Rossi completes practice sweep at Road America; Power and Dixon have a big crash

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Second practice got underway on Saturday morning under nice skies.

Newgarden on a 1:44.5575 led after 5 minutes from Harvey and Hunter-Reay. Team Penske had a difficult Friday as they only managed P15, P16 and P17 in first practice.

There was an extremely hairy moment for Colton Herta as the young American lost his car on the entry into turn 7 and spin. Luckily he avoided the wall.

However, the red flags were required moments later as championship leader Alex Palou hit the wall in the final corner as he also lost it on entry by taking too many liberties with track limits as well. He damaged the suspension and hit the tyres at high speed.

When the red flags got thrown, Palou’s 1:42.1368 was the benchmark. He set that moments before his crash. Harvey, Armstrong, Rosenqvist, Rossi completed the top 5 at that stage.

A second red flag was required not long after they returned to green as there was a huge crash between Scott Dixon and Will Power.

Dixon had spun and was going slowly on the exit of Canada corner. After letting Grosjean by, he suddenly veered left and Will Power had no chance to avoid the CGR. There was heavy contact with the wall for last year’s champion.

Understandably, the Australian was left fuming at his Kiwi rival. Both drivers could thankfully walk away. Nonetheless, the cars were badly damaged.

Dixon held his hands up and took responsibility for the crash in an interview with NBC.

When the green flag was waved to resume the session, the Arrow McLaren of Felix Rosenqvist went to the top of the leaderboard, followed by Malukas and the Team Penskes of McLaughlin and Newgarden.

A third red flag was thrown as Santino Ferrucci stalled his AJ Foyt Racing after losing it out of Canada corner. He initially avoided stalling but did eventually do so as he rotated the car and lost the engine.

Marcus Ericsson gave CGR another moment of panic as he spun in turn 14. He managed to continue, though.

With 15 minutes remaining, Herta on a 1:41.0584 led Rossi, Rosenqvist, Malukas and O’Ward.

Rossi, who was fastest in first practice yesterday, was the first driver to get into the 1:40s as the Arrow McLaren driver logged a 1:40.9112 to usurp his former teammate at the top.

In what was an incredibly messy session, two more red flags came out in the last 5 minutes. Colton Herta spun at turn 12 and stalled, whilst right at the end Simon Pagenaud ended up in the gravel at turn 14 as the rear went light on him on corner entry.

Rossi topped the times from Herta, Rosenqvist, Malukas, Armstrong, Ferrucci, O’Ward, Kirkwood, McLaughlin and VeeKay.

Photo credit: Penske Entertainment | Chris Owens