Rookies Santino Ferrucci and Marcus Ericsson showed their newfound oval prowess during the opening practice for the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 at the World Wide Technology Raceway.

Ferrucci topped the timesheets with a lap of 24.3501 second around the 1.25-mile oval. With three top tens out of the four ovals this year, the Woodburry, Connecticut native feels confident about climbing up the standings with a good run tomorrow evening.

 “It’s all about momentum and I feel that we are doing a really good job,” he said. “It makes a difference, especially coming down to the end of the championship, for us to win the rookie title and coming into the top then points.

“Just keep staying on our game, staying consistent and doing what we can do.”

Ericsson wound up a scant .036s behind his fellow rookie in his Arrow SPM Honda. A trio of former Indy car champions claimed completed the top five with Scott Dixon posting the third fastest lap (24.3991s) followed by points leader Josef Newgarden in fourth (24.4103s) while Ferrucci’s Dale Coyne Racing teammate Sebastien Bourdais rounded out the top five (24.4283s).

Newgarden’s championship rival Alexander Rossi enters this race 35 points in arrears and kicked off the weekend with the sixth quickest time. Pocono winner and last year’s Gateway champion Will Power took the seventh quickest time in his Team Penske Chevrolet.

Four different Honda-powered teams completed the top ten with the RLL entry of Takuma Sato logging the eighth quickest lap followed by Andretti Autosport’s Ryan Hunter-Reay ending up ninth.

Completing the top ten was the Harding Steinbrenner Racing car of Colton Herta. The 19-year-old Californian is making his debut at WWTR after logging two podiums in Indy Lights from 2017-18.