Defending winner Power leads first INDYCAR GP practice

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INDIANAPOLIS – Another INDYCAR Grand Prix on-track session, another time for Will Power to top the charts.

Power, the three-time winner of the NTT IndyCar Series race on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course including the past two years, led Friday morning’s opening practice for the sixth edition of the INDYCAR Grand Prix with what has become a typically Will Power last-lap effort.

Driving the No. 12 Verizon 5G Team Penske Chevrolet, Power was clocked at 1 minute, 9.2890 seconds (126.721 mph) on the 14-turn, 2.439-mile permanent road course. The session-winning lap came after all cars were granted one timed lap following a late red-flag stoppage when Helio Castroneves, Power’s teammate was stopped on course.

“Not bad, a bit of work to do,” Power said. “Obviously, one lap’s hard to judge on true pace because some people might put it together and some don’t. Just got to keep working at it. It’s going to be very tight – very, very tight – in qualifying.”

INDYCAR GRAND PRIX: Practice 1 results

Prior to Power’s late-session heroics, Spencer Pigot sat atop the timesheet. Pigot settled for the second-fastest lap, 1:09.4256 (126.472 mph) in the No. 21 Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet and was pleased with the initial effort.

“It feels really good, it’s great to have a good start,” Pigot said. “It’s only Practice 1 so there’s a lot of sessions left to go, but it’s nice to roll off the trailer with a really good car. ECR and Autogeek and everyone have done a great job over the break trying to improve. So far, it looks like we’ve made some good decisions.”

Chip Ganassi Racing teammates Scott Dixon and Felix Rosenqvist finished third and fourth, respectively, in the 45-minute practice. Dixon turned a lap of 1:09.4536 (126.421 mph) in the No. 9 PNC Bank Honda. Rosenqvist ran a lap of 1:09.5272 (126.287 mph) in the No. 10 NTT DATA Honda.

Each of the 24 drivers turned at least 15 laps in the practice. A second practice starts at 12:30 p.m. ET Friday and streams live on INDYCAR Pass on NBC Sports Gold. NTT P1 Award knockout qualifying airs live at 4:30 p.m. Friday on NBCSN and INDYCAR Pass.

Coverage of the 85-lap INDYCAR Grand Prix, the fifth race of the 2019 NTT IndyCar Series season, begins at 3 p.m. Saturday on NBC, NBCSports.com, the NBC Sports app and the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network.

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