The second practice for the Verizon IndyCar Series saw young gun Josef Newgarden accelerate into seriously impressive time frames. In fact, he broke right out of those frames! He ran a lap of 1:14.6464 in this morning’s 30 minute practice round. This was faster than the track record that Helio Castroneves set yesterday during Round 2 of qualifying for Dual #1 of the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit presented by Quicken Loans.
Unfortunately practice laps do not count towards official track records, so Josef takes away the bragging rights but nothing in the stat books. That is, unless… he puts up some serious numbers during the race today. The track record for fastest race lap based on current configuration, was set in 2013 by Mike Conway, clocking a time of 1:17.8447. Considering that the entire field ran fast laps quicker than that between the two practice sessions Friday and Saturday, and the weather is as good as if we had ordered it specifically, I’d be shocked if Conway’s record stood past Dual #1.
The question is, who will be the record holder at the end of the race? And will they be the same guy standing on top of the podium? I’m not sure, no one is. But, I can tell you to keep an eye on Newgarden, as he will be maneuvering through traffic from his starting position of P14 today to try and outdo his personal best finish of P7, which he accomplished during Race #1 in 2013 on Belle Isle.
Newgarden has two podium finishes this season, at Barber Motorsports Park and the Indianapolis 500. He acknowledged his disappointment with the P3 finish at the yard of bricks this past Sunday, saying he knew they had a car that could win it. But, the situation just didn’t allow for that opportunity. Due to all of that, Newgarden has tunnel vision right now. And the only thing he is looking to do, is bring that dark blue No. 21 Preferred Freezer Services Chevy into victory lane for Ed Carpenter Racing this afternoon.
Verizon IndyCar Series track times at the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit presented by Quicken Loans:
Friday, June 3: Practice #1 – 10:45 a.m.; Quals for Dual #1 – 3:30 p.m.
Saturday, June 4:
Practice #2 – 10:05 a.m.; Dual #1 – 3:30 p.m.
Sunday, June 5: Systems Check – 8:45 a.m.; Quals for Dual #2 – 10:45 a.m.; Dual #2 – 3:30 p.m.
The Chevrolet Dual in Detroit presented by Quicken Loans (Duals 1 & 2) will be broadcast live on ABC. All other track action for IndyCar will be livestreamed via IndyCar – all information and links to that and radio coverage is available here.
In-post photo by Chris Jones, property of IndyCar