Indy 500: Davey Hamilton Fast Friday report

DAVEY HAMILTON WORKS ON ADJUSTMENTS FOR HP KINGDOM CAR FRIDAY INDIANAPOLIS (May 8, 2009) -- Davey Hamilton, seeking a top eleven qualifying spot on Saturday, had a tougher day than he would have liked Friday during practice runs...

DAVEY HAMILTON WORKS ON ADJUSTMENTS FOR HP KINGDOM CAR FRIDAY

INDIANAPOLIS (May 8, 2009) -- Davey Hamilton, seeking a top eleven qualifying spot on Saturday, had a tougher day than he would have liked Friday during practice runs for the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race.

Hamilton drove his No. 44 HP Kingdom Racing Honda Dallara to a best speed of 221.901 miles per hour, an improvement over his Thursday top speed of 221.624. But the Eagle, Idaho veteran wasn't happy with the progress of his car as qualifications are set for Saturday at noon [EDT]. Hamilton was 22nd fastest on Friday.

Hamilton's HP Kingdom Racing crew went through a variety of adjustments on the No. 44 machine in order to find the best chassis setup to match up with the current track conditions. Davey is one of the most experienced racers at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and he expects to have any problems sorted out in Saturday morning practice runs prior to time trials.

Hamilton, always a crowd favorite since his comeback in 2007 from severe foot injuries suffered at Texas Motor Speedway in 2001, recorded speeds for 25 laps Friday, as the No. 44 car spent the majority of time in the HP Kingdom Racing garage area. The crew members and engineering staff made a myriad of changes in the gearbox and chassis in an effort to gain speed.

Hamilton is one of four Dreyer & Reinbold Racing entries this year at Indy, as the Eagle, Idaho, veteran joins John Andretti, Mike Conway and Milka Duno in the DRR lineup. Dreyer & Reinbold Racing joins Andretti Green Racing as the only teams with four drivers entered in the 2009 Indy 500.

Hamilton, whose best Indy 500 finish is fifth in 1998, made his first Indy 500 start in 1996, driving for four-time Indy 500 winner A.J. Foyt. Last year, Hamilton finished 14th at Indy while competing from the Vision Racing garage for HP and Kingdom.

DAVEY HAMILTON, No. 44 HP Kingdom Racing Honda Dallara: "Today was definitely a learning day for us. We didn't gain the speed that we wanted even though we went a little bit faster. The good thing is we learned what not to do for qualifying. We tried a deal with the gearbox and some gearing that didn't work, and we now know what not to do, so we were changing it back when it started raining. I think we will be okay. It's still a long shot for us to be in the top eleven, but we still have a slight chance."

-credit: drr/kr

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Series INDYCAR