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Hinchcliffe, Honda Run Second in Opening Day Practice at Long Beach

  • Rahal debuts new colors with third-quickest time
  • Hawksworth, Munoz post top-10 times
  • Daly leads rookies

Schmidt Peterson Motorsports driver James Hinchcliffe led the Honda field in Verizon IndyCar Series practice Friday for Sunday’s Grand Prix of Long Beach, posting the second-fastest time, only two-tenths of a second behind defending race winner Will Power. Graham Rahal continued his run of impressive street circuit performances, giving Honda two of the top-three positions on the time sheets, finishing the day just six-hundredths of a second off Hinchcliffe.

A.J. Foyt Racing continued to show strong form at Long Beach, with Jack Hawksworth posting the ninth-fastest time, with teammate and 2013 race winner Takuma Sato, 11th. Conor Daly led the three rookie drivers in the field with the 15th fastest time, still less than a second behind Power.

Activities on the Southern California temporary street circuit continue tomorrow, with final practice and qualifying. Sunday’s 80-lap race starts at 4 p.m. EDT, with live network television coverage on the NBC Sports Network.

James Hinchcliffe (#5 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda): “We’ve had a difficult start to the season, but not quite as difficult as the end to my last one [when a mechanical failure at Indianapolis resulting in serious leg injuries that ended his season]. So, it’s easy to sleep at night knowing that things could be worse. The car was quick off the truck [this morning], and we made very few changes over lunch, so it’s an encouraging start to our weekend. Long Beach has been nice to me in the past, so hopefully, we can have a solid weekend here and really kick off the season.”