Josef Newgarden fastest, Colton Herta spins in first COTA practice

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Josef Newgarden posted the fastest lap of the first practice session for the IndyCar Classic with a time of 1 minute, 48.657 seconds.

He beat rookie Colton Herta by .137 seconds.

Herta was not on track at the end of the session, however. He spun and stopped on course in Turn 8 after an apparent engine lockup with 17 minutes remaining.

“There was no indication before it happened,” Herta told NBC Sports Gold and snapped his fingers to show its immediacy. “Literally, it just blew up. No loss of power, no nothing – and then there was nothing.”

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The red flag waved for 15 minutes. With two minutes remaining on the clock, IndyCar guaranteed that everyone who went out would get a green flag lap and the session ended under green.

Alexander Rossi (1:49.046), Ryan Hunter-Reay (1:49.501) and Graham Rahal (1:49.508) rounded out the top five.

Felix Rosenqvist (1:49.685) was the second-fastest rookie in the session.

Rookie Patricio O’Ward posted the most laps at 10.

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