2021 Indy Gp Josef Newgarden Fp2 Action Al Steinberg Photo
Josef Newgarden topped the second practice session for the GMR Grand Prix on Friday. (Al Steinberg photo)

Newgarden Tops Second Practice On IMS Road Course

INDIANAPOLIS – Team Penske reasserted itself on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course Friday, with three drivers in the top five of the second practice session for Saturday’s GMR Grand Prix.

Josef Newgarden, winner of the first half of last October’s doubleheader on the 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course, was fastest in the second session with a lap at 1:09.323 in the No. 2 Chevrolet.

“They took away my Iowa, so I had to find something new to like,” Newgarden quipped afterwards. “We haven’t been strong here in the past, just couldn’t find the right combination, but we have been good the last couple of months. We did well at Iowa and carried that over here. I’m really happy with the car and engine.

“We’re fast on old or new tires and we are hoping to stay that way. I like the longevity of the car, you can switch the tires on the car and it will go really quick. Motorsports keep you on your toes. One moment you are doing really good and the next it can bite you.”

Rinus VeeKay, who won the pole here last October for the first of two races in the doubleheader, was second in the No. 21 Chevrolet for Ed Carpenter Racing at 1:09.4020 in a Chevrolet. Three-time Indy GP winner Will Power was third in the No. 12 Verizon Chevrolet for Team Penske at 1:09.4747.

Colton Herta’s No. 26 Gainbridge Honda was fourth at 1:09.4999. Herta inked a two-year extension with Andretti Autosport earlier in the day.

Rookie Scott McLaughlin of Team Penske rounded out the top five at 1:09.5514 in the No. 3 Chevrolet.

Qualifications are set for 4:30 p.m. ET.

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