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Ryan Hunter-Reay quickest in last practice for Race 1 in Detroit

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Ryan Hunter-Reay was quickest of the 23 drivers that took to the Belle Isle street course during Friday’s second practice for this weekend’s two IndyCar races in the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix.

Hunter-Reay covered the 2.3-mile course at a best time of 1 minute, 16.3598 seconds at 110.791 mph.

Scott Dixon was second-fastest (1:16.3667 at 110.781 mph), followed by James Hinchcliffe (1:16.4840 at 110.611 mph), bouncing back from failing to qualify for this past Sunday’s Indianapolis 500.

Fourth through 10th were Josef Newgarden (1:16.5864 at 110.463 mph), Marco Andretti (1:16.6198 at 110.415 mph), Graham Rahal (1:16.7098 at 110.286 mph), Simon Pagenaud (1:16.7888 at 110.172 mph), Alexander Rossi (116.7898 at 110.153 mph), Robert Wickens (1:16.7974 at 110.160 mph) and Zach Veach (1:16.8133 at 110.137 mph).

Nine of the top 11 drivers were powered by Honda.

Not surprisingly, the very difficult and worn road course produced a number of incidents during the second session, just like it did in the morning practice.

With about 34 minutes to go in the one-hour session, Jordan King and the No. 20 Chevrolet of Ed Carpenter Racing hit the left side retaining wall entering Turn 13 at full speed, and then shot across the racetrack, striking the right side wall.

“He just said it kind of got away from him in (Turn) 13, it’s unfortunate,” team owner Ed Carpenter told the IMS Radio Network. “It’s a pretty big setback, looks like he got all four corner. This is the last practice before tomorrow’s qualifying and race. It puts us in a tough situation, but we’ve been hear before. We’ll just have to rebound tomorrow.”

Added King, “I just lost the rear, got a bit of a snap on the rear. It really wasn’t even a big thing, but by the time I caught the car, I was too wide, and then the wall is obviously right there. It’s really annoying because it was a tiny error, but it was quite costly.”

At about the same time, Alexander Rossi also scraped the wall in Turn 6.

With less than six minutes left in the session, Tony Kanaan slid into the tire wall in Turn 7, bringing out yet another full course red flag.

Then, in the closing minutes, both Hinchcliffe and Sebastien Bourdais spun in Turn 7, as well.

Qualifying for Saturday’s afternoon race takes place at 10:55 a.m. ET for Group 1, and 11:13 a.m. ET for Group 2.

The race, the first of back-to-back Verizon IndyCar Series events on Saturday and Sunday, starts tomorrow at 3:40 p.m. ET.

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IndyCar teams with NASCAR on IMS road course doubleheader in 2021

IndyCar NASCAR doubleheader 2021
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The NTT IndyCar Series will be sharing Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the NASCAR Cup Series in a race weekend doubleheader for the second consecutive season, but both series will be on the road course in August 2021.

IMS announced Wednesday that IndyCar will hold an Aug. 14, 2021 race on its 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. It’ll be a day before NASCAR’s premier series runs the same layout for the first time after the Brickyard 400 was contested on the 2.5-mile oval for the first time in 27 years.

This season’s rescheduling of the IndyCar GMR Grand Prix to July 4, 2019 (a day before the Brickyard 400) led to the first NASCAR-IndyCar doubleheader weekend. The Xfinity Series also raced on the IMS road course for the first time July 4 after the IndyCar race ended.

INDYCAR AT IMS THIS WEEKEND: Harvest GP schedule, entry lists

IndyCar will be holding its second race weekend this year at the IMS road course Friday and Saturday with the Harvest GP.

“Our first NASCAR-INDYCAR weekend was a big success last July, with positive feedback from
our loyal fans who watched the races on NBC and from the drivers, teams and participants
involved,” IMS president Douglas Boles said in a statement. “The Xfinity Series’ debut on the IMS road course provided exactly the kind of thrilling action from the green to checkered flags that we anticipated, so we know the teams and drivers of the Cup Series will put on a great show as they turn left and right for the first time at IMS.

“We can’t wait to welcome back fans to see NASCAR and INDYCAR together during this
exciting weekend as we add another memorable chapter in the long, storied history of the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”

It also will mark the first NASCAR Cup-IndyCar doubleheader with a crowd as fans weren’t permitted at IMS in July because of the novel coronvavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Over the course of Wednesday, NASCAR is releasing its 36-race slate for next season. IndyCar has yet to release its full 2021 schedule.