Sunday, July 12, 2015

Morning Warm-Up: Milwaukee 2015

Josef Newgarden topped the lone Saturday practice session at Milwaukee
With both qualifying and the ABC Supply Wisconsin 250 taking place on Sunday, IndyCar completed one practice session late Saturday afternoon in preparations for the twelfth round of the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series championship.

Josef Newgarden topped the session with a lap of 21.5415 seconds. Newgarden is looking for his first career pole position. The CFH driver has two victories this year and he has qualified second on three occasions in his career and he has five career front row starts (Long Beach 2012 he started second after Chevrolet drivers served engine penalties. Fontana 2014 he started third but the race featured rows of three. Just 0.0277 seconds behind Newgarden was Simon Pagenaud. The Frenchman is looking for his second consecutive pole position of the season. His best Milwaukee finish in three starts is seventh. Takuma Sato was 0.1084 seconds back in third in the #14 ABC Supply Co. Honda. Sato has finished in the top ten in two of his four Milwaukee starts. Both those top tens came in a year ending in an odd-number. The most recent winner in the Verizon IndyCar Series Graham Rahal was fourth fastest in practice, 0.1964 seconds back. Rahal has a two top fives and three top tens in six Milwaukee starts. Tony Kanaan rounded out the top five, 0.2471 seconds behind Newgarden. The Brazilian has two wins, five podiums, seven top fives and ten top tens in 15 Milwaukee starts.

Kanaan's Ganassi teammate Scott Dixon was sixth, 0.0361 seconds behind his teammate. Dixon is looking for his second career Milwaukee victory. Three-time Milwaukee winner Ryan Hunter-Reay was seventh as he started 14th or worse in the last eight races after starting the first three races of the season in the top ten. Hélio Castroneves was eighth quickest, 0.0352 seconds behind Hunter-Reay. James Jakes was ninth fastest, only 0.0045 seconds behind the Brazilian. Will Power rounded out the top ten. He was 0.4526 seconds slower than Newgarden and was the final driver to run a lap in the 21-second bracket during the session.

Ryan Briscoe was 11th, 0.0190 seconds behind his fellow Australian and past Milwaukee winner Power. Sébastien Bourdais, another past Milwaukee winner, was 12th, 0.5305 seconds off Newgarden. Charlie Kimball was 13th at 22.1151 seconds. Colombians Carlos Muñoz and championship leader Juan Pablo Montoya rounded out the top fifteen. Montoya was 0.0469 seconds behind Muñoz and 0.6403 seconds behind Newgarden.

Justin Wilson was 16th in his first IndyCar session since taking the checkered flag for the 99th Indianapolis 500. He was 0.7059 seconds off Newgarden. Sage Karam was the fastest rookie in 17th, 0.0062 seconds slower than Wilson but 0.0086 seconds faster than Gabby Chaves in 18th. Tristan Vautier and Jack Hawksworth rounded out the top twenty. Stefano Coletti was 21st with Ed Carpenter, Marco Andretti and Pippa Mann rounding out the time sheet.

The top 23 were covered by 1.1247 seconds with 1.9233 seconds covering the two dozen drivers in the field.

Final practice will take place at 10:15 a.m. ET and the session will be 45 minutes long. Qualifying for the ABC Supply Wisconsin 250 will take place at 1:30 p.m. ET with NBCSN's coverage beginning at 5:00 p.m. ET. Green flag is scheduled for 5:35 p.m. ET.