CHAMPCAR/CART: Nazareth Honda runs up front in Friday practice

Helio Castro-Neves and his Honda-powered Marlboro Team Penske machine led the field for most of the day today at Nazareth Speedway in practice sessions for Sunday's Bosch Spark Plug Grand Prix. But the Brazilian was surpassed in the final ...

Helio Castro-Neves and his Honda-powered Marlboro Team Penske machine led the field for most of the day today at Nazareth Speedway in practice sessions for Sunday's Bosch Spark Plug Grand Prix. But the Brazilian was surpassed in the final moments of the day's action by defending race winner Juan Montoya,

Teammate Gil de Ferran also is in competitive form here at Nazareth, posting the fourth quickest time of the day in his Honda Reynard. And the Team KOOL Green duo of Dario Franchitti and Paul Tracy ended the day 10th and 11th overall, just one half second slower than Montoya.

Walker Racing and impressive rookie driver Shinji Nakano are not taking part in this weekend's event after the Japanese driver was injured in a testing crash last week at the Milwaukee MileNakano is expected to miss at least the next two races as he recovers from brain contusions sustained in the crash.

The weather could be a factor in tomorrow's activities here in eastern Pennsylvania, One final practice is scheduled for tomorrow morning prior to Saturday's single-car qualifying at 1:16 p.m, EDT. However, the strong possibility of rain showers could alter that schedule. If qualifying is cancelled due to Fail), the grid for Sunday's 225-lap race would be set according to today's times.

HELIO CASTRO-NEVES (#3 Marlboro Team Penske Honda) 3rd fastest, qualified second last year and led 15 race laps:

"As soon as we unloaded the car today, it was fast. We never changed the corner weights or anything, it's very comfortable right now. I think, with the new aerodynamic rules, you're going to see more passing this year. In Turn 2 especially, you can run a high fine and pass people. Now we'll just see what the weather's going to be."

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Gil de Ferran , Paul Tracy , Dario Franchitti , Shinji Nakano
Teams Team Penske