VeeKay to the top as Rossi crashes

Rinus VeeKay paced the final pre-qualifying practice session for tomorrow’s Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama.

The 21-year-old Ed Carpenter Racing Driver used a set of option Firestone Reds to lay down a flier of 1 minute 5.9264 seconds midway through the session.

Defending Barber pole-sitter Pato O’Ward made it a Chevrolet 1-2 with a lap of 1:06.0136 while yesterday’s pacesetter Colton Herta landed in third. He was the fastest Honda.

St. Petersburg winner Scott McLaughlin was the lone Team Penske representative in the top ten as he slotted in fourth. Romain Grosjean set the early pace and ended up fifth quickest by surviving a spin in the final half of the session.

The Chip Ganassi Racing trio of defending champion Alex Palou, Marcus Ericsson and Scott Dixon filled positions 6-8 while Callum Illot backed up his strong run from yesterday to take ninth quickest while Jack Harvey completed the top ten.

Alexander Rossi suffered the worst accident of the weekend a quarter of the way through the session. His No. 27 Autonation Honda quivered coming off the final turn and backed into the barrier. The impact destroyed the gearbox and vaulted his car back onto the racing surface.

The accident has forced his Andretti Autosport crew to scramble to repair his car for qualifying, which is set to begin at 12:00 local time.

Helio Castroneves also suffered minor damage in the incident as a piece of carbon fiber nailed his right front tire. The Brazilian was towed back into the pits and finished the session after serving a five-minute penalty for stopping on the track.

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