Alex Palou

Stats: First Practice Results

NTT INDYCAR SERIES championship leader Alex Palou led the opening practice for the Big Machine Spiked Coolers Grand Prix on Friday on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, pacing a session in which less than one second separated the top 21 drivers.

Palou was quickest at 1 minute, 10.8839 seconds in the No. 10 NTT DATA Honda. Rinus VeeKay, winner of the GMR Grand Prix in May on the circuit, was second at 1:10.9062 in the No. 21 Sonax/Autogeek Chevrolet.

Another one of INDYCAR’s young stars, Pato O’Ward, was third at 1:10.9267 in the No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet. Jack Harvey was fourth at 1:10.9397 in the No. 60 AutoNation/Sirius XM Honda.

Two-time series champion Josef Newgarden rounded out the top five at 1:11.0850 in the No. 2 XPEL Team Penske Chevrolet.

Newgarden will need to maintain speed during NTT P1 Award qualifying starting at 7 p.m. (ET) this evening (live on NBCSN, Peacock), as his car was assessed a six-position starting grid penalty for the race Saturday (12:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN) due to an unapproved engine change after the Big Machine Music City Grand Prix last Sunday at Nashville, Tennessee.

Formula 2 driver Christian Lundgaard impressed during his debut session in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES. Danish driver Lundgaard was seventh at 1:11.1412 in the No. 45 Mi-Jack Honda and was the quickest of the three Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing drivers, just ahead of teammate Graham Rahal.

Today’s one-hour session at Indianapolis was halted with approximately seven minutes remaining when the No. 26 Gainbridge Honda driven by Colton Herta stopped at the pit exit with an apparent clutch problem and an oil pressure warning light on his dash. Herta ended up 26th in the session at 1:12.2410.