Pocono IndyCar: Kanaan tops long practice session

Tony Kanaan returned AJ Foyt Racing-Chevrolet to a position of prominence with fastest time in the only practice session for tomorrow’s ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway.

Following a rained out morning practice and qualifying session at the famed 2.5-mile ‘Tricky Triangle’ tri-oval in Long Pond, PA, a two-hour practice ran incident-free as teams focused purely on raceday setups.

And while the cancelation of qualifying will mean Kanaan will have to start from 19th– the grid is set according to entrant points – the 2004 series champion and 2013 Indy 500 winner can at least console himself in the knowledge he has a fast car in the draft.

The 44-year-old veteran lapped the course at 216.354mph, and should he get up front in the race, he’ll be happy to learn he had fifth fastest time of the laps set without the aid of a tow.

Second fastest was his former Chip Ganassi Racing-Honda teammate Scott Dixon, who won the race here in 2013 when IndyCar made its return after a 24-year hiatus. He was 0.6mph slower, just bumping impressive rookie Santino Ferrucci of Dale Coyne Racing down to third in the final five minutes.

Championship contender and defending Pocono winner Alexander Rossi also showed well, with fourth overall and sixth on the no-tow charts to head the Andretti Autosport-Honda brigade.

Despite missing 40mins at the start of the session with gear-selection issues, Simon Pagenaud was fifth overall and second fastest in the no-tows, while his teammates Josef Newgarden – who will start P1 tomorrow – and Will Power – a two-time winner here – were only 17thand 20th. However, they were within the top 10 on no-tows.

Rookie Colton Herta’s Harding Steinbrenner Racing-Honda was sixth quick ahead of the Coyne with Vasser-Sullivan  car of Sebastien Bourdais.

Series returnee Charlie Kimball – who will make his fourth of five scheduled starts this year for Carlin Racing-Chevrolet – was very impressive in eighth ahead of 2015 Pocono winner Ryan Hunter-Reay, and Graham Rahal who appeared to make a breakthrough late in the session to grab 10th.

Weather allowing, the race is due to get the green flag at 2.45pm local (Eastern) time tomorrow.

1 Tony Kanaan A.J. Foyt Enterprises55  216.354
2 Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing70 0.1144 0.1144 215.761
3 Santino Ferrucci Dale Coyne Racing73 0.1888 0.0744 215.377
4 Alexander Rossi Andretti Autosport63 0.1895 0.0007 215.373
5 Simon Pagenaud Team Penske65 0.1906 0.0011 215.368
6 Colton Herta Harding Racing69 0.1963 0.0057 215.338
7 Sébastien Bourdais Dale Coyne Racing74 0.2102 0.0139 215.267
8 Charlie Kimball Carlin62 0.2975 0.0873 214.818
9 Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport71 0.3356 0.0381 214.623
10 Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing77 0.3367 0.0011 214.617
11 Felix Rosenqvist Chip Ganassi Racing83 0.3490 0.0123 214.554
12 Zach Veach Andretti Autosport66 0.3618 0.0128 214.489
13 James Hinchcliffe Schmidt Peterson Motorsports78 0.3822 0.0204 214.385
14 Conor Daly Carlin67 0.3903 0.0081 214.343
15 Matheus Leist A.J. Foyt Enterprises69 0.4017 0.0114 214.285
16 Marco Andretti Andretti Autosport58 0.4062 0.0045 214.262
17 Josef Newgarden Team Penske70 0.4235 0.0173 214.174
18 Takuma Sato Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing61 0.4275 0.0040 214.154
19 Marcus Ericsson Schmidt Peterson Motorsports69 0.4309 0.0034 214.136
20 Will Power Team Penske81 0.4670 0.0361 213.953
21 Spencer Pigot Ed Carpenter Racing66 0.4750 0.0080 213.912
22 Ed Carpenter Ed Carpenter Racing57 0.6141 0.1391 213.207

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