Nashville IndyCar: Johnson’s 170mph spin and crash ends warm-up

A mistake-ridden warm-up session for the Big Machine Music City Grand Prix in Nashville ended prematurely when Jimmie Johnson caused the third red flag with a 170mph spin off the bridge.

Nashville IndyCar: Johnson’s 170mph spin and crash ends warm-up
 

Several drivers ended up in run-off areas during the session as drivers experimented with brake zones, using the softer alternate Firestone tires as well as the primaries, struggling to get their brake balance adjusted.

Felix Rosenqvist locked up his rears which stalled the Chevrolet engine in his Arrow McLaren SP, but he avoided contact with the barriers. Rinus VeeKay spun and knocked the rear wing off his Ed Carpenter Racing-Chevy.

But then with under two minutes to go, Johnson took a wild ride coming off the bridge at Turn 4, the #48 Chip Ganassi Racing-Honda appeared to snap into oversteer at 170mph, spinning backward and making hard contact with the right-rear tire against the left-hand wall.

Johnson sounded surprised and perplexed by the accident, but alighted from his car without help. With the race still four hours away, the damage did not look substantial enough to cause the Ganassi team major problems in fixing for the race.

The other three CGR-Hondas looked strong during the half-hour session, with Scott Dixon, Alex Palou and Marcus Ericsson finishing second, fifth and sixth.

But they were all beaten by Graham Rahal, who will start 13th and believes the Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing-Honda team has substantially improved his car’s handling in low-speed turns, where he lost most to polesitter Colton Herta during qualifying.

Pato O’Ward slotted his Arrow McLaren SP into third ahead of his former Indy Lights teammate Herta, while Nashville’s own Josef Newgarden was fastest of the Penske-Chevrolets in seventh.

As in qualifhing, Jack Harvey (Meyer Shank Racing-Honda) and Romain Grosjean (Dale Coyne Racing with RWR-Honda) were inside the top 10.

Sebastien Bourdais who witnessed close-at-hand the Johnson shunt, finished the session in 11th, just behind Penske’s Simon Pagenaud.

Engines fire for the inaugural Big Machine Music Grand Prix at 4.38pm local (Central) time.

 

P

Name

FTime

Diff

FL

Laps

Engine

Team

1

Graham Rahal

1:15.8489

1:15.8489

14

15

Honda

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

2

Scott Dixon

1:15.8794

0.0305

15

16

Honda

Chip Ganassi Racing

3

Pato O'Ward

1:16.2012

0.3523

17

17

Chevy

Arrow McLaren SP

4

Colton Herta

1:16.3758

0.5269

16

18

Honda

Andretti Autosport

5

Alex Palou

1:16.4870

0.6381

7

15

Honda

Chip Ganassi Racing

6

Marcus Ericsson

1:16.5428

0.6939

14

16

Honda

Chip Ganassi Racing

7

Josef Newgarden

1:16.6377

0.7888

15

17

Chevy

Team Penske

8

Jack Harvey

1:16.6859

0.8370

15

15

Honda

Meyer Shank Racing

9

Romain Grosjean

1:16.7797

0.9308

8

15

Honda

Dale Coyne Racing w/Rick Ware Racing

10

Simon Pagenaud

1:16.8078

0.9589

8

13

Chevy

Team Penske

11

Sebastien Bourdais

1:16.9827

1.1338

16

16

Chevy

AJ Foyt Enterprises

12

Alexander Rossi

1:16.9957

1.1468

5

15

Honda

Andretti Autosport

13

Scott McLaughlin

1:17.0604

1.2115

12

16

Chevy

Team Penske

14

Ryan Hunter-Reay

1:17.2387

1.3898

15

16

Honda

Andretti Autosport

15

James Hinchcliffe

1:17.3253

1.4764

9

13

Honda

Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport

16

Conor Daly

1:17.3856

1.5367

6

15

Chevy

Ed Carpenter Racing

17

Takuma Sato

1:17.3858

1.5369

6

15

Honda

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

18

Rinus VeeKay

1:17.4435

1.5946

7

14

Chevy

Ed Carpenter Racing

19

Will Power

1:17.5156

1.6667

11

13

Chevy

Team Penske

20

Ed Jones

1:17.5751

1.7262

8

13

Honda

Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser Sullivan

21

Felix Rosenqvist

1:17.5809

1.7320

12

13

Chevy

Arrow McLaren SP

22

Helio Castroneves

1:17.8619

2.0130

5

16

Honda

Meyer Shank Racing

23

Santino Ferrucci

1:17.9401

2.0912

6

13

Honda

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

24

Jimmie Johnson

1:18.1674

2.3185

13

13

Honda

Chip Ganassi Racing

25

Cody Ware

1:18.4303

2.5814

7

15

Honda

Dale Coyne Racing w/Rick Ware Racing

26

Dalton Kellett

1:18.6391

2.7902

8

16

Chevy

AJ Foyt Enterprises

27

Max Chilton

1:18.6905

2.8416

15

15

Chevy

Carlin

 

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