Newgarden sweeps Friday practice sessions

The points leader is making sure he stays at the top of all the boards – including the practice sessions for the Go Pro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway. Josef Newgarden’s best lap speed in the afternoon (1:16.2485) bested the official track record, set last year by Team Penske teammate Simon Pagenaud during qualifying (1:16.2530).

While Newgarden’s quick lap today was noteworthy, practice laps are not recognized officially and therefore can not be recorded as track records. It’s safe to say you can expect to see it broken tomorrow during qualifying.

Verizon IndyCar Series – Go Pro Grand Prix of Sonoma – Practice 1 Results
Verizon IndyCar Series – Go Pro Grand Prix of Sonoma – Practice 2 Results
Verizon IndyCar Series – Go Pro Grand Prix of Sonoma – Combined Practice Results

Will it be Newgarden to set that new standard? Hard to say, but he’s definitely happy with how things are panning out so far,

“I love to lead all practice sessions if possible, so it just worked out that we happened to lead two today. That’s good, and that’s a great start. We’ve got to try and keep that up.

I think we’ve done most of the hard part figuring out what we need, now we just have to try and put it together when it counts.”

Pagenaud joined Newgarden at the top of the overall timing sheets today, with a lap time less than .03 of a second off from his own track record – good enough for P2. His confidence is in a good place due to the results of the two tests in the last 9 days and today’s two practice sessions,

“I’m very happy with how the car behaved. I think our pace on older tires is best to anyone right now. Adapting is going to be key to the race. If I put the lap together tomorrow, I think we’ll be challenging for pole position, and once that’s done, I’ll feel a lot more relaxed about our chance to go for the win.”

The Verizon IndyCar Series will take to the track tomorrow Saturday, Sept 16 for their final full practice at 2:00 p.m. ET / 11:00 a.m PT. You can watch that session on livestream feeds – all of those links can be found right here on Live Full Throttle. Qualifying in the Firestone Fast 6 format will start tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. ET / 3:30 p.m. PT, aired live on NBSCN.

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Photo credit: Shawn Gritzmacher, IndyCar

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