The sun came out through partly cloudy skies at Sonoma Raceway, in time for the second/final practice session of IndyCar practice. The temps rose to 70 F degrees ambient, and 92 degrees for the race track; but the breeze was all but non-existent. Humidity dropped to 76 percent. Ten IndyCars, including all six of the 2015 Championship contenders, drove under the existing track record of 1:17.2393/111.161 mph set by last year’s pole sitter/race winner, Will Power/No.1 Verizon Team Penske. And all 25 drivers were faster in Saturday morning session.
Saturday morning Ryan Hunter-Reay topped off the 45-minute practice session at 1:16.8702/111.695 mph.
Earlier in the morning RHR did the honors for drawing for the AutoNation Thanks-A-$10 Million Sweepstakes Grand Prix Drawing.
Second through tenth were: Graham Rahal/No.15 Steak ‘n Shake Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda, Josef Newgarden/No.67 Hartman Oil CFH Racing Chevrolet, Juan Pablo Montoya/No.2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, Scott Dixon/No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Chevrolet, Helio Castroneves/No.3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet, Carlos Munoz/No 26 AndrettiTV.com Cinsay Andretti Autosport Honda, Tony Kanaan/No.10 NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet, Will Power/No.1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, and Simon Pagenaud/No.22 Avaya Team Penske Chevrolet.
The top Rookie was Gabby Chaves.No.98 Bowers & Wilkins/Curb BHA with Curb-Agajanian Honda. He currently is leading the Rookie Championship with 249 points, ahead of Stefano Colletti/No.4 KV Racing Technology with 177 points.
This weekend is a double-points race, so there are a myriad of points possibilities available for the Championship. Six drivers mathematically have a chance at the Astor Cup.
As it was Friday, Saturday’s practice was all but caution free. There was a Red Flag of 3:22 minutes for the tow of Sebastien Saavedra/No.8 AFS Chip Ganassi Racing, who had driven off course. That’s not to say drivers didn’t test their limits here and there, creating dust storms with their off-ons around the 12-turn, 2.385-mile elevated road course. But, no harm, no foul.