Power Nips Harvey In Road America Practice

Power Nips Harvey
Will Power, seen here last weekend, topped IndyCar Series practice Saturday at Road America. (IndyCar photo)

ELKHART LAKE, Wis. – In his first full season of NTT IndyCar Series competition, Jack Harvey was about to finish first in a session for the first time in his career Saturday.

However, Will Power had other ideas.

Nearly a minute after the checkered flag had waved, Team Penske’s Power stole the top spot in Saturday practice with a time of 1:46.0021 around the 4.014-mile, 14-turn road course.

Harvey’s time was 1:46.1606 in the No. 60 AutoNation Sirius XM Honda for Meyer-Shank Racing.

“It always feels better to be at the front, to be honest with you,” Harvey said. “Road America is always a test place. Last year was pretty eye-opening. We’re with Andretti Autosport now and they dominated the race last year.

“It’s just a practice session, though. It’s nice to start off the weekend on the right foot. The car was great straight away. This place is bumpy and very fast. If we keep this up, hopefully it will build some momentum and we’ll have a good weekend.”

Power was able to complete his final lap because the checkered flag came out after he had passed under the flagstand.

The driver of the No. 12 Verizon Chevrolet had the best lap of the session. 

“The car got better after it was pretty bad at the beginning,” Power said. “We still have a lot of work to do. The cooling inside of the car is better this week.”

Team Penske teammate Josef Newgarden was third in a Chevrolet at 1:46.1914. Honda driver Felix Rosenqvist of Chip Ganassi Racing was fourth in a Honda at 1:46.2319. Ryan Hunter-Reay’s Honda rounded out the top five at 1:46.2519.

Rookie Alex Palou’s Honda from Dale Coyne Racing with Team Goh was sixth at 1:46.2547.

Last year’s Road America pole winner, Colton Herta, was seventh in a Honda at 1:46.2547, while defending race winner Alexander Rossi was ninth at 1:46.3733. 

Rossi had the fastest time early in the session before Newgarden took the top spot.

Chip Ganassi Racing Performance Director Chris Simmons has taken over the engineering duties on Rosenqvist’s Honda this weekend. He was Scott Dixon’s longtime race engineer.

Michael Cannon is working with Dixon as the engineer this season and the combination has won the first two NTT IndyCar Series contests in 2020.

“It was a pretty standard program and we got up to speed pretty well,” Rosenqvist said. “It’s a temporary thing, but it felt good. We got up to P4. I think we are in pretty good shape. It’s such a mix, but braking is so important here. Going into Turns 5, 12 and 6, the car is always on the edge.

“That can make up the last couple of tenths to grab the pole here.”

Rossi drove off course in turn 14 but was able to continue. 

Also, with 1:42 left, Ryan Hunter-Reay went off course in Turn 13 and was able to continue.

This will be the final practice session for IndyCar of the weekend. There is a qualification session set for 2:15 p.m. ET, with the REV Grand Prix presented by AMR set for 5:15 p.m ET.

It’s the first race of a Saturday-Sunday doubleheader.