Team Penske & Power Hit Track, Impress in St. Pete's

Chevrolet dominated the front half of the field in the first practice for the Verizon IndyCar Series this afternoon in St. Petersburg. There were three Honda engines in the top dozen: both of  the A.J. Foyt Racing cars were in that count, piloted by Jack Hawksworth (P6) and Takuma Sato (P12) while James Hinchcliffe (P7) from Andretti Autosport rounded out the group.

A.J. Foyt Racing wasn’t the only team with all their drivers in the front of the pack though. CFH Racing had both Josef Newgarden in P10 and Rookie, Luca Filippi behind him in P11. Team Penske seemed to be partying up front for nearly the entire 75 minute session, with your reigning Series Champ, Will Power achieving the fastest lap of Practice 1 –an impressive 1.01.4709. His teammates Juan Pablo Montoya, Helio Castroneves, and Simon Pagenaud finished P2, P3 and P9 respectively.

Random note: Anyone else notice how Power’s, Montoya’s & Castroneves’ car numbers lined up with their positions? I did, and I’m a numbers nerd so I thought that was kind of cool. Don’t mind me.

Charlie Kimball (P8) and Scott Dixon (P4) of Chip Ganassi Racing Teams, made up the rest of the Top 12 with Sebastien Bourdais of KVSH Racing landing in P5. Bourdais is current one-lap track record holder with a time of 1.00.928. He set that record back in 2003 while under the CART sanction. 2003 was the first IndyCar race on the Streets of St. Petersburg.

The second practice session for the series will go green (as long as this weather holds out) at 4:15pm EDT and run for another 75 minutes.

I will be trackside at the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg all weekend. Make sure you bookmark MTAF Wheels and my author page for all the latest news. As always, if you have requests for photos, or questions for particular drivers, send them my way and I will do my best to accommodate!

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