Four-time Watkins Glen race winner Scott Dixon was fastest in Verizon IndyCar Series practice on Friday and backed up his performance with the quickest time in the final session ahead of qualifying for the INDYCAR Grand Prix at The Glen.
Dixon’s fastest trip around the 3.37-mile, 11-turn road course in the No. 9 Chip Ganassi Racing Honda came on his last lap of 13 turned. The 1:22.6441 was slower than his best on Friday, likely owing to the different conditions including an ambient temperature of 56 degrees and track temperature of 74 degrees at the start of the session.
Alexander Rossi was second fastest in his No. 98 Andretti Autosport machine with a time of 1:22.6661, just 0.02 seconds off of Dixon’s time. Rossi has been competitive all weekend and driving with his future secure following the announcement of a multiyear deal with Andretti Autosport and NAPA Auto Parts.
Ryan Hunter-Reay made it two Andretti cars in the top five with the third-fastest lap in the No. 28 Honda. His 1:23.0957 was four-tenths of a second off of Dixon’s chart-topping time.
The honor of being the fastest Chevrolet-backed driver went to Team Penske’s Helio Castroneves whose 1:23.2320 placed him fourth on the Practice 3 timesheet.
Sebastien Bourdais’ 1:23.2406 kept him fifth on the leaderboard. The Dale Coyne Racing driver appeared to be going for one more fast lap after the checkered flag flew but spun the No. 18 Honda and brought out a local yellow.
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Takuma Sato, Graham Rahal, Josef Newgarden, Simon Pagenaud and Charlie Kimball completed the top 10 with Honda holding a 7-3 advantage.
There were no full-course cautions during the 45-minute session which started and ended as scheduled.
Next up for the series on Saturday is three rounds of knockout qualifying culminating in the Firestone Fast 6 set to get underway at 3 p.m. EDT. On Sunday, the 21-car field will participate in a 30-minute warm-up session at 9 a.m. ahead of the 60-lap race with the green flag scheduled at 1:47 p.m. Television coverage will be carried on NBCSN beginning at 1 p.m.