Speeds were noticeably higher under the lights at ISM Raceway with Graham Rahal outpacing teammate Takuma Sato in Friday night’s Verizon IndyCar Series test session.
- RESULTS: 2018 Phoenix Open Test Session 3
Rahal’s United Rentals-liveried No. 15 Honda topped out at 189.090 mph, well short of last year’s pole speed but one of only two laps to crest 189 mph.
Sato, who was fastest in the afternoon session, was just 0.025 mph slower than Rahal ensuring Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s two cars locked out the top two speeds.
Simon Pagenaud at 188.430 mph and Josef Newgarden at 188.182 mph were third and fourth fastest for Team Penske.
Tony Kanaan, third fastest in Friday’s first session, completed the top five for AJ Foyt Racing in the No. 14 Chevrolet.
The Hondas of Ryan Hunter-Reay, Marco Andretti, Scott Dixon and Marco Andretti occupied positions six through nine on the final timesheet ahead of Matheus Leist who completed the top 10 in a Chevrolet, giving the Japanese manufacturer six cars in the top 10.
Leist was involved in the only on-track incident of the day when his No. 4 machine spun in Turn 2. The spin flat spotted three of the car’s tires, necessitating help from the Holmatro Safety Team. Leist exited the car without assistance.
Carlin, which brought up the rear of the afternoon session, saw its fortunes improve with Charlie Kimball and Max Chilton 15th and 18th fastest, respectively.
Just 0.8833 seconds separated Rahal from Gabby Chaves whose No. 88 Harding Racing Chevrolet ended the session 23rd on the speed chart.
Testing will resume on Saturday with two additional three-hour sessions. The first will go green at 3 p.m. EST followed by the final session at 8 p.m. Both will be live streamed on INDYCAR Race Control, YouTube, Facebook Live and the INDYCAR mobile app.