Ganassi duo Dario Franchitti and Scott Dixon picked up where they left off in their last oval outing at Indianapolis with a 1-2 in the timings in practice at Texas Motor Speedway ahead of Saturday evening's Firestone 550k.
Franchitti's lap time of 24.3941s (214.724mph) was just five hundredths of a second faster than that of his team mate. The only other driver to go faster that 214mph during the session was fellow Honda-powered driver Josef Newgarden in the Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing car, although he then suffered an engine failure shortly afterwards.
Another of the Honda stable - Bryan Herta Autosport's Alex Tagliani - was also looking strong in fourth place still less than a tenth of a second of Franchitti's time. Tagliani won pole position at Texas in last year's qualifying, when the race was split into two halves. Tagliani's pole time in 2011 was year was 215.186mph, confirming that the new-specification car is already running close to its predecessor's performance despite running lower levels of downforce for safety reasons.
The session had been delayed because of 'weepers', or patches of water rising up through the track surface, following several days of heavy rainfall in the area. Once the weepers were taken care of, Katherine legge had a brief solo rookie practice before the full 75 minute session got underway.
There were no major incidents during the practice session, with just a couple of yellows for track inspection an clear-up, and a third for Mike Conway's #14 AJ Foyt Racing car needing to be towed back to pit lane.
Conway's car was also involved in a minor fire in the pit area, which was swiftly dealt with by a large amount of water being thrown on it. However, one Foyt crew member went to the infield care centre to have minor burns to one of his hands attended to.
Qualifying follows at 4pm local time (10pm BST). There is also a final practice session later at 6.45pm, closer to the cooler evening conditions that the race itself will be run in on Saturday, in order for teams to make appropriate set-up changes.
The circuit is also hosting this weekend's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race on Friday evening. Qualifying for the event, due to be held on Thursday, had been rained off.
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