Newgarden Fastest Again in Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg Practice 2

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(Photo Credit: Joe Skibinski / Courtesy of IndyCar)

After finishing fastest in Practice 1 yesterday, Team Penske‘s Josef Newgarden continues his dominance on the Streets of St. Petersburg, going fastest in Practice 2 for the 2021 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

Newgarden’s time of 1:00.062 on Firestone’s alternate red-wall tyre comes dangerously close to the track record of 1:00.047 set by Jordan King for Ed Carpenter Racing in 2018. Many believe that this record will be broken this weekend.

Andretti Autosport‘s Alexander Rossi finished the session second fastest with a time of 1:00.174, and was at the top of the timing sheets for a majority of the session. The California native improved upon his fourth place finish in yesterday’s practice session by about 0.7 seconds.

Third place belonged to Jack Harvey of Meyer Shank Racing, a great showing for the growing team. Harvey is known to be a strong qualifier, and showed that with a fast lap of 1:00.219. Like Rossi, Harvey spent a good amount of time at the top of the timing sheet today.

Colton Herta joined his teammate Rossi in the top 5 again today, able to get clean track for an impressive three-lap run to put together a time of 1:00.2216 to put him in fourth place. Herta also incurred a penalty for not properly slowing down for yellow flags mid-way through the session. Marcus Ericsson finished just behind Herta in fifth place by four ten-thousandths of a second, setting a lap time of 1:00.2219 in his Chip Ganassi Racing Honda.

Simon Pagenaud finished in the top ten again this session, as the Frenchman finally begins to find pace once more. Despite overshooting turn 4 and stalling the car about 20 minutes into the session, Pagenaud was able to put together a lap of 1:00.273 for sixth place. His rookie teammate Scott McLaughlin finished just behind him in seventh with a time of 1:00.300, another impressive run for the New Zealand native at the track he made his debut at last October.

Scott Dixon made it back-to-back Scotts from New Zealand with his eighth place finish, setting a time of 1:00.326. The defending series champion also was subject to a penalty for not slowing down for yellow flags, handed down at the same time as Herta’s. Other than that, it was a relatively quiet session for IndyCar’s “Iceman”.

Rookie Romain Grosjean improved upon his ninteenth place finish in Practice 1 significantly today, putting his Dale Coyne Racing with Rick Ware Racing Honda in ninth place with a time of 1:00.419. His time today was a 1.2 second improvement on his Friday efforts.

Rounding out the top 10 was Arrow McLaren SP‘s Patricio O’Ward, setting a lap time of 1:00.479. O’Ward spent a brief amount of time at the top of the timing sheets early in the session, but could not hold on to the spot.

Rookie Jimmie Johnson was excited to get out an learn more about IndyCar, but got a little too excited as he left his pit box a little too early before the session officially started. When he was able to get on track, Johnson improved upon his time yesterday by about 0.8 seconds, setting a time of 1:02.359. Fellow CGR teammate and current championship leader Alex Palou also improved upon his twentieth-place finish from yesterday, finishing eleventh with a time of 1:00.507.

Yesterday’s second place practice finisher Will Power did not have the session he would have wanted to, finishing thirteenth with a time of 1:00.648. Power will look to rebound in qualifying, at a track where he has 9 pole positions in 11 starts.

Qualifying for the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg will begin at 1345 EST / 1845 BST.

Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg Practice 2 Results

12Josef NewgardenUSATeam Penske01:00.062
227Alexander RossiUSAAndretti Autosport01:00.174
360Jack HarveyENGMeyer Shank Racing01:00.219
426Colton HertaUSAAndretti Autosport01:00.2216
58Marcus EricssonSWEChip Ganassi Racing01:00.2219
622Simon PagenaudFRATeam Penske01:00.273
73Scott McLaughlin (R)NZLTeam Penske01:00.300
89Scott DixonNZLChip Ganassi Racing01:00.326
951Romain Grosjean (R)SUIDale Coyne Racing w/ Rick Ware Racing01:00.419
105Pato O’WardMEXArrow McLaren SP01:00.479
1110Alex PalouESPChip Ganassi Racing01:00.507
127Felix RosenqvistSWEArrow McLaren SP01:00.629
1312Will PowerAUSTeam Penske01:00.648
1420Conor DalyUSAEd Carpenter Racing01:00.699
1529James HinchcliffeCANAndretti Steinbrenner Autosport01:00.701
1614Sebastien BourdaisFRAA.J. Foyt Enterprises01:00.707
1721Rinus VeeKayNEDEd Carpenter Racing01:00.709
1828Ryan Hunter-ReayUSAAndretti Autosport01:00.716
1915Graham RahalUSARahal Letterman Lanigan Racing01:00.730
2030Takuma SatoJPNRahal Letterman Lanigan Racing01:00.890
214Dalton KellettCANA.J. Foyt Enterprises01:01.276
2218Ed JonesUAEDale Coyne Racing w/ Vasser-Sullivan01:01.671
2359Max ChiltonENGCarlin01:01.715
2448Jimmie Johnson (R)USAChip Ganassi Racing01:02.359
(R) = Rookie
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Lifelong sports junkie, currently studying Broadcast Journalism at Hofstra University. Lead writer for Indycar at The Checkered Flag.
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