Kyle Kirkwood was fastest in a delayed and heavily shortened NTT IndyCar Series warm-up session at Laguna Seca on Sunday morning.
The first car rolled out of pitlane roughly 45 minutes later than scheduled due to a heavy marine layer that would have prevented the medical helicopter from being able to take off if it were needed. Once the fog lifted the drivers were left with just under 10 minutes on a pretty cold track to put to whatever use they could, and Kirkwood emerged on top with a 1m08.0855s in the No. 27 Andretti Honda.
Andretti-bound Marcus Ericsson was immediately behind him as he started his final day in Ganassi’s No. 8, leaving Augustin Canapino, Alex Palou and Scott McLaughlin to round out the top five on a morning that was representative of little beyond the fact that the cars drove around for a few laps.
The limited running left some teams prioritizing pitstop rehearsals, while others took the opportunity to scrub another set of tires or continue the ongoing exploration of the grip limits in various parts of the track.
The latter proved mildly consequential for McLaughlin, who underestimated the amount of available traction at pit exit and fired the No. 3 Team Penske Chevrolet into the gravel as he approached the left turn that would otherwise have fed his car back onto the track. That indiscretion earned him a drive-through which he served immediately, complete with a wave to his team as he rolled past them.
UP NEXT: Race, 11:30 a.m. PT green flag