IndyCar Iowa: Newgarden remains the man to beat

Josef Newgarden was the only driver to crack 170mph in the hour-long free practice at Iowa Speedway before this evening’s second Iowa 250, leading Team Penske-Chevrolet teammate and last night’s winner Simon Pagenaud by over 1.5mph.

Newgarden, who will start today’s race from pole, lapped the 0.894-mile course in 18.910sec, an average speed of 170.199mph, while Pagenaud, who will start the race at the back due to fuel pressure problems in qualifying, lapped at 168.515mph.

Scott Dixon, who finished second to Pagenaud last night was third fastest in his Chip Ganassi Racing-Honda, ahead of the AJ Foyt Racing-Chevrolet of Tony Kanaan, who is making his final Iowa start.

Takuma Sato and Graham Rahal signaled an upturn in form from Rahal Letterman Lanigan-Honda with fifth and eight best laps, sandwiching the fastest of the Andretti Autosport quintet, Alexander Rossi, and the second Ganassi car of Felix Rosenqvist.

Conor Daly, last night’s polesitter and starting from third today, has kept his Carlin-Chevy competitive and was P10 this afternoon, just behind Hunter-Reay.

Colton Herta, Rinus VeeKay and Will Power, all of whom wrecked last night, got some miles under their rebuilt cars and finished 13th, 14th and 20th respectively.

Santino Ferrucci turned the most laps of the session with 104 in his Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser Sullivan Honda.

Tonight’s race starts at 8.45pm Eastern Time.

1 Josef Newgarden Team Penske42 170.199
2 Simon Pagenaud Team Penske25 0.189 168.515
3 Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing46 0.229 168.156
4 Tony Kanaan A.J. Foyt Enterprises41 0.323 167.337
5 Takuma Sato Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing63 0.377 166.869
6 Alexander Rossi Andretti Autosport39 0.508 165.741
7 Felix Rosenqvist Chip Ganassi Racing74 0.663 164.426
8 Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing63 0.674 164.334
9 Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport63 0.695 164.163
10 Conor Daly Carlin76 0.700 164.116
11 Marcus Ericsson Chip Ganassi Racing75 0.755 163.663
12 Alex PalouDale Coyne Racing with Team Goh86 0.760 163.618
13 Colton HertaAndretti Harding Steinbrenner Autosport64 0.769 163.546
14 Rinus van Kalmthout Ed Carpenter Racing40 0.844 162.925
15 Patricio O’WardArrow McLaren SP82 0.873 162.688
16 Jack Harvey Meyer Shank Racing78 0.877 162.655
17 Charlie Kimball A.J. Foyt Enterprises63 0.924 162.264
18 Marco AndrettiAndretti Herta Autosport with Marco & Curb-Agajani55 0.946 162.083
19 Ed Carpenter Ed Carpenter Racing53 0.955 162.015
20 Will Power Team Penske80 1.031 161.394
21 Oliver AskewArrow McLaren SP53 1.042 161.310
22 Santino FerrucciDale Coyne Racing with Vasser Sullivan104 1.083 160.975
23 Zach Veach Andretti Autosport78 1.258 159.579

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