ABC Supply 500 Practice 1 results || Qualifying order
LONG POND, Pa. -- With a tight championship race entering the penultimate event of the Verizon IndyCar Series season, the intensity of the situation was evident on the faces of every crew member on pit lane during the early morning practice session for the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway.
Charlie Kimball, driving the No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen Chevrolet, topped the session with a lap of 221.373 mph (40.6554 seconds) as 24 cars turned laps. Chip Ganassi Racing Teams teammate Sage Karam of nearby Nazareth, Pa., was second at 220.788 mph in the No. 8 Comfort Revolution/Big Machine Records Chevrolet.
The top 13 cars were separated by less than a half-second and all entries were separated by one second. Kimball finished second to Chip Ganassi Racing Teams teammate Scott Dixon in the 2013 race on the 2.5-mile "Tricky Triangle."
Team Penske teammates Simon Pagenaud (220.629 mph) and Juan Pablo Montoya (220.316 mph), along with AJ Foyt Racing's Takuma Sato (220.213 mph) also were in the top five.
Montoya, who won the 2014 race at Pocono Raceway from the pole, enters the 200-lap race (2 p.m. ET Aug. 23 on NBCSN) with a nine-point lead over Graham Rahal in the championship standings. Dixon is in third place, followed by Helio Castroneves and Team Penske teammate and reigning series champion Will Power.
Rahal, driving the No. 15 Steak 'n Shake Honda for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, was 11th on the speed chart at 219.167 mph. Contact with the Turn 3 SAFER Barrier by the No. 4 KV Racing Technology Chevrolet driven by rookie Stefano Coletti ended the session. He was checked at the infield medical center and cleared to drive.
Ten drivers are mathematically eligible for the title, which will be decided Aug. 30 in the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma on the Sonoma Raceway road course. With a 25-car entry list for the season finale that carries double points, a driver must leave the Pocono area within 102 points of the lead to remain eligible.
"We won at Pocono last year and we should run pretty good going to the next races, as well," Montoya said. "We tested in Sonoma last week, did some laps there and learned some stuff. I think we're in good shape. You can't really know what's going to happen. We've done a really good job all year, like everybody else, had ups and downs, and we'll see what it brings."
Single-car qualifications start at 2 p.m. ET. Watch it live on NBCSN, followed by "INDYCAR Chronicles" featuring Dixon. A 30-minute practice is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. ET. Streaming video, along with real-time Timing & Scoring and the Advance Auto Parts Radio Network broadcast, is available on IndyCar.co
Montoya holds the two-lap qualifying track record of 223.871 mph set in July 2014.