Simon Pagenaud, who will start the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach from the very back of the field, was fastest in a very busy raceday warm-up, but Honda cars continued to display their strength.
The reigning champion’s fastest laptime in the half-hour session was a 1min06.6497sec, an average lap speed of 106.299mph, and that was enough to put the Team Penske-Chevrolet on top by two-tenths of a second. However, most of the remainder of the top 10 were Honda-powered, with only his teammate, Josef Newgarden, and the AJ Foyt Racing machine of Conor Daly as the Bowtie-wearing interlopers.
Second and third were the Andretti Autosport-Hondas of Takuma Sato and Alexander Rossi, while fourth and fifth were Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan of Chip Ganassi Racing-Honda.
Newgarden claimed sixth ahead of Ryan Hunter-Reay’s Andretti machine, Daly, Charlie Kimball (Ganassi) and Graham Rahal (Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing-Honda).
Considering everyone turned at least 16 laps so the track was often very busy, the session ran largely without incident, save for a weird low-speed lock-up and tire-wall bouncing moment at Turn 1 by Spencer Pigot. The Ed Carpenter Racing-Chevy stalled and broke its front wing, but once the red flag flew, he was bump started by the Safety Team and was able to head back to the pits unassisted.