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Marco Andretti fastest in Milwaukee IndyFest first practice

Jun 14, 2013, 12:30 PM EDT

Firestone 550 - Practice Getty Images

Marco Andretti led a tightly bunched first practice session for this weekend’s Milwaukee IndyFest (Saturday, 4 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network), the ninth of 19 races in the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series schedule – and the unofficial halfway point of the year as it’s the eighth of 16 race weekends.

The top 22 of 24 cars were separated by less than half a second (0.4698), with the last two a further two tenths back.

Andretti was one of two in the Andretti Autosport stable to lap the Milwaukee Mile in under 22 seconds, at a best speed of 166.684 mph. Teammate and defending race winner Ryan Hunter-Reay was next up.

Josef Newgarden and Tristan Vautier were best of the Hondas in third and fourth, with Will Power’s Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet completing the top five.

E.J. Viso, Helio Castroneves, Tony Kanaan, Simona de Silvestro and James Hinchcliffe rounded out the top 10. Hinchcliffe had the session’s only incident when he made light contact with the Turn 2 wall, but without sustaining any major damage.

Series returnees Ana Beatriz (Dale Coyne Racing) and Ryan Briscoe (Panther Racing) were 11th and 15th, respectively. Beatriz ran the most laps in the one-hour session (73), with Hinchcliffe running just 17 prior to his contact.

The second practice session is at 1 p.m. CT with qualifying at 4:15 p.m. CT (5:15 p.m. ET). See qualifying coverage at 7 p.m. ET on the NBC Sports Network.

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