Pagenaud Heads Final Practice as Title Contenders Dominate

Simon Pagenaud was quickest in final practice at Sonoma - Credit: Chris Owens / IndyCar

Team Penske continued to set the pace in final practice at Sonoma Raceway, but for the first time this weekend, Scott Dixon was able to get between them, with the top five in the championship setting the five best times of the session.

Simon Pagenaud, who won at Sonoma in 2016 to clinch the title, set the pace on Saturday morning with a best time of 1:16.0329s, but Dixon put his Chip Ganassi Racing machine into second, just 0.1125 seconds back.

Will Power was a further 0.0155 seconds behind in third for Penske, ahead of team-mates Josef Newgarden and Helio Castroneves, with Takuma Sato the best of the non-title contenders in sixth for Andretti Autosport.

Newgarden currently leads the championship by three points from Dixon heading into this weekend’s double points finale, while Castroneves sits third, twenty-two points back, twelve ahead of Pagenaud, who sits thirty-four ahead of outsider Power.

Graham Rahal ended seventh for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing ahead of Ryan Hunter-Reay and Marco Andretti from the Andretti Autosport stable, while Tony Kanaan completed the top ten for Chip Ganassi Racing, 0.6766 seconds off the pace, with Sebastien Bourdais, Alexander Rossi and Max Chilton all getting to within one second of the pace.

There was a positive result for Jack Harvey, who got to within 0.0471 seconds of Schmidt Peterson Motorsports team-mate James Hinchcliffe as he continues to adjust to life in the Verizon IndyCar Series.

Sonoma Raceway Free Practice 3 Result

11Simon PagenaudFRATeam Penske1:16.0329
29Scott DixonNZLChip Ganassi Racing1:16.1454
312Will PowerAUSTeam Penske1:16.1609
42Josef NewgardenUSATeam Penske1:16.2973
53Helio CastronevesBRZTeam Penske1:16.4782
626Takuma SatoJAPAndretti Autosport1:16.5597
715Graham RahalUSARahal Letterman Lanigan Racing1:16.6372
828Ryan Hunter-ReayUSAAndretti Autosport1:16.6474
927Marco AndrettiUSAAndretti Autosport1:16.6991
1010Tony KanaanBRZChip Ganassi Racing1:16.7095
1118Sebastien BourdaisFRADale Coyne Racing1:16.7675
1298Alexander RossiUSAAndretti Herta Autosport1:16.7678
138Max ChiltonGBRChip Ganassi Racing1:17.0175
1483Charlie KimballUSAChip Ganassi Racing1:17.1271
1519Ed JonesUAEDale Coyne Racing1:17.1479
1620Spencer PigotUSAEd Carpenter Racing1:17.2089
175James HinchcliffeCANSchmidt Peterson Motorsports1:17.2175
187Jack HarveyGBRSchmidt Peterson Motorsports1:17.2646
1914Carlos MunozCOLAJ Foyt Enterprises1:17.2836
204Conor DalyUSAAJ Foyt Enterprises1:17.3633
2121JR HildebrandUSAEd Carpenter Racing1:17.3684
2213Zachery Claman DeMeloCANRahal Letterman Lanigan Racing1:17.8448