Herta Heads into Race on Top of Warm-up Charts

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By the Numbers: Warm-up Results 

NTT P1 Award winner Colton Herta stayed out front during the morning warm-up for the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on Sunday, leading the final practice with a best lap of 1 minute, .6632 of a second in the No. 26 Gainbridge Honda.

Herta’s race setup was only three-tenths of a second slower than his pole-winning lap of 1:00.3210 Saturday afternoon.

Cloudy conditions cooled the 14-turn, 1.8-mile temporary street circuit this morning, but drivers will need to cope with an increase in steamy humidity during the 100-lap race today. Coverage starts at noon (ET) on NBC and the INDYCAR Radio Network.

Reigning Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge winner Takuma Sato could be a driver to watch for a charge through the 24-car field later today. He ended up second in the warm-up at 1:00.6768 in the No. 30 Panasonic/Shield Cleansers Honda. Sato is starting 15th in the race.

Six-time NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion Scott Dixon was third-quickest at 1:00.8092 in the No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda, followed by rookie Scott McLaughlin at 1:00.8720 in the No. 3 DEX Imaging Team Penske Chevrolet.

Rinus VeeKay rounded out the top five at 1:00.9414 in the No. 21 SONAX/Autogeek Chevrolet.

The ultra-competitive nature of the series showed yet again this weekend on the time sheets. Less than a second separated the top 17 drivers during the warm-up.

Pato O’Ward triggered the only incident of the 30-minute session when he overshot Turn 4 in his No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet and stalled his car trying to return to the circuit.

The Dale Coyne Racing with RWR team may have a bit of extra work to do in the three hours between the end of the warm-up and the start of the race, as replays on Peacock Premium showed smoke trailing from the rear of the No. 51 Nurtec ODT Honda driven by rookie Romain Grosjean.

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