Palou Leads Practice; Herta Struggles

Points leader Alex Palou had the fastest lap in the only practice before qualifying begins tonight at 7 pm for the Big Machine Spiked Coolers Grand Prix. Palou’s lap of 1:10.883 was 0.023 seconds faster than Rinus VeeKay, winner of May’s GMR Grand prix on the IMS road course. VeeKay also won the pole for race 1 of last fall’s Harvest Grand Prix.

Pato O’Ward, Jack Harvey, and Josef Newgarden rounded out the top five. Newgarden will have a ix place grid penalty for the race due to an unapproved engine change following the Music City Grand Prix.

The big surprise of the session was Christian Lundgaard, driving for Rahal Letterman Laniqan Racing. The Danish F2 driver was seventh in his first Indycar session, jus 0.030 seconds behind Will Power.

The practice round also saw Colton Herta, who has started on the front row for the last four races, struggle. He had a lockup, overshot turn one, aned had his car stall leaving the pits. Herta was 26th on the time chart, only completing 16 laps.

Qualifying this evening is the same format used in Detroit. The normal first round is followed bay a round of 12 to determine the pole. NBCSN will broadcast qualifying live

The top 12:

I’ll be back later tonight with a qualifying wrapup. Going out to buy spikes for my cooler. I want to look fashionable tomorrow.