Newgarden leads first oval practice of 2017 in Phoenix

Josef Newgarden topped free practice at Phoenix - Credit: Chris Jones / IndyCar

Fresh off the back of his first win of the season at Barber Motorsports Park last weekend, Josef Newgarden continued his good form by pacing the one and only practice session ahead of qualifying at the Phoenix International Raceway, the first oval event of 2017.

The Team Penske left it late to hit the front, setting a time of 19.1517s with just a handful of minutes remaining, with the team finishing with all four of its cars inside a Chevrolet-powered dominated top five.

The only exception was the Ed Carpenter Racing machine of JR Hildebrand, making his return to the #21 car this weekend after sitting out the Barber race due to injury, and the American finished second fastest, just 0.0427 seconds down on Newgarden.

Helio Castroneves was third for Penske ahead of team-mates Simon Pagenaud and Will Power, while Scott Dixon ended up sixth for Chip Ganassi Racing despite leading the field for long parts of the session, and was the leading Honda entry at the same time.

Sebastien Bourdais, who sits on top of the championship standings heading into the fourth round of the season, was seventh fastest for Dale Coyne Racing ahead of Chip Ganassi Racing duo Charlie Kimball and Tony Kanaan, while Mikhail Aleshin completed the top ten for Schmidt Peterson Motorsport.

Whilst Hildebrand was impressing at the front of the field, his team-mate/boss Ed Carpenter was enduring a tough first practice session of the season. The American only competes in the oval events, with Spencer Pigot racing the road and street courses, but Carpenter sat out most of the session due to engine problems and ended up at the rear of the field as a result.

Phoenix International Raceway Free Practice 1 Result

12Josef NewgardenUSATeam Penske19.1517
221JR HildebrandUSAEd Carpenter Racing19.1944
33Helio CastronevesBRZTeam Penske19.2786
41Simon PagenaudFRATeam Penske19.2799
512Will PowerAUSTeam Penske19.3073
69Scott DixonNZLChip Ganassi Racing19.3590
718Sebastien BourdaisFRADale Coyne Racing19.3824
883Charlie KimballUSAChip Ganassi Racing19.4438
910Tony KanaanBRZChip Ganassi Racing19.4753
107Mikhail AleshinRUSSchmidt Peterson Motorsports19.4955
1128Ryan Hunter-ReayUSAAndretti Autosport19.6256
1215Graham RahalUSARahal Letterman Lanigan Racing19.6551
135James HinchcliffeCANSchmidt Peterson Motorsports19.6982
1414Carlos MunozCOLAJ Foyt Enterprises19.7405
1598Alexander RossiUSAAndretti Herta Autosport19.8220
168Max ChiltonGBRChip Ganassi Racing19.8359
1726Takuma SatoJAPAndretti Autosport19.8699
184Conor DalyUSAAJ Foyt Enterprises19.8742
1927Marco AndrettiUSAAndretti Autosport19.9807
2019Ed JonesUAEDale Coyne Racing20.1333
2120Ed CarpenterUSAEd Carpenter Racing20.1701