Reigning NTT IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon led a Honda 1-2-3 in a rain-shortened opening practice for the DXC Technology 600 on Thursday night at Texas Motor Speedway.
The defending race winner and pilot of the No. 9 Chip Ganassi Racing Honda posted a session-best lap at 23.638s (219.308 mph), edging Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s Takuma Sato by 0.0049s. Sato’s RLL Racing teammate Graham Rahal rounded out the top three.
“It started okay today,” said Dixon, a three-time winner at the 1.5-mile superspeedway. “We had the tire test here (in March). I think that tire test really helps a lot of us roll off. (We) had a few issues with balance.
“I think a lot of people had it, especially with the added temperatures from when we tested here. So that was interesting for us and then, unfortunately, we got the weather. We didn’t get to run as much as we would have liked. Hopefully, they can add some additional time tomorrow. But all in all, the PNC Bank car feels decent right out of the gate.”
Firestone came prepared with a new right side tire compound, which was based on testing from March and last October. In preparation, they also brought a backup right side tire set that is expected to be “faster wearing than the primary.”
IndyCar confirmed an additional 30 minutes to prior to tomorrow’s one hour practice, which will be used primarily for tire scuffing and pit stop practice.
The two hour practice was halted briefly for moisture just over a half hour in, with the heavy rain wiping out the session completely just 10 minutes before the halfway mark.
Top Chevrolet honors belonged to Charlie Kimball in the No. 23 Carlin entry, who was 0.196 off the top spot at fourth overall. Team Penske’s Will Power completed the top five.
After being called up this weekend to replace the Max Chilton, who is stepping away from ovals for the remainder of the season, Conor Daly finished 22nd on the timesheets in the No. 59 Carlin Chevrolet.