In the only practice session for this weekend’s Bommarito Automotive Group 500 – two races of 250 laps each – the rookies and first-time entrants in an IndyCar at the 1.25-mile oval got half an hour in which O’Ward turned 13 laps to set a 177.072mph lap to head Dale Coyne Racing with Team Goh’s Alex Palou.
However, as more and more rubber went down on the track through the one-hour session for which all 23 entrants took to the track, speeds kept climbing and the #5 Arrow McLaren SP’s eventual high point was 181.552 on the 66th of 75 laps.
“We put a lot of very valuable work in that session,” O’Ward said. “We did everything we wanted to do to prepare for tomorrow’s qualifying and race. There’s so many little things that go into it that make a perfect race, so we want to make the best out of it.
“This Arrow McLaren SP crew gave us some really strong cars to roll out with, and I think it was just fine tuning from there. I ended the day really happy, and I think we will be ready for qualifying tomorrow.”
His top effort put the 2018 Indy Lights champion more than 0.5mph clear of Power who turned more laps than anyone except Palou.
“We ran a lot and did some pretty long runs there to understand the car,” said Power. “We didn’t have to change much because the Verizon…