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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]
Will Power in action during practice for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Will Power in action during practice for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Will Power sits in his pit stand prior to practice for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon streaks across the start/finish line during the Open Test at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon crosses the start/finish line during the Open Test at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Will Power sits on pit lane prior to the evening Open Test session at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Will Power in his pit stand at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Will Power in his pit stand prior to track activity during the Open Test at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon leaves pit lane (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
The confetti flies as Scott Dixon celebrates winning the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon takes the twin chequered flags to win the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon celebrates his win in Victory Circle after the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon and the #9 Target Chip Ganassi team celebrate after the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)

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