Devlin DeFrancesco caused a red flag in the opening minutes of the session with an off-course excursion.

Ten drivers had set 68sec laps by the time Alexander Rossi sent his Andretti Autosport-Honda to the top with a 67.8725sec lap, swiftly replaced in P1 by Felix Rosenqvist of Arrow McLaren SP-Chevrolet.

However, the Swede was then replaced at the top by teammate Pato O’Ward, then Romain Grosjean (Andretti), Will Power (Team Penske-Chevrolet) and Rinus VeeKay (Ed Carpenter Racing-Chevrolet). VeeKay’s best effort, which edged Power by 0.0051sec and O’Ward by 0.0574sec, was a 67.1965sec (120.971mph) around the 2.238-mile course.

With under 30mins to go, the two Kiwis flew into the top five, Scott McLaughlin’s Penske ahead of Chip Ganassi Racing-Honda’s Mid-Ohio legend, Scott Dixon, but soon after came the second red flag, caused by an off for Dalton Kellett of AJ Foyt Racing-Chevrolet.

Then Josef Newgarden, yesterday’s pacesetter and the 2021 Mid-Ohio winner, went fastest with a 67.0614, just ahead of increasingly impressive rookie David Malukas in the Dale Coyne Racing with HMD-Honda.

Colton Herta then put in a 67.0275sec in his Andretti Autosport-Honda, and Will Power had just responded with a slightly slower (by 0.0034sec) lap when he skated off at Turn 4, bringing out the third red flag of the session. The evolution of the track was such that Herta and Power on primaries had set faster times than Newgarden’s best effort on the soft compound Firestone’s in yesterday’s first practice session.

Behind Newgarden and Malukas, defending NTT IndyCar Series champion Alex Palou was fifth ahead of VeeKay, with Pato O’Ward seventh ahead of McLaughlin, Dixon and Rossi.

Championship leader Marcus Ericsson had a wild 360-degree spin on the grass, yet was able to return to the Ganassi #8 pits without obvious damage, but finished the session in 15th.

Paretta Autosport’s Simona De Silvestro was 24th, 1.94sec off the ultimate pace, 1.6sec and 1.8sec adrift of Ed Carpenter Racing semi-teammates Conor Daly and VeeKay respectively.

Qualifying begins at 2.45pm local (Eastern) time.

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