Carpenter leads final practice as Chevy hit the front


Ed Carpenter topped final practice in Texas - Credit: Chris Jones / IndyCar

Honda may have locked out the top eight in qualifying at Texas Motor Speedway, but Chevrolet should not be ruled out of contention when it matters after Ed Carpenter set the pace in final practice on Friday evening.

Carpenter, a previous winner around the 1.5-mile oval back in 2014, clocked a best lap of 224.682mph for his own Ed Carpenter Racing team, the fastest lap of the weekend so far, albeit with the aid of fresh tyres and a big tow.

However, tows will be the name of the game on Saturday evening when the race gets underway under the lights at TMS, and Carpenter has shown the Chevrolet should be involved in the fight for victory.

Scott Dixon was second fastest for Chip Ganassi Racing, and continues to show the kind of consistency that has seen him head the championship standings heading into Texas, with the New Zealander finishing just ahead of Alexander Rossi of Andretti Herta Autosport and JR Hildebrand of Ed Carpenter Racing.

Simon Pagenaud and Helio Castroneves ended the session fifth and sixth respectively for Team Penske, who have not shown the kind of pace this weekend they have been renowned for in recent months.

Showing good form however was Dale Coyne Racing, with rookie Ed Jones and series returnee Tristan Vautier seventh and eighth fastest, while Penske’s Josef Newgarden and Schmidt Peterson Motorsport’s Mikhail Aleshin completed the top ten.

Surprise polesitter Charlie Kimball was thirteenth fastest for Chip Ganassi Racing, but he will have the honour on Saturday evening to lead the field away for the first time in his career.

Texas Motor Speedway Free Practice 2 Results

POSNO.DRIVERNATTEAMTIME
120Ed CarpenterUSAEd Carpenter Racing23.0726
29Scott DixonNZLChip Ganassi Racing23.2458
398Alexander RossiUSAAndretti Herta Autosport23.2802
421JR HildebrandUSAEd Carpenter Racing23.3195
51Simon PagenaudFRATeam Penske23.3306
63Helio CastronevesBRZTeam Penske23.3438
719Ed JonesUAEDale Coyne Racing23.3984
818Tristan VautierFRADale Coyne Racing23.3986
92Josef NewgardenUSATeam Penske23.4008
107Mikhail AleshinRUSSchmidt Peterson Motorsports23.4038
1110Tony KanaanBRZChip Ganassi Racing23.4071
1212Will PowerAUSTeam Penske23.4143
1383Charlie KimballUSAChip Ganassi Racing23.4410
1428Ryan Hunter-ReayUSAAndretti Autosport23.4646
1515Graham RahalUSARahal Letterman Lanigan Racing23.4884
165James HinchcliffeCANSchmidt Peterson Motorsports23.5029
1727Marco AndrettiUSAAndretti Autosport23.5357
1814Carlos MunozCOLAJ Foyt Enterprises23.6414
1988Gabby ChavesUSAHarding Racing23.6521
208Max ChiltonGBRChip Ganassi Racing23.6707
2126Takuma SatoJAPAndretti Autosport23.6813
224Conor DalyUSAAJ Foyt Enterprises23.6924