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Hunter-Reay, Honda Lead IndyCar Series Practice at Sonoma

  • Ryan Hunter-Reay paces morning practice, and the day at Sonoma Raceway
  • Scott Dixon, Alexander Rossi prepare for title conclusion on Sunday
  • Dixon posts third-fastest practice time, Rossi runs 11th

Ryan Hunter-Reay led the way for Honda Friday at Sonoma Raceway, posting the fastest time in the first of two practice sessions for Sunday's season finale – and championship deciding – INDYCAR Grand Prix of Sonoma.

Scott Dixon, leading the championship by 29 points (598-569) over primary rival Alexander Rossi, recorded his quickest lap of the day in the afternoon session to finish the day third overall.  Rossi ran eighth in the morning session, but was unable to improve in the afternoon and slipped to 11th overall.

Will Power and Josef Newgarden also remain mathematically in title contention, with the former fourth overall on the day, and the latter leading practice in the afternoon to finish the day second quickest.

Former Sonoma winner Marco Andretti ran seventh fastest today as Honda drivers claimed six of the top 10 lap times.  Ed Jones posted the eighth quickest lap, followed by Graham Rahal and James Hinchcliffe rounding out the top 10 for Honda.

Activities at Sonoma continue tomorrow, with final practice and qualifying.  Coverage of Sunday's 85-lap Drivers' Championship-deciding race starts at 3:30 p.m. EDT, live on the NBC Sports Network.

Scott Dixon (Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) Third fastest in Friday practice: "Conditions were a little tough today, and we're down around 30-40% overall on downforce compared to last year [as a result of the 2018 aero kit]. Tomorrow could be different, and tricky. You have to get the braking right for sure. There was a cool spread on the time sheets today. I also think the [ambient] temperature is going to play a huge part in what tires you take. We'll take a look at it tonight and see what we need to do in order to make some gains for qualifying in the PNC Bank car."

Alexander Rossi (Andretti Autosport Honda) 11th fastest on Friday: "I think we made a step forward this afternoon. We had the test [day] yesterday, which I thought was really good for us, but this place changes so quickly and so often. What you have one day doesn't necessarily transfer completely the next day. We definitely have some work to do overnight.  We need to put our heads together. But this isn't the first time we've had a bad Friday, so I have a lot of confidence in the #27 NAPA team that come tomorrow afternoon, we'll be alright."

Verizon IndyCar Series Go Pro Grand Prix of Sonoma Circuit:              Sonoma Raceway (2.385-mile road course), Sonoma, Calif. 2017 Winner:    Simon Pagenaud (Team Penske) 104.968 mph average Weather:           Sunny, mild, 77 degrees F

Top-10 Friday Practice Session Results:

Ps.

Driver      

Team

Manufacturer

Best Time

Notes

  1.

Ryan Hunter-Reay

Andretti Autosport

Honda

1:17.5742

110.681 mph

  2.

Josef Newgarden

Team Penske

Chevrolet

1:17.8156

+0.0414 seconds

  3.

Scott Dixon

Chip Ganassi Racing

Honda

1:17.8268

Practice 1

  4.

Will Power

Team Penske

Chevrolet

1:17.8818

Practice 1

  5.

Simon Pagenaud

Team Penske

Chevrolet

1:17.9586

Practice 1

  6.

Patricio O'Ward-R

Harding Racing

Chevrolet

1:18.0073

Practice 2

  7.

Marco Andretti

Andretti Autosport

Honda

1:18.0878

Practice 1

  8.

Ed Jones

Chip Ganassi Racing             

Honda

1:18.1385

Practice 1

  9.

Graham Rahal

Rahal Letterman Lanigan

Honda

1:18.1665

Practice 1

10.

James Hinchcliffe

Schmidt Peterson Motorsports

Honda

1:18.2356

Practice 2

Other Honda Results

11.

Alexander Rossi

Andretti Autosport

Honda

1:18.2738

Practice 1

12.

Zach Veach-R

Andretti Autosport

Honda

1:18.3541

Practice 1

13.

Sebastien Bourdais

DCR with Vasser-Sullivan      

Honda

1:18.3709

Practice 1

14.

Pietro Fittipaldi-R

Dale Coyne Racing                

Honda

1:18.4442

Practice 1

15.

Santino Ferrucci-R

Dale Coyne Racing                

Honda

1:18.5961

Practice 2

17.

Takuma Sato

Rahal Letterman Lanigan

Honda

1:18.6790

Practice 2

19.

Carlos Munoz

Schmidt Peterson Motorsports

Honda

1:18.7812

Practice 2

21.

Jack Harvey-R

Meyer Shank Racing

Honda

1:18.9310

Practice 1

 

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