Rahal heads Palou, Newgarden in Long Beach warm-up

Almost all drivers tried out both Firestone compounds in the 64 degree F conditions, Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden being the first to get under 68 seconds with a 1m07.6677s. However, this was soon eclipsed by many, including Alex Palou of Chip Ganassi Racing who went top with a 1m07.0932s, a couple of tenths ahead of today’s polesitter Felix Rosenqvist of Meyer Shank Racing-Honda.

Will Power, who will start the race from the outside of the front row, practiced his start by hanging to the right on the exit of the hairpin, the final corner, and hugging the pit wall all the way down to the Turn 1 brake zone. On one occasion this didn’t work so well as he tried to outbrake Scott Dixon on the outside, and Power had to use the Turn 1 runoff, but he easily recovered and continued his endeavors.

With 12 minutes to go, Romain Grosjean put Juncos Hollinger Racing-Chevrolet into third, while teammate Agustin Canapino took a trip into the Turn 9 runoff but was bump-started without the need for a red flag, and kept on the gas to finish the session in the top half of the grid.

Graham Rahal snipped 0.0447s off Palou’s benchmark time to go top with under 10 minutes to go, while Colton Herta moved into third to become top Andretti Global representative.

Dixon suffered a radio problem, Power lost the push-to-pass display on his dashboard, while Rosenqvist locked up his fronts over the bumps into Turn 9 and slithered into the runoff zone.

Worryingly for the opposition, Newgarden was able to clock third-fastest time while running the harder primary tires, although this became fourth when Dixon delivered a fine lap on his penultimate effort to claim second.

Engines fire at 12:38pm local (Pacific) time, and the 27 drivers will get the green flag at 12:45pm.



Story originally appeared on Racer