After the second practice session of the day, it was Josef Newgarden who claimed the fastest time around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course with a 1:09.3323.
The track warmed up considerably from the morning session, with the sun basking the pavement up to a toasty 109°F.
The conditions were much more representative of the ones the race will be run under tomorrow, however, and drivers made sure to put in some longer runs with a full fuel load to dial in their race setups.
Newgarden’s time was over half of a second faster than last year’s qualifying times, setting up a potentially record-setting qualifying session later in the afternoon.
Rinus VeeKay had a fast car of his own and was only six hundredths off the pace set by the two-time champion.
Making it two Team Penske cars in the top three positions, Will Power put in a time good enough for third despite touching the wall on entry to the first turn.
Colton Herta, fresh off the announcement that he will be staying with Andretti Autosport through 2023, ended the session in fourth on the timesheets.
Rookie Scott McLaughlin rounded out the top five, placing his PPG Paints Chevy in prime position for the rest of the weekend.
With longer runs being the order of the afternoon, many drivers put in quite a few laps across the short 45-minute session. Alex Palou was the leader in that category, completing 22 laps around the 2.44-mile course.
Palou needed the busy practice session after having to sit out from the morning run due to a water leak, and finished 13th on the timesheets.
Current points leader Scott Dixon had a clutch problem late in the session and was only able to complete nine laps before the Chip Ganassi entry had to be pushed back to the garage.
Juan Pablo Montoya had a few spins as he worked towards the correct setup for his #86 Arrow McLaren SP Chevy, but no damage was done and the 45-year-old should be more than ready to go for qualifying.
After a short break, all 25 drivers will hit the track for the third time of the day for a Fast-6 qualifying session to set the grid for tomorrow’s race.
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