By Steve Wittich

Colton Herta used the lone Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires practice session to get comfortable with the brace he’s wearing to stabilize the non-displaced fracture at the base of his left thumb that he suffered after hitting the tire barrier during qualifying in Toronto.

The fix clearly worked; the Andretti Steinbrenner Racing driver turned the quickest lap of the 40-minute session at 72.533 seconds.

That was only seven-hundredths ahead of his teammate and championship leader Patricio O’Ward. Herta and O’Wards other teammates Ryan Norman and Dalton Kellett were both within four-tenths of Herta. O’Ward, Norman, and Kellett were the only drivers to test during an open test last week on the 2.258-Mile, 13-Turn Road Course.

We’re not reading too much into the times as teams were on various tire strategies.

The second generation driver had his injury looked at by specialists in Indianapolis, Ind. and opted to forego surgery. The 18-year-old did skip last week’s test to rest his injury.

The seven drivers completed 309.346 miles (137 laps). Drivers completed between 17 and 22 laps during the 40-minute session.

The Indy Lights drivers are back on track for a qualifying session at 1:20 PM.

The Indy Lights race will air on NBCSN Tuesday (July 31, 2018) at 6 PM.

Cooper Tires Mid-Ohio Grand Prix Powered by Mazda Practice #1 Results

1 98 Colton Herta 1:12.533 –.—- 17
2 27 Patricio O’Ward 1:12.610 0.0766 20
3 48 Ryan Norman 1:12.802 0.2693 22
4 28 Dalton Kellett 1:12.918 0.3847 22
5 23 Victor Franzoni 1:13.055 0.5214 22
6 9 Aaron Telitz 1:13.321 0.7882 17
7 5 Santi Urrutia 1:13.932 1.3988 17