Dixon Surfaces in Warm-Up

Scott Dixon paces Indianapolis GP warm-up session
Scott Dixon put his PNC Bank-liveried Honda atop the IndyCar field to begin race day on the IMS road course. | Photo: Aaron Durant / The Apex

Scott Dixon began the first race day of the year at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as the fastest Verizon IndyCar Series driver, leading pole sitter Will Power atop the morning warm-up running order.

With a best lap of 1:10.8157, Dixon made the No. 9 PNC Bank Honda the fastest car on track and put to rest worries that Chip Ganassi Racing’s struggles on Friday would carry over into the fifth race of the year.

Dixon was out-qualified on the first day of the weekend by his more inexperienced teammate Ed Jones, who landed 15th on the grid, three spots ahead of Dixon.

Power slotted into the second position, 0.0214 seconds off Dixon’s pace, with Ryan Hunter-Reay placing a second Honda in the top three, 0.0882 seconds behind Dixon.

Impressive rookie Jordan King was fourth quickest, placing himself just above Max Chilton on the timesheet to complete the top five.

Tony Kanaan, Zachary Claman De Melo, Josef Newgarden, Sebastien Bourdais and Simon Pagenaud made up the remainder of the top 10, ensuring Chevrolet outnumbered Honda by 6-4 in this segment.

The first half of the session included two interruptions. First, engine trouble for Marco Andretti caused the American driver to steer his No. 98 Andretti Autosport Honda off the racing line on the front straightaway and pull off into the runoff at Turn 1.

The engine failure led to a lengthy red-flag period, but trackside geese brought the warm-up outing back to a halt moments after the green flag returned.

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Helio Castroneves, 11th in warm-up, was parked for the final five minutes due to not returning to the pit lane after passing the checkered flag during qualifying Friday.

Set to start fourth in the race, James Hinchcliffe began Saturday down in 21st among the 24-driver field, easily the slowest of Friday’s Firestone Fast 6 participants.

All that remains of the INDYCAR Grand Prix weekend is the 85-lap race itself. After live television coverage kicks off on ABC at 3:30 p.m. EDT, the green flag will wave at 3:50 p.m.

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