Josef Newgarden continued his strong weekend by setting the fastest time in Saturday morning’s second practice session from Road America, lapping the 4.05-mile course in 1:45.3399
Newgarden was third in yesterday’s session, and looks set to have a strong weekend for Team Penske.
Colton Herta was close behind in his Andretti Autosport Honda, and Graham Rahal rounded out the top three in the 45-minute session.
The fastest driver of practice 1, Romain Grosjean, went well again on Saturday and ended up in the fourth spot on the timesheets.
Oliver Askew also impressed in his first race of Ed Carpenter Racing, sitting near the top all day and ending in the fifth position.
Scott Dixon ran over a piece of debris while flying through the carousel, causing the six-time champ to make an extended stop in the pits and costing him valuable track time.
After some heavy rain showers moved through overnight, temperatures in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin are much cooler today than they were yesterday.
The fresher air helped to give the drivers extra grip through their tires, something that was concerning drivers after Friday’s practice session.
The higher grip brought with it faster times, and Saturday’s laps were a full two seconds faster than they were just a day before.
The drop off of the tires did not change, however, and drivers are still reporting that after only a couple laps the lap times will drop off dramatically.
These conditions are much more representative of the weather expected for qualifying later in the afternoon, helping everyone to nail down their setups in the final session before the knockout session.
Pushing the limits
Coming naturally along with the higher grip and faster times, was the tendency for drivers to push the limits just a bit too far.
Cody Ware, in his IndyCar debut, spun in Canada Corner and had to get an assist from the AMR safety crew to get going again.
Pato O’Ward was among the drivers that locked up his front wheels multiple times while slowing down to the tricky downhill turn 5 entry.
This was the session to push the limits, however, because with such a long track on offer, drivers will not get many flying laps in qualifying.
That deciding Fast 12 session is set to get underway at 2:30 PM EDT.