Verizon IndyCar Series championship leader Josef Newgarden in the No.2 Hum by Verizon Chevrolet led the way in the opening practice session ahead of Sunday’s season finale GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma.
Newgarden who goes into the race with a three point advantage over Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon set a fastest time of 01:16.395s and ended the session just ahead of team mate Will Power in the No.12 Verizon Chevrolet. Reigning series champion Simon Pagenaud in the No.1 DXC Technology Chevrolet was third.
Andretti Autosport’s Alexander Rossi who won last time out at Watkins Glen ended the morning session as the fastest Honda driver in the No.98 NAPA Auto Parts with Curb car.
It was a great session for Dale Coyne Racing’s Sebastien Bourdais in the No.18 Unifin Honda as the Frenchman was fifth fastest just ahead of Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon in the No.9 NTT DATA Honda who set a time of 01:16.619s.
Andretti Autosport’s Ryan Hunter Reay in the No.28 DHL Honda was seventh fastest just ahead of Team Penske’s Helio Castroneves in the No.3 Hitachi Chevrolet.
Tony Kanaan in the No.10 NTT DATA Honda was ninth fastest for Chip Ganassi Racing while Marco Andretti rounded out the top ten in the No.27 United Fiber and Data Honda. Graham Rahal in the No.15 United Rentals Honda was 11th for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing just ahead of Andretti Autosport’s Takuma Sato, the man who is expected to be Rahal’s team mate next season.
Schmidt Peterson Motorsports James Hinchcliffe in the No.5 Arrow Electronics Honda was 13th fastest just ahead of Ed Carpenter Racing’s JR Hildebrand in the No.21 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet who it was confirmed on earlier this week will not return to the No.21 Chevrolet in 2018.
Dale Coyne Racing’s Ed Jones in the No.19 Boy Scouts of America Honda was 15th just ahead of Spencer Pigot in the No.20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet who it was confirmed earlier this week will go full-time in the Verizon IndyCar Series in the No.21 Chevrolet for Ed Carpenter Racing replacing JR Hildebrand.
Charlie Kimball in the No.83 Tresiba® Honda was 17th fastest just ahead of his Chip Ganassi Racing team mate Max Chilton in the No.8 Gallagher Honda.
AJ Foyt Racing’s Carlos Munoz in the No.14 ABC Supply Chevrolet ended the session in 19th place just ahead of Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Jack Harvey in the No.7 AutoNation Sirius XM Honda.
Conor Daly was 21st in the No.4 ABC Supply Co Chevrolet for AJ Foyt Racing while Verizon IndyCar Series rookie Zachery Claman DeMelo in the No.13 PaySafe Honda for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing rounded out the order in 22nd place.