Hunter-Reay Tops Pocono Practice as Carpenter Crashes

Ryan Hunter-Reay topped practice at Pocono - Credit: Bret Kelley / IndyCar

Ryan Hunter-Reay came out on top in the opening practice session at Pocono Raceway on Saturday in a session that saw Ed Carpenter crash hard into the wall.

Carpenter lost the rear of his Ed Carpenter Racing car exiting turn three of the tricky triangle, making heavy contact with the SAFER barrier, and although he has been cleared to resume racing following his mandatory visit to the medical centre, his participation in qualifying later in the day is in doubt due to the damage on his car.

At the point of the stoppage, Marco Andretti was heading the field, but his Andretti Autosport team-mate Hunter-Reay emerged on top at the end of the session, which was extended by seven minutes due to Carpenter’s crash.

Hunter-Reay’s best lap of 41.0456 seconds was just 0.0107 seconds clear of Team Penske’s Simon Pagenaud, while Tony Kanaan also found himself ahead of Andretti when the chequered flag fell.

Scott Dixon ended up fifth for Chip Ganassi Racing ahead of Takuma Sato of Andretti Autosport, while the Andretti Herta Autosport machine of Alexander Rossi concluded the session in seventh.

Graham Rahal was eighth ahead of Helio Castroneves, while Gabby Chaves rounded out the top ten in only his third start of the season for Harding Racing, under four-tenths of a second shy of Hunter-Reay.

Carpenter was not the only driver to spin out of the session, with Ed Jones spinning on the exit of turn two and brushing the wall with this front wing. Unlike Carpenter though, the Dale Coyne Racing driver should be able to return to the track during qualifying.

Defending Pocono winner Will Power was down in eighteenth, two places ahead of championship leading Team Penske team-mate Josef Newgarden, but with the times so close – the top twenty-one were within one second – anything could happen during qualifying.

Pocono Raceway Free Practice 1 Result

128Ryan Hunter-ReayUSAAndretti Autosport41.0456
21Simon PagenaudFRATeam Penske41.0563
310Tony KanaanBRZChip Ganassi Racing41.0658
427Marco AndrettiUSAAndretti Autosport41.1267
59Scott DixonNZLChip Ganassi Racing41.2005
626Takuma SatoJAPAndretti Autosport41.2118
798Alexander RossiUSAAndretti Herta Autosport41.2265
815Graham RahalUSARahal Letterman Lanigan Racing41.3342
93Helio CastronevesBRZTeam Penske41.3517
1088Gabby ChavesUSAHarding Racing41.4209
1121JR HildebrandUSAEd Carpenter Racing41.4262
128Max ChiltonGBRChip Ganassi Racing41.4483
1383Charlie KimballUSAChip Ganassi Racing41.4659
1414Carlos MunozCOLAJ Foyt Enterprises41.4962
1520Ed CarpenterUSAEd Carpenter Racing41.5101
165James HinchcliffeCANSchmidt Peterson Motorsports41.5255
1718Esteban GutierrezMEXDale Coyne Racing41.5301
1812Will PowerAUSTeam Penske41.5893
197Sebastian SaavedraCOLSchmidt Peterson Motorsports41.7051
202Josef NewgardenUSATeam Penske41.9038
214Conor DalyUSAAJ Foyt Enterprises41.9099
2219Ed JonesUAEDale Coyne Racing42.2675