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Dixon fastest in first Kentucky practice

Scott Dixon made the most of extended running at a chilly Kentucky Speedway, while Will Power and Dario Franchitti preferred to hang back and wait for the action to warm up.
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 available.

Full practice 2 times and positions available.



Related Pictures

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Dan Wheldon at Kentucky Speedway. [Picture Credit: Bret Kelley for IndyCar Media]
Will Power and Dario Franchitti in pit lane at Kentucky Speedway. [Picture Credit: Bret Kelley for IndyCar Media]
Dario Franchitti on track at Kentucky Speedway. [Picture Credit: Bret Kelley for IndyCar Media]
Cars stream out from the exit of pit road onto the track at Kentucky Speedway. [Picture Credit: Bret Kelley for IndyCar Media]
The podium of Josef Newgarden, Graham Rahal, and Scott Dixon celebrate with champagne following the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park on Sunday April 26 2015. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
The podium of Josef Newgarden, Graham Rahal, and Scott Dixon celebrate in Victory Circle following the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park on Sunday April 26 2015. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
The podium of Josef Newgarden, Graham Rahal, and Scott Dixon celebrate in Victory Circle following the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park on Sunday April 26 2015. (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
The podium of Josef Newgarden, Graham Rahal,and Scott Dixon hoist their trophies following the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park on Sunday April 26 2015. (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
The podium of Josef Newgarden, Graham Rahal,and Scott Dixon hoist their trophies following the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park on Sunday April 26 2015. (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Coke Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to a third place finish Sunday, April 25, 2015 during the Verizon IndyCar Series Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon on course during qualifications for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park on Saturday April 25 2015. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Will Power, driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, finishes second fastest during qualifying Saturday, April 24, 2015 for Sunday`s Verizon IndyCar Series Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama. Power will start in the front row next to teammate Helio Castroneves who won the pole position. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 Penske Truck Rental Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, finishes third fastest during qualifying Saturday, April 24, 2015 for Sunday`s Verizon IndyCar Series Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama. Pagenaud and Team Penske teammates Helio Castroneves and Will Power had the fastest qualifying times. Castrovenes won the pole position. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon with his Coca-Cola Chevrolet following practice for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park on Saturday April 25 2015. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon waits on pit lane prior to practice for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park on Saturday April 25 2015. (Photo by: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon waits on pit lane prior to practice for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park on Saturday April 25 2015. (Photo by: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon rolls down pit lane during practice for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park  on Saturday April 25 2015. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon streaks down the frontstretch during practice for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park on Saturday April 25 2015. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)

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