Rookie Felix Rosenqvist paces opening practice of 2019 at St. Pete

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Rookie Felix Rosenqvist of Chip Ganassi Racing turned the fastest lap (1:01.8215 seconds) Friday in the opening practice of the 2019 NTT IndyCar Series season

Ryan Hunter-Reay was second (1:02.0636) on the 1.8-mile circuit on the streets of St. Petersburg, followed by Marcus Ericsson (1:02.0811), Scott Dixon (1:02.1309), Alexander Rossi 1:02.1470 and Takuma Sato (1:02.1571) as Honda swept the top six spots.

“It started off pretty well, being a rookie I had the benefit of new tires,” Rosenqvist told NBC Sports Gold. “The car feels really good. The guys have done a brilliant job in the winter to start off with a good package here. I feel at home but still a lot of things to learn.”

Josef Newgarden of Team Penske was the highest Chevrolet in seventh (1:02.1740).

Two-time defending race winner Sebastien Bourdais was 11th.

The 45-minute session ended about 15 seconds early as rookie Ben Hanley hit the wall near Turn 4

There was one other minor incident in the session as Graham Rahal scraped the wall with the left rear of his Dallara-Honda. The Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing crew made some repairs around the wheel.

Click here from results of the opening practice.

 

Supercross: Talon Hawkins to debut in Houston in relief of Jalek Swoll

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Talon Hawkins, 19, will make his Monster Energy Supercross debut on a 250 this week in Houston, Texas as a fill-in rider for Jalek Swoll.

During the Anaheim 2 weekend, the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna team announced Swoll underwent successful surgery to repair a broken arm suffered in a practice crash.

That same weekend, Hawkins made some noise. He took the lead from teammate Casey Cohran on Lap 2 of the 250 SX Futures Main and led for three laps before he was overtaken by eventual winner Daxton Bennick. Cochran also got around him to push Hawkins to third.

This will not be Hawkins SuperMotocross professional debut, however; he made three Lucas Oil Pro Motocross starts last year with results of 19th at Spring Creek in Millville, Minnesota, 27th at Ironman in Crawfordsville, Indiana and a best finish of 17th in the season finale at Fox Raceway in Pala, California.

Hawkins also has a top-10 finish in the 125 All-Star division at Pala in 2019 riding a Husqvarna.

Speaking with RacerXOnline.com before the Loretta Lynn Amateur Nationals, Hawkins predicted his future with Husqvarna would come down to how he performed in that race.

“It all just comes down to how I perform at Loretta’s,” Hawkins said. “Say I do really well, I get a top three in both classes and do a pretty solid job, I would like to go pro and just kind of finish out the rest of the series. But there’s also the option of waiting a little bit longer, going back out to [Aldon] Baker’s [Factory] or going anywhere and training, and just being prepared. I’m also open to that too. Honestly, it’s whatever the team wants. Whatever we think is the best option is what we’re going to go with. So, I don’t really have a plan right now, just looking into the future.”

Hawkins finished third overall in the 125 B/C and Schoolboy divisions at the Loretta Lynn Amateur Nationals.