Josef Newgarden leads Penske 1-2 in close first practice at St. Petersburg.

Photo Credit: Chris Owens/IndyCar

Josef Newgarden led a Team Penske 1-2 in a tightly contested first practice for Sunday’s Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.
The defending and two-time St. Petersburg champ burst to the top of the pylon with 11 minutes left in the 45-minute session with a 1 minute .00.8029 second lap.
Competitiveness was abundant in the top five as the American led a train of seven drivers in the 60-second bracket. Flanking him was his Team Penske teammate Will Power who came up a slim .007s of his teammate’s time.
Andretti Autosport pilots Colton Herta and Alexander Rossi broke up the Team Penske party while Penske’s third shoe Simon Pagenaud ended up fifth.
Scott Dixon was the quickest of the Chip Ganassi Racing squad in sixth while Arrow McLaren SP’s Felix Rosenqvist recovered from a malfunction on pit road and a brief off-track excursion to slot in seventh, .1927s off the leader. Scott McLaughlin was the last of the Penske horses in the top ten in ninth which also cemented himself as the quickest rookie in the field.
Completing the top ten were Rosenqvist’s teammate Pato O’Ward in ninth and 2008 St. Pete winner Graham Rahal in tenth.
A timing and scoring glitch delayed the beginning of the session by three minutes while the only on-track issues included Rosenqvist going off in Turn 7 and two-time St. Pete champ Sebastien Bourdais went off in Turn 10 late in the going.

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