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.

 

Steve Torrence takes NHRA points lead with Gatornationals victory

NHRA Gainesville Steve Torrence
Jeff Robinson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Two-time defending NHRA Top Fuel champion Steve Torrence took the points lead Sunday in the AMALIE Motor Oil Gatornationals, beating his father, Billy, in the final round at Gainesville Raceway.

Torrence had a 3.809-second run at 322.11 mph to win for the third time this year and 39th overall. He is now on track for another championship despite missing the season opener.

“We’ve got some good momentum and to be in the points lead, it’s a testament to how hard these guys work,” Steve Torrence said after the NHRA Gainesville victory. “We’ve just got to stay focused and concentrate on what the task at hand is, and that’s trying to win a championship. These guys give me an unbelievable race car and you just try not to screw it up.”

Ron Capps won in Funny Car, Alex Laughlin in Pro Stock and Matt Smith in Pro Stock Motorcycle.

Capps raced to his second win this year and 66th overall, beating Tim Wilkerson with a 3.937 at 323.12 in a Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat.

Laughlin topped Aaron Stanfield with a 7.068 at 204.76 in a Chevrolet Camaro for his first win this season and fourth in his career. Smith rode to his first victory in 2020 and 25th overall, topping Andrew Hines with a 6.843 at 196.99 on an EBR.