Ryan Hunter-Reay nips Josef Newgarden in Saturday practice

Karl Zemlin/IndyCar
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Ryan Hunter-Reay remained atop the speed charts Saturday in the final practice before qualifying for the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

Hunter Reay’s Andretti Autosport Dallara-Honda (1:00.8966) nipped the Team Penske Chevrolet of Josef Newgarden (1:00.9005) by nearly 4 thousandths of a second for the best lap in the 50-minute session. Takuma Sato, Simon Pagenaud and Will Power rounded out the top five.

Hunter-Reay also was fastest in Friday’s combined practice speeds.

Qualifying will take place at 2:30 p.m. Saturday on the 1.8-mile street course, which will play host to the NTT IndyCar Series opener Sunday at 1:30 p.m. on NBCSN.

The rest of the top 10 Saturday morning were Ed Jones, Scott Dixon, Felix Rosenqvist, Colton Herta and Marco Andretti.

After two caution-free sessions Friday, there were four red flags Saturday morning. Andretti Autosport’s Zach Veach caused the first, avoiding major damage to his Dallara-Honda when he spun off course and made contact in Turn 13.

The red flag flew a second time for rookie Ben Hanley, who went off course in Turn 4.

Max Chilton brought out another stoppage when he spun in Turn 4 with 8 minutes to go in the session.

The final red flew when Jones spun with less than a minute left, ending the session.