(UPDATED) IndyCar: Rossi, Dixon fastest in rain-shortened first practice at Gateway, qualifying cancelled

IndyCar
0 Comments

UPDATED (6:33 p.m.): IndyCar officials have decided to forego qualifying tonight due to rain, per a tweet from the series.

As a result, the starting grid for Saturday’s Bommarito Automotive Group 500 at Gateway Motorsports Park will be set by entrant points in the Verizon IndyCar Series point standings.

That means series points leader Scott Dixon will start Saturday’s race from the pole, with No. 2 in the points, Alexander Rossi, on the outside pole.

However, IndyCar officials are still hoping to get in one other practice session tonight if the weather breaks. As such, what was originally scheduled to be a one-hour practice session from 9 to 10 p.m. ET is now scheduled to start at 8:30 p.m. ET and go to 10 p.m. ET.

ORIGINAL STORY

Alexander Rossi and Scott Dixon were fastest in Friday’s first IndyCar practice session at Gateway Motorsports Park – but the rain was faster.

Rossi led all cars in the 21-driver field with a speed of 184.424 mph (at 24.4003 seconds). Dixon was second-fastest at 182.773 mph (at 24.6207 seconds).

The practice session was originally slated to go off at 1:15 p.m. ET, but was postponed for rain and then additional drying of the race track.

Then, just as things got underway shortly after 4 p.m. ET, Marco Andretti brought out a red flag stoppage when the gearbox on his Andretti Autosport Honda failed on-track. Cars returned to the track for about 20 minutes before rain returned in a heavy sprinkle with about six minutes left in the session, cutting things short on the 1.250-mile oval.

Sebastien Bourdais was third-fastest (182.675 mph at 24.6339), followed by Tony Kanaan (182.444 at 24.6651), Ed Jones (182.364 at 24.6759), Ryan Hunter-Reay (181.593 at 24.7807), Spencer Pigot (181.501 at 24.7932), Zach Veach (181.404 at 24.8065), James Hinchcliffe (180.929 at 24.8716) and defending race winner and series champ Josef Newgarden (180.429 at 24.9405).

Qualifying is set to take place at 7 p.m. ET tonight, weather conditions permitting. And the final one-hour practice session is slated for 9 p.m. ET tonight, as well.

Dixon holds a 29-point edge over Rossi in the Verizon IndyCar Series point standings. Newgarden is 66 points back and his Team Penske teammate Will Power is 81 points back, with three races remaining on the 2018 schedule.

While Dixon still leads the points standings, Rossi comes into Saturday’s Bommarito Automotive Group 500 having won the last two races (Mid-Ohio and Pocono).

Saturday night’s race is slated to take the green flag at 8:30 p.m. ET. However, there is an 80 percent chance of rain in the forecast for that evening.

Follow @JerryBonkowski