Rossi Leads Wild Second Practice at Barber

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By the Numbers: Practice 2 Results

Alexander Rossi led the second practice this afternoon for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama presented by AmFirst at Barber Motorsports Park, a session that resembled NTT P1 Award qualifying with a last-lap frenzy of quick times.

Rossi’s best lap of 1 minute, 6.0797 seconds in the No. 27 NAPA AUTO PARTS/AutoNation Honda came on the final lap of the 45-minute session.

“It’s all good right now,” Rossi said. “We’ve just got to see how the track evolves right now. It’s hotter than this morning.”

Josef Newgarden slowed on the front straight due to a mechanical problem with four minutes remaining, triggering the third red flag of the session. That forced Rossi, Scott Dixon and a handful of other drivers who had just switched from the Firestone primary black tires to the Firestone alternate red tires to have just one lap with the more grippy reds.

Rossi made the most of it, as did Marcus Ericsson, who ended up second at 1:06.2190 in the No. 8 Huski Chocolate Chip Ganassi Racing Honda to pace a 2-3-4 performance on the time sheets by Chip Ganassi Racing in this session.

Six-time and reigning NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion Dixon was third at 1:06.3018 in the No. 9 PNC Bank Grow Up Great Honda on his only flying lap on the red tires, while first session leader Alex Palou was fourth at 1:06.3204 in the No. 10 SEGI.TV Honda.

Felix Rosenqvist rounded out the top five at 1:06.3948 in the No. 7 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet.

Colton Herta, who was second quickest in the first practice this morning, was unhurt in an incident 26 minutes into the session. Herta’s No. 26 Gainbridge Honda understeered in Turn 2 and veered off-course and through the gravel trap, hitting the outside barrier. Herta was unhurt, but his car suffered damage to both left-side wheel-suspension assemblies and the left-front wing.

“I just went too fast,” Herta said. “The tires weren’t up to temp and just a little bit of a silly move by me to push it too hard at that point.”

NTT P1 Award qualifying starts at 5:55 p.m. (ET) today on the 17-turn, 2.38-mile circuit. Expect the track record of 1:06.6001 set by Sebastien Bourdais in qualifying in 2016 to be smashed, as 10 drivers were quicker than that time during the second practice.

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