SUNNY SKIES WELCOME SHARP BACK ON TRACK AT INDIANAPOLIS Scott Sharp INDIANAPOLIS, IN, Thursday, May 7, 2009: After completing his refresher class at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Tuesday, Scott Sharp returned to the track today...
SUNNY SKIES WELCOME SHARP BACK ON TRACK AT INDIANAPOLIS
Scott Sharp INDIANAPOLIS, IN, Thursday, May 7, 2009: After completing his refresher class at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Tuesday, Scott Sharp returned to the track today aboard the #16 Tequila Patron entry for the first full rain-free day of practice.
Returning for his 14th assault on the Indianapolis 500, Sharp today recorded 47 laps with a fastest lap of 222.473mph aboard the Panther Racing-run entry.
This placed the Indy veteran 15th fastest overall out of the 32 car/drivers combinations that practiced today.
After rain cancelled yesterday's opening day, teams were able to complete a full days running - totalling 2199 laps.
Sharp will return to the track tomorrow for the final day of practice before qualifying kicks off on Saturday.
The first 11 slots on the 33-car grid will be decided on Saturday with the next 11 positions locked in on Sunday.
Sharp is aiming to secure his 14th Indianapolis 500 start this weekend as he will be in action for Patron Highcroft Racing the following week in the American Le Mans Series aboard the Acura ARX-02a LMP1 sportscar.
"I'm pretty pleased with the way the day went but I would have liked to have been a little further up the leaderboard with the Tequila Patron Panther entry.
"With a whole day of good weather, we didn't concentrate on going for an outright time today. However, it did amaze me how many guys got into full-on qualifying mode in their first day on the track.
"By the end of the day guys had their aero completely trimmed right out but we never got to that stage.
"With the Panther guys today we worked on a baseline set up and made quite a few changes throughout the day.
"During happy hour at the end of the day the guys made a bunch of changes. We went out to take a shot at a quick lap but we really ran out of time before the checkered flag came out.
"We got out with about 10 minutes to go but I really only got two laps in.
"It would have been really nice to finish the run and really see what we had but I think there is a lot more speed in the car. I think we should be in pretty good shape tomorrow.
"Many of the guys in front of me got a big draft to record their time. With that in mind, I feel pretty good and quite confident we will move up the leaderboard when it comes to putting down a qualifying run on our own."