Colton Herta on track at Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.

Colton Herta led the opening practice Friday morning for the Sonsio Grand Prix on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, which isn’t surprising.

After all, Herta leads the NTT INDYCAR SERIES standings and won this event in 2022 for Andretti Global. He turned a quick time of 1 minute, 9.2863 seconds in the No. 26 Gainbridge Honda fielded by Andretti Global with Curb-Agajanian.

SEE: Practice Results

But second on the speed chart? Surprise, surprise, surprise.

Agustin Canapino was right in Herta’s tire tracks with a best lap of 1:09.3713 in the No. 78 Juncos Hollinger Racing Chevrolet. This is Canapino’s second season in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES after winning multiple touring car championships in his native Argentina.

“Honestly, not,” Canapino said when asked if he thought he could end up second in the session. “But I am trusting a lot with what we are doing. We were struggling with a lot of things during the year, but we know the pace is there. We are improving step by step.

“I’m really happy with the way we have started the season, but I want more. I want to be in this zone we are working.”

Will Power, a five-time race winner on this 14-turn, 2.439-mile circuit, was third at 1:09.3930 despite not working this month with his strategist, Ron Ruzewski, and data engineer Robbie Atkinson. Both were suspended by Team Penske for this event and the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge, along with team president Tim Cindric, for their roles in the Push to Pass violations found on Power’s No. 12 Verizon Business Team Penske Chevrolet and the cars of teammates Josef Newgarden and Scott McLaughlin.

2021 Sonsio Grand Prix winner Rinus VeeKay was fourth at 1:09.4194 in the No. 21 Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet. Marcus Ericsson rounded out the top five at 1:09.4686 in the No. 28 Delaware Life Honda fielded by Andretti Global. 

Up next is another practice at 1:10 p.m. ET today, followed by NTT P1 Award qualifying at 4:20 p.m. ET today. Competition should be taut for the pole, as less than one second separated the top 22 drivers in the 27-car field in the first practice.

Live coverage of the 85-lap race starts at 3 p.m. ET Saturday on NBC, Peacock, INDYCAR LIVE and the INDYCAR Radio Network.