In practice at New Hampshire Motor Speedway for the Firestone Indy Lights New Hampshire 100, Gustavo Yacaman topped the charts with a lap of 25.0034 seconds.
“The car felt good today and the track is a lot of fun and it reminds me of Milwaukee,” he said. “I really hope that qualifying doesn’t look like it did in Milwaukee after I topped both practice sessions, I qualified fourth. I hope that this weekend we have the speed to keep our pace up during qualifying and the race. Hopefully we can get a pole and maybe a win. I wouldn’t mind having a perfect weekend. It isn’t easy to pass at this track. It really depends on when you come up on a car that is slower than you, you lose all of your front grip. This is why I feel that qualifying will be so crucial. Whoever is on the pole, unless their car is really off, they will keep the lead. We can still make our car better and go faster so we will see what happens Saturday when everyone puts their little tricks on.”
Sam Schmidt Motorsports trio Josef Newgarden (25.0242), Bryan Clauson (25.3175) and Esteban Guerrieri (25.4634) followed while Anders Krohn was fifth.
“It was OK,” Newgarden said. “Obviously it was our first day here and it’s new for everybody like a couple of places on the calendar this year. I think we had a good day. It was definitely productive for what we needed to get done and tested on the car for qualifying and race day. I think we’re looking good here for Saturday and hopefully we qualify well here because I think that it’s going to be very difficult to pass here with the track configuration and the areo push you pick up here. It’s almost worse than Milwaukee. Qualifying could be crucial for the race and hopefully we can put it together for that session.”
“It’s (NHMS) a lot of fun,” Clauson said. “It’s a tricky little one mile with a lot of grip and a lot of speed. With the progressive banking, you can use multiple lanes to help your car in several different ways. The Sam Schmidt Motorsports guys gave me a great Mazda Road to Indy/NOS Energy Drink No. 77. It’s been a good day of practice here, and I feel really good about the car we have going into this weekend’s race. When you’re fast right off the trailer, it gives you a lot of confidence. It allows you to start working on the little details that are probably going to win you the race. These guys unloaded a great race car for me today, and we’ve just been fine-tuning it all day long.”
“I think it was a good learning process coming back to the ovals,” Guerrieri said. “The track is a bit tricky, so my approach was to gradually be more aggressive. I think it was a good day. We found the pace and worked on the car. We have good information to analyze Friday. Overall it was good and I’m confident.”