NEWTON, Iowa – Colton Herta’s Honda knocked Conor Daly’s Carlin Racing Chevrolet off the top of the timing list in the final seconds of Friday afternoon’s only practice session for Friday’s first race of the Iowa IndyCar 250s at Iowa Speedway.
Daly’s No. 59 Chevrolet was on top at 171.488 mph around the seven-eighths mile short oval, but in the final moments of practice Herta’s No. 88 Honda turned a lap at 171.990 mph.
Team Penske’s Will Power was third at 171.092 mph, followed by Santino Ferrucci at 171.080 mph.
Two-time and defending NTT IndyCar Series champion Josef Newgarden rounded out the top-five at 171.077 mph. He is also the two-time and defending race winner at Iowa.
Newgarden was just ahead of teammate Simon Pagenaud at 170.733 mph. NTT IndyCar Series points leader and five-time series champion Scott Dixon was seventh out of 23 drivers in practice with a fast lap at 170.111 mph in the No. 9 PNC Bank Honda.
Rinus VeeKay was the fastest rookie in the 30-minute rookie practice that was held at the beginning of the session. The Ed Carpenter Racing driver ran a fast lap at 169.353 mph in the No. 21 Chevrolet. Fellow first-timer Alex Palou was second in a Honda at 167.135 mph, followed by England’s Jack Harvey’s 166.204 mph.
The two Arrow McLaren SP drivers were next in Chevrolets including Pato O’Ward at 165.413 mph and Oliver Askew at 165.194 mph.
VeeKay was penalized for failing to follow directions from IndyCar officials when he changed tires in the rookie session. He was given a five-minute hold when the full practice began.
Qualifications are scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m. ET. The fastest first lap of the two-lap session will determine the field for Friday’s race. The second lap speeds will set the field for Saturday night’s second race.
Friday’s race is scheduled for 8 p.m. on NBCSN.