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
|1||20||Ed Carpenter||USA||Ed Carpenter Racing||23.0726|
|2||9||Scott Dixon||NZL||Chip Ganassi Racing||23.2458|
|3||98||Alexander Rossi||USA||Andretti Herta Autosport||23.2802|
|4||21||JR Hildebrand||USA||Ed Carpenter Racing||23.3195|
|5||1||Simon Pagenaud||FRA||Team Penske||23.3306|
|6||3||Helio Castroneves||BRZ||Team Penske||23.3438|
|7||19||Ed Jones||UAE||Dale Coyne Racing||23.3984|
|8||18||Tristan Vautier||FRA||Dale Coyne Racing||23.3986|
|9||2||Josef Newgarden||USA||Team Penske||23.4008|
|10||7||Mikhail Aleshin||RUS||Schmidt Peterson Motorsports||23.4038|
|11||10||Tony Kanaan||BRZ||Chip Ganassi Racing||23.4071|
|12||12||Will Power||AUS||Team Penske||23.4143|
|13||83||Charlie Kimball||USA||Chip Ganassi Racing||23.4410|
|14||28||Ryan Hunter-Reay||USA||Andretti Autosport||23.4646|
|15||15||Graham Rahal||USA||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing||23.4884|
|16||5||James Hinchcliffe||CAN||Schmidt Peterson Motorsports||23.5029|
|17||27||Marco Andretti||USA||Andretti Autosport||23.5357|
|18||14||Carlos Munoz||COL||AJ Foyt Enterprises||23.6414|
|19||88||Gabby Chaves||USA||Harding Racing||23.6521|
|20||8||Max Chilton||GBR||Chip Ganassi Racing||23.6707|
|21||26||Takuma Sato||JAP||Andretti Autosport||23.6813|
|22||4||Conor Daly||USA||AJ Foyt Enterprises||23.6924|