LONG BEACH, California – After winning the Verizon P1 Award at St. Petersburg last month, Will Power confirmed his street-course pace by leading second practice for the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach this afternoon.
“Car’s not bad,” said Power, whose No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet turned a fast lap of 1 minute, 7.0800 seconds (105.617 mph) in the session, “it’s not bad. We’ll see when qualifying comes, but I feel we found a better balance and direction that session
“It’s matter of tuning, a little bit of this and that. It’s amazing how the tide can swing, so that’s what we’ve got to do.”
TOYOTA GRAND PRIX OF LONG BEACH: Practice 2 results; Combined practice results
Power was followed by Marco Andretti (No. 27 United Fiber & Data Andretti Autosport Honda, 1:07.3576), who backed up a strong performance in the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg as he looks for a second straight top-10 finish to start the 2017 season.
“I think this is as confident as I've felt and as fast as I've been in offseason testing and stuff like that my career,” said the third-generation Indy car driver. “I think we have the pace. Now the goal is to convert that to a race win, really.”
Despite his seventh-place finish in St. Petersburg being his best since 2015, Andretti felt he left points on the table in the season opener.
“Finishing seventh there was not a reflection of our pace,” said Andretti. “That's a good thing. Last year, it would have been, ‘seventh is OK.’ There, we were a third- or fourth-place car. Here, we're showing some pace. We need to convert it. That's the goal.”
Defending race winner and Verizon IndyCar Series champion Simon Pagenaud (No. 1 Menards Team Penske Chevrolet) ran third quick at 1:07.3797, followed by Andretti Autosport teammates Takuma Sato (No. 26 Honda, 1:07.5538) and Ryan Hunter-Reay (No. 28 DHL Honda, 1:07.5698).
As in the opening session Friday morning, all 21 drivers explored the limits of their cars and the circuit, with a few finding runoff areas and making light contact with the concrete retaining walls. One who did both was Chip Ganassi Racing’s Tony Kanaan (No. 10 NTT Data Honda), who brought out a brief red flag this afternoon when his car stalled in the Turn 1 runoff area. Kanaan finished the session 13th quick with a fast lap of 1:07.9643.
The Verizon IndyCar Series returns to action Saturday with Practice 3 at 1:45 p.m. ET, streamed live at RaceControl.IndyCar.com. Knockout qualifying starts at 6:30 p.m., concluding with the Firestone Fast Six to determine the Verizon P1 Award pole winner. It also streams live at RaceControl.IndyCar.com, with a delayed NBCSN telecast at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday's race on the 11-turn, 1.968-mile temporary street course – the second of 17 races on the 2017 schedule – airs live at 4 p.m. ET on NBCSN and the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network.