Wheldon Finds Speed, Race Setup During Final Carb Day Practice; Sharp Finishes 17th Quick in Practice INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (May 22, 2009) -- The National Guard Panther Racing team and driver Dan Wheldon waited until the last possible moment to ...
Wheldon Finds Speed, Race Setup During Final Carb Day Practice; Sharp Finishes 17th Quick in Practice
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (May 22, 2009) -- The National Guard Panther Racing team and driver Dan Wheldon waited until the last possible moment to perfect the team's race setup for the 93rd Running of the Indianapolis 500, but after an hour of Carburetion Day practice, the confidence level of the team and driver have reached a high for the month. Wheldon posted the fourth-quickest time of the day, but more importantly, the former Indianapolis 500 champion was happy with the speed and setup of his racecar.
The same can be said for Panther teammate Scott Sharp, who will start on Sunday from the 20th position after a dramatic qualification effort on the second day of qualifications. Sharp missed last week's practice days to race in Utah for Highcroft Racing, fulfilling obligations with his full-time job as an ALMS driver. Sharp did not race in the Indianapolis 500 last season, but it making a return in 2009 with his first career start in a Panther Racing car.
Wheldon posted the fourth-quickest lap time during Carb Day practice with a top lap of 222.386 mph, 40.4701 seconds.
Sharp's top lap of the day was recorded at 219.97 mph, 40.9133 seconds, which was good enough for the 17th spot on the speed chart.
Dan Wheldon, No. 4 National Guard Dallara Honda
"I've really got to give a lot of credit to the National Guard Panther Racing boys, because they've worked tirelessly and for the first time this month it feels like we've got a pretty good racecar. There are still some things to tidy up on the car, but we've improved a lot of the problems we've been having this month. It's been an incredibly difficult month for all of us, and there is still some work to do. It's honestly great to be able to turn left all the way through a corner since I can become used to having to turn right on entry, which is never good at Indianapolis. I'm a lot more confident now and I feel much more like myself and I feel like I'll be able to drive much more like myself. (Tony) Kanaan has been telling me how loose my racecar has been all month, and today he commented on how good the No. 4 car looked, so that was nice."