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Carpenter leads ECR 1-2, at 192-plus mph, in Phoenix first practice


Chris Owens / IMS Photo 2016

AVONDALE, Ariz. - Speeds were even quicker than testing in first official practice for the Verizon IndyCar Series’ Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix (Saturday, 8:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN), with Ed Carpenter one of several drivers in the 192-mph bracket on Friday.

The 75-minute session was extended 10 extra minutes owing to two crashes for Takuma Sato and James Hinchcliffe, both of whom were running Honda’s 2015 rear wheel pod assemblies.

Carpenter clocked in at 192.400 mph - or 19.1227 seconds - in the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet to top the timesheets.

It was an Ed Carpenter Racing 1-2 in the session with teammate Josef Newgarden in second, at 192.225 mph in the No. 21 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet.

Helio Castroneves was also over 192 mph, at 192.036 mph, in the No. 3 Rev Group Inc. Team Penske Chevrolet.

Castroneves had the fastest time in the February open test at 19.2735 seconds at 190.894 mph around the 1.022-mile oval.

The official track record on a different configuration (1-mile oval) is 19.608 seconds (183.599 mph) was set by Arie Luyendyk in 1996.

Chevrolet runners were 1-10 on the timesheets; Ryan Hunter-Reay was the best Honda in 11th, the No. 28 DHL Honda at 189.766 mph (19.3881).

Sato’s and Hinchcliffe’s teams are in the process of fixing their cars before qualifying.

The qualifying is next up at 5 p.m. ET (2 p.m. PT), LIVE on NBCSN. The qualifying order is below:

Times and speeds from this first practice are below:


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