Josef Newgarden led Team Penske-Chevrolet teammate Will Power in opening practice for Sunday’s Iowa Corn 300, as Matheus Leist suffered a mild shunt in his AJ Foyt Racing entry.
Newgarden, who won the Iowa race for Ed Carpenter Racing in 2016, set a fastest lap of 183.711mph – 17.519sec – around the 0.894-mile oval to beat Power by 0.2mph, or 0.026sec.
Ryan Hunter-Reay then led a trio of Andretti Autosport-Hondas, with Zach Veach taking fifth as top rookie, with Spencer Pigot sixth for Ed Carpenter’s team.
James Hinchcliffe steered his Schmidt Peterson Motorsports-Honda to seventh, but had a harmless spin on cold tires as he left the pits in the dying minutes of the session.
Chip Ganassi Racing’s Ed Jones and Scott Dixon were a slightly disappointing 10th and 11th fastest, but Harding Racing-Chevrolet’s Gabby Chaves was an encouraging 15th fastest.
Leist, on his 16th lap, spun exiting Turn 2 and went far enough around to tag the outside wall with his right rear and knock off his rear wing, and his fastest lap of only 172.195mph was some 11mph off top time.
Qualifying starts at 2.30pm local (Central) time.
Iowa, IndyCar first practice
|17||19||Zachary Claman De Melo||42||18.0596||0.5408||0.0771||178.210|