second practice

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WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. – Four-time Watkins Glen winner Scott Dixon took a strong step towards a fifth by dominating the second practice session for this weekend’s INDYCAR Grand Prix at The Glen.

Dixon, driving the No. 9 NTT Data Honda, laid down a best time of 1:22.6187 early on in the one-hour session, which held up for the rest of the way, and was set on Firestone’s black primary tire.

As Dixon’s pole time was 1:22.5259 last year, it was a highly impressive time considering both Firestone’s blacks and also red alternate tires can be used in the session. Cool conditions played into the great times, with ambient temperatures only in the 50-degree Fahrenheit range all session.

It was the second straight session a Honda led, after Graham Rahal flew to the top of the charts near the end of the morning session.

Rahal was third this session, behind top Chevrolet runner Will Power in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet. Power was close at 1:22.7129, with Rahal third in the No. 15 United Rentals Honda for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing at 1:22.9716.

Those three drivers were the only three in the 1:22 bracket this session.

Points leader Josef Newgarden was only 10th; Jack Harvey improved to 18th, actually ahead of Schmidt Peterson Motorsports teammate James Hinchcliffe, by just 0.004 of a second.

The session had five extra minutes added on following a red flag for an incident for Max Chilton. The Englishman lost control of his No. 8 Gallagher Chip Ganassi Racing Honda exiting the Bus Stop and tattooed the wall at Turn 5 with the right side of his car.

Helio Castroneves had a minor off exiting the Boot and brushed the guardrail, but returned without any significant damage to his No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet.

Third practice runs from 10:30 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. ET tomorrow morning. Times are below.

IndyCar entry lists for Harvest GP at Indianapolis Motor Speedway

IndyCar entry lists Indianapolis
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There are 25 drivers on the NTT IndyCar Series entry lists at Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course with a few new yet familiar faces for the Oct. 2-3 race weekend.

Four-time champion Sebastien Bourdais will make his season debut in the No. 14 Dallara-Chevrolet (shifting Dalton Kellett to the No. 41) with AJ Foyt Racing, which he is joining full time next season. James Hinchcliffe, who had run three races with Andretti Autosport, will return in place of Zach Veach in the No. 26 Dallara-Honda. Helio Castroneves will drive Arrow McLaren SP’s No. 7 Dallara-Chevy for Oliver Askew, who is out with concussion-like symptoms.

Sage Karam, who has two IndyCar starts this year at IMS (the road course on July 4 and the Indy 500 on Aug. 23), also will return to the series in Dreyer & Reinbold’s No. 24 Dallara-Chevrolet.

HARVEST GP ENTRY LISTS: Friday l Saturday

Friday and Saturday of the Harvest GP presented by GMR will mark the second and third races this season on Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. While the July 4 race on the circuit was 80 laps, Friday’s distance is 85 laps, and Saturday will be a 75-lap event.

Championship leader Scott Dixon led 26 of 80 laps to win the July 4 race at the IMS road course. With three races remaining in the series, the five-time series champion enters with a 72-point lead on Josef Newgarden.

Click here to see who’s on the IndyCar entry lists in Race 1 and in Race 2 for the Harvest GP presented by GMR at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.


START TIMES AND TV INFO FOR INDYCAR AT INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY ROAD COURSE (all times ET):

Thursday

IndyCar NTT Series practice: 2:25-3:40 p.m., NBC Sports Gold

IndyCar qualifying, Race 1: 6:20 p.m. (two groups/12 minutes apiece), NBC Sports Gold

Friday

—IndyCar Harvest Grand Prix, Race 1: 3:30 p.m. (green flag, 5 p.m.), USA Network, NBC Sports Gold

Saturday

—IndyCar qualifying: 10:20 a.m. (two groups/12 minutes apiece), NBC Sports Gold

—IndyCar Harvest Grand Prix, Race 2: 2:30 p.m (green flag, 2:31 p.m.)., NBC, NBC Sports Gold