Aug 29, 2014, 2:19 PM EDT
FONTANA, Calif. – Team Penske teammates Will Power and Helio Castroneves led the opening 75-minute practice session for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway. Both drivers did qualifying simulations north of 221mph to go 1-2 in the field at the Verizon IndyCar Series season finale.
Power’s best practice lap of 221.389 mph and Castroneves’ 221.354 both eclipsed the 2013 pole speed of 220.775 mph, set by Power.
Those two led a Chevrolet top-six in the session. Ed Carpenter, Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan and Charlie Kimball were next, with Mikhail Aleshin the best Honda, P7 in the No. 7 SMP Racing Honda at 218.544 mph.
Just before the one-hour mark in the session, a yellow flag flew for a long track inspection (11 minutes, 15 seconds). The session went back to green with 15 minutes to go. Otherwise there were no incidents.
Simon Pagenaud only posted the 12th best overall speed (218.306 mph) but had the best five-lap average in the field at 214.88, ahead of Josef Newgarden, Sebastien Bourdais, Sebastian Saavedra and Justin Wilson. Bourdais also has the best 10-lap average at 213.71 mph.
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