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Thursday, September 29, 2022
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Graham Rahal Paces Final IndyCar Practice at World Wide Technology Raceway

 

Graham Rahal at WWTR
Graham Rahal was fastest in final practice at WWTR. Image courtesy of James Black / Penske Entertainment

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Graham Rahal was at the top of the leaderboard when the checkered flag flew on final practice for the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 at World Wide Technology Raceway.

The 33-year-old Ohio native logged 74 total laps in the No. 15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda, with a session-best of 177.728 mph (25.3196s) coming late on the 1.25-mile oval.

Six-time NTT IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon ended up placing second, with his No. 9 Chip Ganassi Racing Honda a narrow 0.0384s behind pace-setter Rahal. Rookie David Malukas continued to showcase his improved pace by going third-fastest in the No. 18 Dale Coyne Racing with Rick Ware Racing Honda.

Andretti Autosport’s Romain Grosjean was fourth, while reigning IndyCar champion Alex Palou was fifth.

Marcus Ericsson, Takuma Sato and Alexander Rossi snagged sixth, seventh and eighth, respectively. Defending race winner Josef Newgarden was the only Chevrolet in the top 10, with his No. 2 Team Penske machine settling in ninth.

Rookie Devlin DeFrancesco quietly continued his solid weekend, placing the No. 29 Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport Honda in 10th, which backed up his exact placing from qualifying earlier in the day.

Colton Herta placed the No. 26 Andretti Autosport Honda in 11th, while the No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet of Pato O’Ward pounded the pavement for a session-most 99 laps and came away 12th.

While several drivers had close calls during the session, the only incident brought practice to a close after Jimmie Johnson spun at the entrance to pit lane with roughly three minutes remaining. Johnson’s No. 48 Chip Ganassi Racing Honda sustained slight contact to the nose in the incident, but nothing further.

Ahead of the 60-minute final practice was an abbreviated session that featured nine drivers on track to help widen the lanes, similar to what was done at Texas Motor Speedway back in March.

Rossi led the abbreviated 30-minute session at WWTR, putting down a best of 174.061 mph (25.8530s) during his run of 57 laps. Other drivers to participate (from second to ninth) included Dixon, pole-sitter Will Power, Conor Daly, Simon Pagenaud, Sato, rookie Callum Ilott, Jack Harvey and Felix Rosenqvist.

Up Next: The Bommarito Automotive Group 500 on Saturday at 6 p.m. ET, with live coverage on USA Network, Peacock, IndyCar Live! and the IndyCar Radio Network.

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