Wheldon Has Eighth Quickest Speed on Indy's Fast Friday; Minor Accident Involving Tequila Patron Driver Scott Sharp Could Postpone Qualification Attempt until Sunday INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (May 8, 2009) -- It was a day of mixed results on Fast ...
Wheldon Has Eighth Quickest Speed on Indy's Fast Friday; Minor Accident Involving Tequila Patron Driver Scott Sharp Could Postpone Qualification Attempt until Sunday
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (May 8, 2009) -- It was a day of mixed results on Fast Friday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for Panther Racing and its Indianapolis 500 driver duo of Dan Wheldon and Scott Sharp. The day had started out well for the team until an accident involving Sharp in the short chute between Turns 1-2 concluded the day for the Tequila Patron team. The team is currently working on the damaged caused by the accident, and the plan is for Sharp's primary No. 16 car to be repaired and the 2001 polesitter to make his first qualification attempt during Sunday's qualifications.
Sharp had posted a top speed of 221.739 mph prior to the incident.
For the National Guard team, the car's overall speed was impressive despite Wheldon only running a total of 13 laps during the day. After the team's initial run in the morning, they pulled onto pit lane in the afternoon, but the track went yellow because of the rainfall and the team decided to call it a day.
After finishing sixth overall yesterday, Wheldon's top lap of 224.357 mph, 40.1146 seconds was good enough for eighth on the day's final speed chart.
Dan Wheldon No. 4 National Guard Dallara Honda
Dan Wheldon: We worked hard on the No. 4 National Guard Panther Racing car. It was one of those days where you perhaps didn't accomplish as much as you had liked because of the intermittent interruptions with rain. I think at this point you've got what you've got. Obviously, I would like to be pretty aggressive. At the same token, you have to remember the race is the thing that counts. Certainly, the Team Penske cars look incredibly strong. But I feel we're definitely a contender. We just have to get everything absolutely right. We'll see the development stuff that we have in store for tonight and how that performs tomorrow. It's great to be at the Speedway, and I'm certainly enjoying it. It would nice to be on the front row. I'd love the pole. I've never been on the pole here. I've sat on the front row a lot. By the same token, I think if you're on the pole or on the front row people remember you for a couple of weeks. I'd much rather win the race."
Scott Sharp No. 16 Tequila Patron Panther Dallara Honda
Scott Sharp: "We were on a sticker run. It was my second lap, pretty easy. I rolled down in there and the Tequila Patron car just snapped around on me. I'm not exactly sure what happened. We've been struggling a little big to gain more speed and didn't really need for this to happen right now. We'll see what the plan is and find a way to rebound."