Practice 3 results || Combined practice results
LONG BEACH, Calif. -- Team Penske cars swept the top three positions on the lap time sheet in the 45-minute practice session that precedes qualifications for the 41st Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.
Simon Pagenaud, driving the No. 22 Penske Truck Rental Chevrolet, recorded the quickest lap of 1 minute, 07.0304 seconds on the 1.968-mile, 11-turn street circuit.
Sebastien Bourdais set the track lap record on the 1.968-mile configuration, which has been in place since 2000, at 1:06.882 in 2006. He went on to win -- the middle victory of three in a row at Long Beach. Ryan Hunter-Reay earned the Verizon P1 Award last year with a lap of 1:07.8219 in the No. 28 DHL car for Andretti Autosport.
The three rounds of knockout qualifying (6 p.m. ET, NBCSN) will determine the Verizon P1 Award winner and set the grid for the 80-lap race April 19 (4 p.m. ET, NBCSN).
Helio Castroneves was second (1:07.2084) in the No. 3 Auto Club of California Chevrolet and reigning Verizon IndyCar Series champion and two-time race winner Will Power was third (1:07.3887) in the No. 1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet. The top 10 cars were separated by six-tenths of a second.
Scott Dixon, driving the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet, was fourth (1:07.4018) and Chip Ganassi Racing Teams teammate Sebastian Saavedra bolted to fifth (1:07.4164) in the No. 8 AFS Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet in his first race of the season.
“It’s good to be back here in the Verizon IndyCar Series," said Saavedra, who drove for KV Racing Technology last season. "From what I’ve seen the last few races the level of competition is very high. You really can’t make any mistakes out there and it’s such a tough series. I’m looking forward to seeing what the No. 8 team can do.”
Also making his season debut is Conor Daly, who was thrust into learning the Honda aerodynamic street/road course package in the session. Daly got a call from team owner Dale Coyne less than an hour to report to the transporter. Rocky Moran Jr. suffered an injured left thumb in a practice crash April 17.
“It’s a shame to see Rocky break his (thumb) like he did, but this is why I bring my stuff to the track every week and this is why I’m here and this is why I’m ready,” Daly said. “I can’t thank Dale enough for the call. To be able to get out here and do some laps and get in the game. We’ll see what happens, but I’m excited for the opportunity.”
Daly made his series debut for AJ Foyt Racing at the 2013 Indianapolis 500. The 2011 Indy Lights winner at Long Beach, Daly has been driving the Indy Racing Experience two-seat Indy car at events this season.