IndyCar: Ericsson tops a rain shortened second practice

An early morning rain shower played havoc on this morning’s IndyCar practice.

The track wasn’t ideal for this morning’s 30-minute practice session before IndyCar qualifying later today with just 25 of the 27 entries for the Music City Grand Prix taking to the track on rain tires as permitted by track officials.

In conditions that appeared to be more suitable for yachts 2022 Indianapolis 500 winner Marcus Ericsson was able to guide his No. 8 Honda around the 2.7 mile, 11 turn rain soaked street course the fastest. The Swedish driver put himself at the top of the timing charts with a 1:31.7999.

“It was good to get out there when it was raining,” Ericsson said. “It’s not that long until qualifying starts, so I’m assuming it might start wet. That will be good for us, I think.

“I thought it was really good in Toronto in the wet. I was faster there when it was fully wet and fastest again today in the wet, so it seems like I’m doing all right in those conditions at the moment.”

Following Ericsson was Ed Carpenter Racing’s Rinus VeeKay in his No. 21 Chevrolet. The Dutch driver looked very confident in these wet conditions and posted a time of 1:32.6910, 0.8911 behind Ericsson. The 22-year-old had an exciting start to his IndyCar career, but is having a tough 2023 season. A mixture of team mistakes, personal errors and some bad fortune has plagued VeeKay this year. Hopefully for him and ECR this is a step in the right direction as teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay finished in P7.

Penske and Ganassi

Third place in the rain shorted practice was yesterday’s quickest driver Will Power. The reigning IndyCar champion, noted a time of 1:32.8167. Which put the Australian driver in P3. Power was followed by fellow Team Penske teammate Scott McLaughlin in his No. 3 Chevrolet. Who drove his quickest lap of the session at 1:33.1106 slotting him in at P4. Impressively rounding out the top 5 of the session was Chip Ganassi Racing’s Marcus Armstrong. The rookie, who will be entering his 1st Music City Grand Prix this weekend, did a quick lap of 1:33.1767. Scott Dixon and Josef Newgarden were a bit further back in time, but still finished in P6 and P8. IndyCar Championship leader Alex Palou ended the session in P9.

Other notable drivers

Linus Lundqvist, whose making his NTT IndyCar Series debut in Nashville filling in for the injured Simon Pagenaud experienced a tough session. The Swedish driver ended yesterday’s session at P11, but was a bit slower today at 1:39.1846. The 2022 Indy NXT champion also caused a red flag when he stalled his Meyer Shank Racing machine after going into the escape road. Alexander Rossi and Romain Grosjean did not participate in the session.

Up Next: Qualifying, Saturday 6:15 PM / ET has been delayed due to weather.


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