ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – The two NTT IndyCar Series title contenders were among the nine-fastest drivers in Sunday morning’s final warmup session for the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.
Championship leader Scott Dixon was the second fastest with a best time of 1:018.6254 around the 14-turn, 1.8-mile street course in the No. 9 PNC Bank Honda.
Dixon’s car was so fast during the warmup, he actually locked up the Honda on a paint line while attempting to pass another car on track. After briefly driving down the runoff lane, he was able to continue at speed.
Josef Newgarden, the only other driver in contention for the championship, was ninth fastest at 1:02.2464 in the No. 1 Hitachi Chevrolet for Team Penske.
Dixon can clinch his sixth NTT IndyCar Series championship if he finishes ninth or better in Sunday’s race on the streets of St. Petersburg, no matter what Newgarden does.
If Newgarden leads a lap, but does not lead the most laps, Dixon must finish 10th or better to clinch.
Andretti Autosport driver Colton Herta was the fastest of the session, getting his best lap on the final lap before the checkered flag.
Herta’s fast time was 1:01.6011 in the No. 88 Honda. He was followed by Dixon, Felix Rosenqvist of Chip Ganassi Racing at 1:01.8360 in a Honda, Alexander Rossi of Andretti Autosport at 1:01.83713 in a Honda and Sebastien Bourdais’ Chevrolet at 1:01.9820.