(Photo: Chris Owens)

Ryan Hunter-Reay Leads Opening IndyCar Pocono Practice

Ryan Hunter-Reay kicked off the weekend right with the top time in Saturday morning’s practice session at Pocono Raceway for the Verizon IndyCar Series. Ripping around the 2.5-mile track in 41.045 seconds (219.268 mph), Hunter-Reay bested Simon Pagenaud by 0.010 seconds to win the session.

For Hunter-Reay, the 2012 champion approaches his two-year anniversary of his last IndyCar win, which came at Pocono in 2015.

With Marco Andretti leading a majority of the extended practice, Andretti Autosport posted four of the top seven times, with Indianapolis 500 winner Takuma Sato sixth and Alexander Rossi seventh.

The remainder of the top runners was populated by the top teams of the series, with Team Penske’s Helio Castroneves and Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan among the top 10.

Not all had a good session, however, as Ed Jones spun his No. 19 Honda off Turn 2, suffering small damage to the front wing.

Ed Carpenter suffered the day’s hardest shunt, slapping his No. 20 car into the Turn 3 wall. The day followed a pattern of chaotic practice sessions at Pocono Raceway.

Gabby Chaves completed the top 10 in 10th, running for Harding Racing for only the third time.

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Growing up in Easton, Pa., Zach Catanzareti has grown his auto racing interest from fandom to professional. Joining Frontstretch in 2015, Zach enjoys nothing more than being at the track, having covered his first half-season of 18 races in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in 2017. With experience behind the wheel, behind the camera and in the media center, he thrives on being an all-around reporter.

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