The only practice session before qualifying for tomorrow’s Expel 375 began under sunny skies and cool temperatures. The air temperature was 57 degrees when the session started.
Simon Pagenaud led the se3ssion with a best lap of 223.087 miles per hour. Felix Rosenqvist was 0.0218 mph behind. Colton Herta finished third, 0,0314 mph back.
The surprise of the session was Callum Ilott. The rookie driver for Juncos Hollinger Racing had the fourth fastest time with a speed of 222,257 mph. Texas is Ilott’s first career oval race.
Cars mostly avoided the higher groove where the PJ-1 compound had been applied. TMS has run graters over the surface in an attempt to grind the compound off and this afternoon seven cars will run their cars with a lot of down force to try to put more Firestone rubber down in those areas. We may not know if the efforts truly worked until the race tomorrow.
Some track action during practice:
Practice got off to a disjointed start with two yellow flags for seven minutes and 11 seconds within the first fifteen minutes. The remainder of the round was green.
The winners of the two races in 2021, Scott Dixon and Pato O’Ward, finished sixth and seventh, respectively.
The top 14:
Qualifying begins at 2 pm Eastern time on Peacock.