Cold but dry and bright conditions greeted the IndyCar field as they took to the track on the 1.5 mile D-shaped oval of the Kentucky Speedway.
The cold temperatures - which stubbornly refused to budge much above 50F for the start of the first 75-minute practice session - meant that all cars were allowed to run for the entire period, rather then the usual format of reserving the first 45 minutes for rookies and those outside the top ten.
As a result, the likes of Will Power and Scott Dixon topped the timesheets from early on, with Power's time of 24.3966s the fastest after the first half hour when the first full track caution came out for Mike Conway having a tyre go down on him, requiring a track inspection for debris.
At almost the same time, there was drama in pit lane as a fire broke out in JR Hildebrand's pix box, and the driver had to exit the #4 pretty rapidly while the pit crew arrived with buckets of water to douse the flames. It was quickly cleaned up, however, and Hildebrand was able to resume practice along with everyone else when the track went green again.
There was a second full course caution around 15 minutes later when rookie Dillon Battistini ground to a halt on the exit of pit lane; and there was a scare for championship leader six minutes from the end of the session when he had a near-miss on track with Buddy Rice through turns 3 and 4, but the crisis was averted and Power was back to setting new fast times a minute later.
In the end, Power slipped to sixth place in the final timesheets for the first practice session after running just 11 laps. Dixon took the top spot after 59 laps and was the only man to clock a lap of over 220mph, but he had some stiff competition from Vitor Meira in the second half of the session, who ended up just 0.1414s back from Dixon.
Wade Cunningham popped into third just before the end ahead of Dario Franchitti and Takuma Sato who were the next fastest drivers ahead of Power. Slowest for the session was Simona de Silvestro, who lost considerable running time with earlier radiator problems and then subsequent electrical issues.
Scott Dixon went on to top the times in the second and final hour-long practice session in the afternoon, ahead of Ryan Hunter-Reay and Ed Carpenter.
The qualifying session runs on Saturday evening from 6pm local time (11pm BST)
Full practice 1 times and positions
Full practice 2 times and positions