Dixon tops Texas Thursday practice

The IndyCar Series held a 90-minute practice session at Texas Motor Speedway today, with Scott Dixon turning the fastest lap. Dixon toured the 1.455-mile, high-banked speedway at an average speed of 213.837 mph. High winds prevailed throughout...

The IndyCar Series held a 90-minute practice session at Texas Motor Speedway today, with Scott Dixon turning the fastest lap. Dixon toured the 1.455-mile, high-banked speedway at an average speed of 213.837 mph.

High winds prevailed throughout the 90 minute session forcing teams to work on race day set up. As evidenced by the showers of sparks trailing the cars as they traversed the bumps in the corners, most teams were running with full fuel loads.

After getting a feel for his car, Dixon faded to the rear of a group of cars and then made a charge back through the pack, an indication that his car was good in traffic. Dixon said it was easier to run up front but if "you have a bad pit stop and you drop back to 10th or 15th, you should be able to make your way through."

Marco Andretti was able to run flat out after several laps of practice. He rolled off the transporter and went straight to the top of the speed charts, ending the day second fastest with a lap at 213.465 mph. Calling the high winds "interesting," Andretti said he was treating his solo runs "like we were in traffic."

With gusts between 35 and 40 mph, drivers and crews were unsure how the cars would handle on the high speed track.

The wind "made things a bit challenging at the beginning when we didn't quite know how it would affect the car," said Ryan Briscoe. "Thankfully, it really didn't seem to make things too difficult for us." Briscoe was seventh fastest while his Team Penske teammate Helio Castroneves was 11th.

John Andretti was third overall driving a Marty Roth entry. Andretti pointed out that time sheets "don't always tell a story, but for us it's a good day." Having competed several times at Texas in a stock car, John Andretti contributed some of his speed to his familiarity with the track, "of course it's a little quicker in an IndyCar."

Dan Wheldon was fourth fastest, followed by A.J. Foyt IV and his Vision Racing teammate Ed Carpenter. Briscoe was seventh, with Danica Patrick, Will Power and Hideki Mutoh rounding out the top ten.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers John Andretti , Helio Castroneves , A.J. Foyt IV , Scott Dixon , Dan Wheldon , Ryan Briscoe , Marty Roth , Marco Andretti , Will Power , Hideki Mutoh , Danica Patrick , Ed Carpenter
Teams Team Penske