Will Power was quickest again in practice two at Barber Motorsports Park, though his Penske squad was denied a 1-2-3 in the closing minutes when the Target Chip Ganassi cars improved.
Power had led teammates Ryan Briscoe and Helio Castroneves going into the closing minutes, but when the session resumed after a late yellow, Ganassi's Scott Dixon jumped to second with a time 0.1908sec down on Power's 1:12.836 benchmark.
"It wasn't a very good session – we had a few problems, Power said. "We need to have a good think tonight about what we need to do. I wasn't really happy at the end. I went out on new tires this afternoon when everyone else was on old tires and I was able to get on it fairly quickly. This morning we had the same pace as this afternoon. I think the track got a bit slower and we need to find the pace."
Dixon's teammate Dario Franchitti also made late gains to take fourth, splitting Briscoe – who got away with a spectacular spin during the session without making any contact – and Castroneves. Graham Rahal made it three Penske drivers and three Ganassi drivers in the top six by taking sixth.
"It was a demanding day as the weather was extremely tough with the rain," said Dixon. "Since it was cooler, it was really hard to get the car the way you liked it balance-wise – and I think this is why you saw so much shuffling going on with the practice sessions. Overall the Target car was good and we were there all day. We didn't end up with the quickest time, but I think we have good speed in the car. Tracks like this that are high speed demand a lot of grip, and when it warms up you have no grip and the downforce is less."
Added Franchitti, "Today was certainly a lot better than the open test here. Although we are closer to the front, we are still struggling and it doesn't feel that great. Judging on everyone else's time, I think that several drivers are feeling uncomfortable. We will look at it overnight and the team will hopefully come up with some magic and we will see what we got for tomorrow."
It was a strong session for Newman/Haas, with Oriol Servia and rookie James Hinchcliffe seventh and ninth, sandwiching Andretti Autosport's Ryan Hunter-Reay.
Takuma Sato completed the top 10 for KV, which had a tough session. EJ Viso crashed heavily at the first corner 15 minutes from the end, while Tony Kanaan brought up the tail of the field.
• Peter Dempsey was the quickest of 15 Firestone Indy Lights drivers at Barber Motorsports Park in practice for the 40-lap race April 10 with a best lap of 1:18.8609 in the No. 36 Pulse/02 Racing entry.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap
1. Will Power Penske 1m12.8364s
2. Scott Dixon Ganassi 1m13.0272s + 0.1908s
3. Ryan Briscoe Penske 1m13.1156s + 0.2792s
4. Dario Franchitti Ganassi 1m13.2408s + 0.4044s
5. Helio Castroneves Penske 1m13.2544s + 0.4180s
6. Graham Rahal Ganassi 1m13.2984s + 0.4620s
7. Oriol Servia Newman/Haas 1m13.3460s + 0.5096s
8. Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti 1m13.3743s + 0.5379s
9. James Hinchcliffe Newman/Haas 1m13.4241s + 0.5877s
10. Takuma Sato KV 1m13.4474s + 0.6110s
11. Justin Wilson Dreyer & Reinbold 1m13.6526s + 0.8162s
12. EJ Viso KV 1m13.7680s + 0.9316s
13. Danica Patrick Andretti 1m13.7922s + 0.9558s
14. Alex Tagliani Schmidt 1m13.9114s + 1.0750s
15. Vitor Meira Foyt 1m13.9474s + 1.1110s
16. Simona de Silvestro HVM 1m14.0117s + 1.1753s
17. Marco Andretti Andretti 1m14.0490s + 1.2126s
18. Raphael Matos AFS 1m14.0557s + 1.2193s
19. James Jakes Coyne 1m14.0840s + 1.2476s
20. Mike Conway Andretti 1m14.2846s + 1.4482s
21. Charlie Kimball Ganassi 1m14.2918s + 1.4554s
22. Sebastian Saavedra Conquest 1m14.3892s + 1.5528s
23. Simon Pagenaud Dreyer & Reinbold 1m14.4426s + 1.6062s
24. JR Hildebrand Panther 1m14.5149s + 1.6785s
25. Sebastien Bourdais Coyne 1m14.5710s + 1.7346s
26. Tony Kanaan KV 1m14.6156s + 1.7792s