Scott Dixon on track

FORT WORTH, Texas – Five-time NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion Scott Dixon led the first practice of the 2020 season, turning a top lap of 215.995 mph today during preparations for the Genesys 300 at Texas Motor Speedway.

Dixon’s top speed came on the second-to-last of his 60 laps in the No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda on the 1.5-mile oval, which was scorched by sunny skies and air temperatures in the mid-90s.

CLICK HERE: Practice 1 results

Honda-powered drivers captured five of the first six spots on the speed chart. Colton Herta was second overall at 214.491 in the No. 88 Capstone Turbine Honda, while Pato O’Ward was third at 214.326 in the No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet.

Zach Veach was fourth at 214.298 in the No. 26 Gainbridge Honda, while Marco Andretti rounded out the top five at 214.264 in the No. 98 U.S. Concrete/Curb Honda.

Reigning series champion and 2019 Texas race winner Josef Newgarden was seventh overall at 213.308 in the No. 1 XPEL Team Penske Chevrolet.

All 24 drivers in the field turned laps during practice. There were three separate incidents during the one hour, 50-minute practice, which started with a short session for rookies only.

2012 NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion Ryan Hunter-Reay missed a portion of the practice session after his No. 28 DHL Honda got above the groove exiting Turn 2 and hit the SAFER Barrier. Hunter-Reay was unhurt and cleared to drive after examination in the infield medical center, and his car incurred only minor damage.

It was a tough practice for Ed Carpenter Racing, with separate incidents for team owner/driver Ed Carpenter and rookie Rinus VeeKay.

Carpenter’s No. 20 Ed Carpenter Chevrolet spun exiting Turn 4 and through the infield grass, barely brushing the outside SAFER Barrier in the first dogleg of the front straightaway, nearly an hour into the practice session. He was unhurt and cleared to drive, and his car suffered only minor damage.

Practice for rookies was halted a few minutes into the session when VeeKay crashed between Turns 3 and 4 in the No. 21 Sonax Chevrolet. VeeKay’s left-side tires dipped below the white line at the inside of the racing surface, causing the car to do a half-spin and hit the SAFER Barrier with the left-rear and left side of the car. VeeKay was unhurt and cleared to drive. His car suffered moderate damage, with the ECR crew working vigorously to repair it for qualifying later this afternoon.

“It was a rookie mistake, going too low,” VeeKay said. “I will definitely learn from this. If you make a mistake, it’s done.”

Qualifying for the NTT P1 Award starts at 5 p.m. (ET) and will be televised on NBCSN and streamed on INDYCAR Pass on NBC Sports Gold. The 200-lap race starts at 8 p.m. (ET) tonight and will be televised live on NBC, the first prime-time network broadcast of the NTT INDYCAR SERIES since 2013.