There was something of a false start to second practice when Rinus VeeKay managed to understeer into a wall, bringing out the red flag. Thankfully, the Ed Carpenter Racing-Chevrolet needed only a new nosewing.
Soon after the session restarted, Graham Rahal did the same with his Rahal Letterman Lanigan-Honda, up at Turn 6, and then Colton Herta locked the rears of the Andretti Herta Autosport-Honda under braking for Turn 9 and slid into the run-off. Thankfully, neither Rahal nor Herta needed help to return to the pits and so didn’t bring out a red flag.
With half an hour remaining, it was a Team Penske-Chevrolet 1-2-3, Scott McLaughlin’s 1min16.2966sec heading Josef Newgarden and Will Power, but then Felix Rosenqvist in the Arrow McLaren SP-Chevy slotted into second, albeit 0.3633sec behind McLaughlin.
Reigning Indy Lights champion Kyle Kirkwood was up to fifth for AJ Foyt Racing-Chevy, before being displaced by the resurgent Rahal.
Romain Grosjean shaved McLaughlin’s time by a couple of hundredths of a second to move up to the top of the times for Andretti Autosport, while Rahal further improved to take third.
Strapping on the fresh blacks, Will Power went fastest as the first driver in the session to duck into the 75sec mark and then further improved to 1min15.8415sec. Rosenqvist, who was second fastest yesterday, moved up to second, 0.183sec adrift, while Scott Dixon’s Chip Ganassi Racing-Honda was a further couple of tenths down.
Rookies Christian Lundgaard of RLL and David Malukas of Dale Coyne Racing with HMD-Honda, who finished first and third in Friday’s session, shone again by moving into the top five, behind last year’s polesitter, Colton Herta, but then all were demoted by Josef Newgarden sending his Penske to the top, 0.086 faster than Power, but moments later teammate McLaughlin went quickest by almost three-tenths, setting a 1min15.4609sec.
Alexander Rossi, who lost a lot of time yesterday to a brake issue, moved up to fourth ahead of Kirkwood.
In the final five minutes, Rosenqvist and Andretti Autosport’s Devlin DeFrancesco made heavy, car-damaging wall contact, and Pato O’Ward slid long into the Turn 9 runoff, but all returned to the pits unassisted.
Paretta Autosport’s Simona De Silvestro looked very impressive in her third outing of the year, just 0.4sec behind her technical teammates at ECR, VeeKay and Conor Daly, although the trio finished the session outside the Top 20.
Qualifying begins at 3.30pm local (Central) time.