Harding Steinbrenner Racing’s Colton Herta was fastest in this afternoon’s practice session for the DXC Technology 600 at Texas Motor Speedway, turning a lap of 222.451 mph around the 1.5-mile high-banked oval in Fort Worth.
Herta’s top lap was aided by a tow from another car. It was nearly a second and a half faster than those of any other competitor.
Rahal Letterman Lanigan’s Takuma Sato was second-fastest in today’s session (220.974 mph). He was also second-fastest in last night’s opening practice.
Following Sato were Alexander Rossi in third (220.734 mph), Will Power in fourth (220.412 mph), and rookie Marcus Ericsson in fifth (220.336 mph). Defending Texas race winner Scott Dixon (219.976 mph) was sixth.
Notable drivers further down the time sheet included NTT IndyCar Series championship leader Josef Newgarden in ninth (219.622 mph), Indianapolis 500 champion Simon Pagenaud in 13th (218.912 mph), and rookie Felix Rosenqvist in 20th (217.557 mph).
Qualifying for the DXC Technology 600 airs live at 6:30 p.m. ET this evening on NBCSN and NBC Sports Gold.
“A huge blessing for us there,” Tomac told host Mike Tirico during a “Lunch Talk Live” interview (click on the video above) in which he also joked about becoming a pro at busting off diaper changes. “That was one good blessing for us as we had our daughter on a Sunday, that would have been on a travel day coming back from the race in Las Vegas.
“That was probably the only positive out of all this mess was being able to be there for the birth.”
The elevation could favor Tomac, who was born and lives in Colorado and is accustomed to riding and training at altitude, which is a departure for many Supercross riders (many of whom hail from California and Florida).
“That’s going to be the test for us,” said the Kawasaki rider, who five of the first 10 races this season. “We’re at elevation in Salt Lake, so when you’re on a motorcycle, you have a little bit of a loss of power. That’s just what happens when you come up in elevation. And a lot of guys train at sea level, and we’re at 4,000 to 5,000 feet, so cardio-wise, we’ll be pushed to the limit.
“Most of our races are Saturday nights and back to back weeks, but this go around it’s Sunday and Wednesday, so recovery is going to be key.”
“Most of us we can rely on our past riding pretty well,” Tomac said. “The question is if you can go the distance. That’s what a lot of guys have to train on is going the distance. We go 20 minutes plus a lap. That’s what you’ve got to keep sharp is your general muscles. Within two to three days, your brain starts warming up more if you take a few weeks off the motorcycle.”
Here is the schedule and TV information for the rest of the season:
Sunday, May 31 (3-4 p.m. ET, NBCSN; 4-6 p.m. ET, NBC);
Wednesday, June 3 ( 10:00 pm – 1:00 am ET, NBCSN);
Sunday, June 7 (5-8:00 p.m. ET, NBCSN);
Wednesday, June 10 (7–10 p.m. ET, NBCSN);
Sunday, June 14 (7-10 p.m. ET, NBCSN);
Wednesday, June 17 (7-10 p.m. ET, NBCSN);
Sunday, June 21 (3-4:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN; 4:30 – 6:00 p.m. ET, NBC).