IndyCar XPEL 375 starting lineup at Texas

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On a weekend with the NTT IndyCar Series racing two at Texas Motor Speedway, Scott Dixon will go for two while starting first Sunday in the starting lineup for the XPEL 375.

Dixon scored the 51st victory of his career Saturday night at Texas, leaving him one behind tying Mario Andretti for No. 2 on the all-time win list.

A.J. Foyt leads with 67 victories. Dixon broke another of Foyt’s records Saturday, becoming the first driver with at least one victory in 19 IndyCar seasons.

Dixon has five victories at Texas, including two consecutive and three of the past four. After starting third Saturday, the six-time series champion took the lead from Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Alex Palou on the third lap and led 206 of 212 laps.

STARTING LINEUP: Order to begin the XPEL 375

SUNDAY DETAILS: How to watch the XPEL 375 at Texas

“It feels amazing to be in this position,” Dixon said. “You just never want it to end. We want to go back-to-back and try to tie Mario tomorrow.

“I’m sure that’s not exactly what he wants to see. We’ll keep our heads down. It’s extremely tough. This season has been one of the toughest starts, I think, for a lot of us just with how tight the competition is.”

He will have a leg up by virtue of his No. 9 Dallara-Honda ranking first after Saturday’s race in the entrant points standings, which were used to set the starting grid for Sunday’s race.

Dixon will start alongside Palou on the front row, ahead of Will Power and Pato O’Ward.

Broadcast coverage of Sunday’s 248-lap race will begin at 5 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

Here’s the IndyCar starting lineup Sunday in the XPEL 375 at Texas Motor Speedway (Position, car number, driver, manufacturer):


ROW 1

1. (9) Scott Dixon, Honda
2. (10) Alex Palou, Honda

ROW 2

3. (12) Will Power, Chevrolet
4. (5) Pato O’Ward, Chevrolet

ROW 3

5. (60) Jack Harvey, Honda
6. (2) Josef Newgarden, Chevrolet

ROW 4

7. (3) Scott McLaughlin, Chevrolet
8. (22) Simon Pagenaud, Chevrolet

ROW 5

9. (15) Graham Rahal, Honda
10. (26) Colton Herta, Honda

ROW 6

11. (30) Takuma Sato, Honda
12. (21) Rinus VeeKay, Chevrolet

ROW 7

13. (8) Marcus Ericsson, Honda
14. (14) Sebastien Bourdais, Chevrolet

ROW 8

15. (27) Alexander Rossi, Honda
16. (51) Pietro Fittipaldi, Honda

ROW 9

17. (7) Felix Rosenqvist, Chevrolet
18. (18) Ed Jones, Honda

ROW 10

19. (20) Ed Carpenter, Chevrolet
20. (48) Tony Kanaan, Honda

ROW 11

21. (29) James Hinchcliffe, Honda
22. (28) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Honda

ROW 12

23. (4) Dalton Kellett, Chevrolet
24. (59) Conor Daly, Chevrolet

Cadillac, Acura battle for top speed as cars back on track for Rolex 24 at Daytona practice

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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The new hybrid prototypes of Cadillac and Acura battled atop the speed chart as practice resumed Thursday for the Rolex 24 at Daytona.

Chip Ganassi Racing driver Richard Westbrook was fastest Thursday afternoon in the No. 02 Cadillac V-LMDh with a 1-minute, 35.185-second lap around the 12-turn, 3.56-mile road course at Daytona International Speedway.

That pace topped Ricky Taylor’s 1:35.366 lap that topped the Thursday morning session that marked the first time the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship was back on track since qualifying Sunday afternoon that concluded the four-day Roar Before The Rolex 24 test.

In a final session Thursday night, Matt Campbell was fastest (1:35.802) in the No. 7 Porsche Penske Motorsports Porsche 963 but still was off the times set by Westbrook and Taylor.

Punctuated by Tom Blomqvist’s pole position for defending race winner Meyer Shank Racing, the Acura ARX-06s had been fastest for much of the Roar and led four consecutive practice sessions.

DETAILS FOR THE 61ST ROLEX 24How to watch, entry lists, schedules for the IMSA season opener

FIVE THINGS TO WATCH IN GTPRolex 24 at Daytona kicks off new golden era for sports cars

But the times have been extremely tight in the new Grand Touring Prototype (GTP) category that has brought hybrid engines to IMSA’s premier class. Only 0.9 seconds separated the nine LMDh cars in GTP in qualifying, and though the spread slightly widened to 1.378 seconds in Thursday’s practices with teams on varying strategies and preparation, Westbrook still pooh-poohed the importance of speeds.

“It’s always nice to be at the top, but I don’t think it means too much or read too much into it” Westbrook said. “Big fuel tanks in the GTP class this year, so you have no idea what fuel levels people are running. We had a good run, and the car is really enjoyable to drive now. I definitely wasn’t saying that a month ago.

“It really does feel good now. We are working on performance and definitely unlocking some potential, and it just gives us more confidence going into the race. It’s going to be super tight. Everyone’s got the same power, everyone has the same downforce, everyone has the same drag levels and let’s just go race.”

Because teams have put such a premium on reliability, handling mostly has suffered in the GTPs, but Westbrook said the tide had turned Thursday.

“These cars are so competitive, and you were just running it for the sake of running it in the beginning, and there’s so much going on, you don’t really have time to work on performance,” he said. “A lot of emphasis was on durability in the beginning, and rightly so, but now finally we can work on performance, and that’s the same for other manufacturers as well. But we’re worrying about ourselves and improving every run, and I think everybody’s pretty happy with their Cadillac right now.”

Mike Shank, co-owner of Blomqvist’s No. 60 on the pole, said his team still was facing reliability problems despite its speed.

“We address them literally every hour,” Shank said. “We’re addressing some little thing we’re doing better to try to make it last. And also we’re talking about how we race the race, which will be different from years past.

“Just think about every system in the car, I’m not going to say which ones we’re working on, but there are systems in the car that ORECA and HPD are continually trying to improve. By the way, sometimes we put them on the car and take them off before it even goes out on the track because something didn’t work with electronics. There’s so much programming. So many departments have to talk to each other. That bridge gets broken from a code not being totally correct, and the car won’t run. Or the power steering turns off.”

Former Rolex 24 winner Renger van der Zande of Ganassi said it still is a waiting game until the 24-hour race begins Saturday shortly after 1:30 p.m.

“I think the performance of the car is good,” van der Zande said. “No drama. We’re chipping away on setup step by step and the team is in control. It’s crazy out there what people do on the track at the moment. It’s about staying cool and peak at the right moment, and it’s not the right moment yet for that. We’ll keep digging.”


PRACTICE RESULTS:

Click here for Session I (by class)

Click here for Session II (by class)

Click here for Session III (by class)

Combined speeds