The NTT IndyCar Series was back on track at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on Saturday morning, with the final practice session before qualifying on tap.

The session started off with much more excitement than anybody wanted to see, as Simon Pagenaud tumbled dramatically through the gravel trap at the exit of Turn 4.

The veteran lost control at the end of the long straight at nearly 180 MPH, and launched his Meyer Shank Racing Honda off the racing surface.

Pagenaud rolled through the gravel a full seven times, shedding parts all the way, and his car ended up resting against the tire barriers on the side of what was left of the chassis.

The AMR safety crew was on site nearly immediately, and helped the Frenchman climb from the car under his own power.

While confirming on the radio that he was unhurt, Pagenaud said that he suffered brake failure at one of the fastest portions of the track.

The Meyer Shank Racing crew rushed to get a backup car unloaded from the hauler to get it ready for this afternoon’s qualifying. Pagenaud was subsequently deemed not fit to take part, and the car will not be needed until Sunday morning.

The damage on Pagenaud’s primary car was extensive. Photo: Kevin Dejewski

After cleanup was completed, the session was resumed for the remaining drivers. Colton Herta quickly set the fastest time in his Andretti Autosport Honda.

That didn’t last long, however, and Will Power ended the session in the top position. His time was nearly identical to O’Ward’s fast lap on Friday, showing the Team Penske crew found some pace for the second day of running.

Alex Palou was second fastest, just as he was on Friday, and Herta ended up in the third position.

Santino Ferrucci was the only other driver to cause a red flag during the session, but his problems were limited to being stuck in the wet grass.

The oft-predicted rain was closing in on the track by the end of practice, and the expectation is that qualifying could well be in very different conditions than the rest of the weekend has been to this point.

Qualifying gets underway at 2:45 PM Eastern time with a standard knockout format.

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