Kanaan, Newgarden, Pagenaud continue to shine at Iowa

Chip Ganassi Racing, Ed Carpenter Racing and Team Penske led the IndyCar field in evening practice at Iowa Speedway as the drivers tried their race setups.

Kanaan, Newgarden, Pagenaud continue to shine at Iowa
Tony Kanaan, Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet
Simon Pagenaud, Team Penske Chevrolet
Josef Newgarden, Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet
James Hinchcliffe, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda
Josef Newgarden, Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet

However, the 6.15-6.45pm session’s relevance is slightly questionable this season given that tomorrow’s race will start at 4.40pm.

Nonetheless, the downforce levels seen on the cars this evening was at race levels, with Tony Kanaan’s top lap in the Ganassi-Chevrolet – a 179.103mph – some 6mph off Simon Pagenaud’s pole time.

Second quickest again was Josef Newgarden, still nursing the fracture in his hand as well as the broken clavicle, the latter of which he insists is “not a problem”, despite Iowa Speedway’s bumps. The ECR car #20 edged polesitter Pagenaud by 0.5mph, who in turn was a couple of hundredths faster than Penske teammate Helio Castroneves.

Notable improver was last-placed qualifier James Hinchcliffe, who finished the session in fifth, just ahead of Schmidt Peterson Motorsports-Honda teammate Mikhail Aleshin. More impressive than his pace was that the 2013 Iowa winner saved a major moment when Aleshin drafted past but then chopped up in front of the #5, robbing it of clean air on the exit of Turn 4.

Sebastien Bourdais was seventh fastest for KVSH Racing, just ahead Will Power’s Penske, while Graham Rahal ensured that, unlike in qualifying, three Hondas appeared in the Top 10.

Fastest of Iowa’s traditionally dominant team, Andretti Autosport, was Marco Andretti in 11th, just ahead of teammates Ryan Hunter-Reay and Carlos Munoz.

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